Description of Alexandrov Cathedral of the Nativity
Alexandrov Cathedral of the Nativity is one of the
most prominent Christian churches in the town. It stands on a site
of one of the oldest churches in Russia. First church dedicated to Saint Nicholas the Wonder
(or Miracle) - worker was constructed in Alexandrov in 990 shortly
after Russia adopted Christianity as its official religion making it
one of the oldest churches in the country. The area was named after
the patron saint and was popularly known as the Nikolsky churchyard.
Later a new wooden church was build next to a church of Saint
Nicholas. It was dedicated to the Nativity (Rozhdestvo in Russian)
and the area became known as Rozhdestvensky Pogost (Churchyard) that
became the name of Rozhdestvensky village that surrounded it. Over
time Alexandrov grew in size and joined with a small village.
New church of the Nativity was created in 1649 and
briefly served as the main church of the female monastery that was
found here in the 17th century. In 1687 Churches of Saint Nicholas
and the church of the Nativity of Christ were visited by royal
princesses Peter Alekseevich (later Peter the Great) and his brother
John Alekseevich. Once Peter became the Emperor of Russia he ordered
replacement of two wooden churches with a single stone cathedral of
the Nativity with a small chapel of Saint Nicholas the Wonder-
In 1829 Cathedral of the Nativity got its bell tower
that was constructed with donations of Alexandrov merchant Baranov.
However it was torn down by the Soviets in 1929 soon after they took
control of the region. In 1847 cathedral saw massive restoration
project. It was increased in size and new architectural
modifications were made to the church as a whole including the
addition of a small chapel in honor of the Archangel Michael.
As many other Christian or religious buildings in
Alexandrov, Cathedral of the Nativity was closed during Soviet rule.
Former church was used as a theater and a cultural center. It was
reopened only in 1991. In 2002 it was restored and its walls were