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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2015 year, number 2


A. Yu. Mainicheva1, A.N. Kulakov2
1Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (IAET SB RAS), Novosibirsk 630090, Lavrentiev Av., 17
2Novosibirsk Branch of Siberian Institute «Sibspetsproektrestavratsiya, 630091 Novosibirsk, ul. Potaninskaya, 10a
Keywords: ethnic-cultural context, cellular church, Church of Our Lady of Vladimir, architectural features, bochka, restoration, Middle Angara region, Siberia, Russian North, Bratsk


The revival of church architecture made the researchers to readdress the task of searching for features and patterns of shaping, proportioning, and symbolics of church buildings. In such studies much attention is paid to the ethnic-cultural context, as it allows moving away from a descriptive approach to analyzing the stylistic characteristics of the building. The article deals with the results of reconstructing the appearance of the Church of Our Lady of Vladimir, which existed in the XVII-XVIII centuries in Bratsk, one of the first Russian cities in the Middle Angara region. In order to make such reconstruction scientifically valid the authors used special techniques and methods based on the sources analysis, searching for analogues, as well as on the assumption that the specific type and style of church architecture stood in close interdependence with the ethnic-cultural context of Siberia in the XVII-XVIII centuries. The church reconstruction faced serious difficulties, including the lack of historical sources that could shed light on the architectural image of the church. S. Remezovs drawing is the only evidence, which allows reconstructing the architectural forms of the church in 1701. Its analysis shows the relative sizes and architectural appearance of the church. Search for analogues led to the conclusion that the most common church type in the Russian North in the XVII-XVIII centuries was a cellular church whose central part had a bochka-like cover. In the same region there were churches of a similar type - the Church of the Presentation in the Temple (1673) and that of the Kazan Icon of Our Lady (1679). The church is defined as a warm cellular one with a bochka-like cover of a catholicon and altar part. A refectory and a porch were covered with a two-sided roof. The church had a ternary structure. The church was designed with the Trinity scheme in mind, which was typical of the wooden churches in the early and late Middle Ages, including the XVII century, so it determined the size of the church, forms of its parts, location and size of a porch, domes, windows, and doorways.