CHURCH OF ST JOHN CLIMACUS

Close

In 1329, Ivan Kalita, on his return from a campaign against Pskov, in which he peacefully managed to expel Alexander of Tver from the city and made peace with the residents of Pskov, laid the foundation of the second stone church in Moscow after the Assumption Cathedral. It is supposed that the church in the name of St John Climacus was erected to give thanks for the peaceful end of the internecine strife, because the date of the saint's death coincided with the time of the campaign.

Archeological excavations in Cathedral Square in 1910-1911, aiming to lower it to the initial level, uncovered to the west of the present-day bell tower, between the Assumption and Archangel Cathedrals, the base of a white-stone construction, octahedral in shape, judging by the photo, much smaller than the modern octahedral pillar of the 'Ivan the Great' Bell Tower. Later scholars supposed it to be the remains of the Church of St John Climacus of the time of Ivan Kalita.

According to the chronicles, it is known that in 1346 the Church of St John Climacus was painted with murals.

In 1505-1508 Ivan III, renovating the Kremlin, built a new bell-tower church of the same name instead of the dilapidated one, not corresponding with the increased role of the Moscow principality.

 

Bell-tower Church of St John Climacus, 1329Plan of location of the Church of St John Climacus of the time of Ivan Kalita at Cathedral SquareFoundation of the old construction discovered during archaeological excavations at Cathedral SquareFoundation of the old construction discovered during archaeological excavations at Cathedral SquareStart of the construction of the bell tower in the 16th c. with the indication of location of the bell tower and Church of St John Climacus in 1329‘Ivan the Great’ Bell Tower