Church of the Deposition of the Virgin's Robe

The Church of the Deposition of the Virgin's Robe was built in 1484-1485 by a team of Russian masters, invited to Moscow from Pskov. It served as the private church of Moscow metropolitans and later – patriarchs until the mid-17th century. In 1655 under Patriarch Nikon the church was transferred to the grand princely palace; that is why it was connected to the chambers of tsarinas and tsarevnas by passages, while in the second half of the 17th century, covered galleries were erected above northern and western porches.

 Church of the Deposition of the Virgin's RobeCupola of the Church of the Deposition of the Virgin's RobeChurch of the Deposition of the Virgin's Robe

A small one-domed and three-apse brick church is set upon a basement. Corbel arches (zakomara) cover a cube-shaped main volume. Four square pillars support vaults. The ending of the temple has an unusual solution. The transition to the skylight drum is solved without squinches — a cylindrical drum of the light cupola cuts the intersection of central basket-handle arches. The walls are divided into curtain walls by pilaster-strips. The central curtain wall and the corbel arches crowning it are much more widely and higher than the side ones. On the southern side, there is a perspective portal with columns having melon-like widenings and sheaf-shaped capitals, to which a high porch leads. The three sides of the church are decorated with a frieze of terracotta balusters and fancy panels. The same ornamental frieze and keeled arches resting on thin semi-columns with sheaf-shaped capitals fringes the lowered apses. The central corbel arches of the northern, western and southern façades have shallow niches (kiots). In the second half of the 16th century, the northern and western white-stone portals were replaced by brick ones similar to the portals of St Basil's Cathedral.

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