Earlier this year, UNESCO added a number of sites to its World Heritage list. Among them are churches by the Pskov School of Architecture.
These 17 unique churches are located in the historic city of Pskov on the banks of the Velikaya River in west Russia, near the Estonia border. The town is known for, among other monuments, the Pskov krom (the local word for kremlin), a citadel whose fortress and Holy Trinity Cathedral date from the Middle Ages.
These Pskov School churches reflect the city’s Golden Age. They date mostly from the 15th and 16th centuries, when Pskov was an important trade partner of the Hanseatic League. During this era, the Pskov School itself also produced its greatest work.
Characteristics of the listed churches include cubic volumes, domes, porches, and belfries, with the oldest elements dating back to the 12th century. The buildings were gracefully integrated into their natural environment through the installations of gardens, perimeter walls, and fences.
The Pskov School was one of the foremost styles in the country. It would inform the evolution of Russian architecture over five ensuing centuries.
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