Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO
Astrakhan, Uglich, Pskov
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Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party
1. Ensemble of the Astrakhan Kremlin: N4620 58 E4801 52
2. Ensemble of the Uglich Kremlin: N57 31 43 E30 19 3
3. Ensemble of the Pskov Kremlin: N57 49 34 E28 19 36
Russian Kremlins are unique, exclusive phenomenon of word history and architecture.
It should be especially emphasized that Kremlins exist in Russia only. No other nation has ever built such edifices as Russian Kremlins.
Here a short description of history and peculiar features of Russian Kremlins as a unique phenomenon of world history and architecture is given to justify the Serial type of the Nomination.
Throughout the history, many nations built fortresses and other defences to protect their lands from enemies. Since ancient times, Slavs built fortresses. It is known, that Scandinavians called Slavic lands a country of fortresses. Intending to arrange a settlement, Slavs would first build a fortress. Later, Slavic fortresses began to be called Kremlins and only in Russia a special type of fortresses, - Kremlins was formed. Now, in Russia there are about 30 Kremlins of the XV-XVII centuries, different states of preservation.They have a particular place in Russian history. For centuries, Russian Kremlins fulfilled three main functions: defensive, spiritual and political. For centuries, Kremlins were military strategic centers of defence, focus of political and administrative state power, urban and architectural core of ancient settlements, spiritual religious centers.
Russian Kremlins are not only citadels. They are fortresses-strongholds; temples and palaces of amazing beauty; depositories of memory of the glorious past; treasure houses of historical and spiritual relics. They are also symbols and centers of secular power. For example, the famous Moscow Kremlin, with its magnificent cathedrals, palaces and museums, is the monument of world importance, the ancient town inside of modern megapolis, the Residence of the President of the Russian Federation.
However, Russia has some other Kremlins, which for centuries played the most important role in defence of the country from external enemies at nearest and far frontiers, in strengthening positions of the Russian State, disseminating Orthodoxy as a basis of spiritual life of Russia. These mighty strongholds endured countless assaults and sieges, withstood terrible ordeals.
The extant Kremlins were built mostly in the XVI-XVII century, usually on the places of former wooden fortifications. A good example is the Moscow Kremlin. Until the XIV century, the site, where the Kremlin would be later located, was known as the "Grad of Moscow". The "Grad" was greatly extended by Prince Yuri Dolgorukiy in 1156, destroyed by the Mongols in 1237 and rebuilt in oak in 1339 under Ivan Kalita, Prince of Moscow. In 1366-1368, Dmitriy Donskoy replaced the oaken walls with a strong citadel of white limestone on foundations of the current walls; this fortification withstood a siege by Khan Tokhtamysh.
The word "Kremlin" was first recorded in 1331 and its etymology is still being disputed. Perhaps, the word "Kremlin" originated from Old Slavonik words "krem" or "kremnik", which meant "forest" or "pine forest". A kremlin (kremnik) formed a central fortified part of a Russian Medieval settlement and had several old names "detinets", "krom" and some others.
Usually the Kremlin was situated on a high site, often on a river bank or a lake bank. Historically, walls of a Kremlin were wooden-earthen; but since XII century, they were built in stone or brick, encircled by moat with water, sometimes by earthen rampart. Prince's palace, cathedrals, mansions of boyars and the highest ranks of the clergy were located in the Kremlin. The plan of the Kremlin depended on a local relief; the number of towers, their forms and the distance between them were chosen according to defence considerations.
Being built in the XIV-XV centuries with due regard for advanced engineering design, stone walls and towers of the Moscow Kremlin had served later as a pattern for several defences in other Russian towns. The military threat from Livonia, Sweden, Tatar-Mongolians had not been fully eliminated yet, so it demanded strengthening frontiers and creating towns of strategic importance. The Russian state began large-scale construction of the national system of defence under the control of special management institution "Pushkarskiy Prikaz". Along with strengthening of the Moscow Kremlin fortification, walls and towers of Velikiy Novgorod (Great Novgorod) were rebuilt and fortified. In 1500-1511, the Nizhniy Novgorod stone Kremlin was built on the trade road of strategic importance in a zone of political interests of Kazan Khanate. South-eastern approaches to Moscow were protected with mighty fortresses: one after another stone Kremlin were built in Tula (1514-1521), Kolomna (1525-1531), Zaraysk (1531), Mozhaysk (1541), Kazan (1555), Serpukhov (1556), Astrakhan (1582-1589)
At the same time, large-scale construction of wooden fortification was in progress. Sentry outposts were moved far away into the "field". Stockaded towns ("ostrogs"), encircled with strong palings, town with round-log walls linked together, ramparts, moats, deep ditches and abatises, formed continuous defensive lines blocking ways for enemy horse cavalery. For example, the length of the Tula abates line reached 700 km.
At the end of the XIV century town-fortresses, - outposts of the Russian state,- were created on the Volga: Samara (1586), Saratov (1590), Tsaritsyn (now Volgograd) (1589), Astrakhan (1558). Fortified settlements were built up in Siberia: Tumen (1596), Tobolsk (1587), Тара (1594), Surgut (1504) and others. The final chord of defence construction was the Smolensk Kremlin (1597-1602). This outstanding fortress was erected by famous Russian architect Fyodor Kon'. Smolensk Kremlin's walls, 14m high and 5km long, provoked admiration of foreigners, who wrote, "they (walls) were deduced by an experienced engineer very skillfully"
So one can see that in the XVI century the single national integral system of powerful defences was formed in Russia in the shortest time. It covered practically all conquered lands by that time. The Russian Kremlins formed the basis of the system, its main defence-knots, located on key strategic directions of possible enemy strikes.
However, Russian Kremlins were not only fortresses. They became city-forming cores of the development of Russian towns. Roads leading to Kremlins formed the basis for urban planning of residential districts - "posads", which appeared nearby Kremlins. The specifics of historical development of Russian towns around kremlins conditioned common and peculiar features of urban structure and architectural-planning composition of Russian cities, which were formed with due regard for local landscapes, natural and climatic factors. For example, the landscape situation, which predetermined forming plan of Moscow city, was a typical one for Old Russian town. The core of the city, "Detinets", known in Moscow as the Kremlin, arose on the steep cape, called Borovitskiy hill, near confluence of the Neglinnaya River into the Moskva River. A "Posad" grew to the east of the Kremlin.
Russian Kremlins were created with regard for the aesthetic impressions they would make as well as their direct functions. The combination of practical purposes and artistic expressiveness is one of the peculiar features of Russian Kremlins. It was very important for dissemination of Orthodoxy on Russian lands. Cathedrals of the Russian Orthodox Church always took up the central place on the territory of Russian Kremlins. As a rule, Cathedrals of amazing beauty were built at Kremlin's premises. They were placed on Cathedral Squares freely, not included into a ribbon development as it was in Europe, which led to relative uniformity of façades. The most significant buildings of the Kremlin faced the Cathedral Square and main streets met here from fortress gate. These streets found their continuation in main roads. Thanks to this, the urban connection of the Kremlin with "posads" was formed and radial-ring pattern of large trade cities arose. By this way such cities were surrounded with several defence rings. The examples here are the cities of Pskov, Astrakhan, Uglich and some others.
By the second half of the XVIII century, Kremlins, with the loss of their military-strategic character, were included into urban complexes as administrative centers and historical-artistic ensembles.
The most vividly distinctive features of Russian Kremlins are expressed in frames of properties of the Russian Federation already inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO: Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow (C 545, 1990); Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings (C 604, 1992); Historic and Architectural Complex of the Kazan Kremlin (C 980, 2000)
However, common peculiar features of Russian Kremlins, the unity of conceptions and the principles of forming them, their role in Russian history allows to question the single Serial nomination "Russian Kremlins" with Ensembles of Astrakhan, Uglich and Pskov Kremlins as component parts.
Considering the above-stated, this serial nomination includes component parts related because they belong to (according to Paragraph 137 of the Operational Guidline):
- a) the same historico-cultural group: Russian Kremlins of the XV-XVII century
- b) the same type of property which is characteristic of the geographical zone: The component parts of this Serial property belong to the same type - Kremlins, which is typical of the European part of Russia, territory of the Russian State of XV-XVII century).
- c) It is the series as a hole: in the XVI century the single national integral system of powerful defences was formed in Russia. It covered practically all conquered lands by that time. The Kremlins formed the basis of the system, its main defence-knots, located on key strategic directions of possible enemy strikes(See above).
- d) Individual parts of the series are of outstanding universal value. (See below)
1. Ensemble of the Astrakhan Kremlin
The Ensemble of the Astrakhan Kremlin situated in the center of Astrakhan city. Astrakhan is a major city in the south of the European part of Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Region (Oblast). The region borders on Kalmykia on the west, Volgograd Region on the north and the Republic of Kazakhstan on the east. Situated 1534 kilometers south-east of Moscow in the Caspian Lowland, the city spans eleven islands in the upper part of the Volga Delta, occupying 500 square kilometers. The Astrakhan Kremlin is located in the center of Astrakhan on a hill of the island washed by the Volga, the Kutum River and the First of May Canal.
Referring to the Decision of the Council of Ministers of the Russian Federation of 04.06.1980 concerning the inclusion of the Astrakhan Kremlin in the List of cultural monuments of the Federal significance, all protection activities are under the authorities of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.
The manager of the Astrakhan Kremlin is the "Astrakhan State United Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve". The Direction of the Astrakhan Kremlin submits proposals on the Kremlin management to the Direction of the Museum-Reserve, the Museum-Reserve transmits these proposals to the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.
The Ensemble of the Astrakhan Kremlin is an outstanding historical and architectural monument of Russian military-engineering art, church and civil architecture of the XVI-XIX centuries.
The Astrakhan Kremlin is a unique medieval fortification construction. It was one of the first Kremlins in Russia, which was fortified with stone walls and towers. As a fortress, the Astrakhan Kremlin was distinguished from other Russian fortresses by a particular system of harquebus and gunfire and a unique well thought-out system of covered secret trenches inside of walls and towers. It made the Kremlin the most armipotent, impregnable fortress. Being built on the basis of the most advanced military engineering design, the Astrakhan Kremlin served as a model for a number of defensive structures in other Russian cities.
The Ensemble of the Astrakhan Kremlin is also an exceptional example of Russian church architecture. The majestic Assumption Cathedral with its lacy stone carving décor is a masterpiece of Russian Orthodox architecture, the symbol of Russian spirituality and dignity. The Trinity monastery with its three churches under a single roof, the 80-meter baroque style Prechistenskaya belfry and other architectural monuments of the Kremlin are unique.
The traditional defense engineering art, the Old Russian style of ecclesiastical architecture, Russian Baroque, Classicism, Pseudo-Russian style - all these trends are represented in the architecture of the Ensemble of the Astrakhan Kremlin. At all times of its existence, embracing four and a half centuries, the Ensemble of the Astrakhan Kremlin has been demonstrating the unsurpassed skill of Russian military fortifiers and town-builders and symbolizing strength and power of the Russian State on its southern-eastern frontiers.
The Ensemble of the Astrakhan Astrakhan Kremlin complex consists of 22 main monument-constructions:
1. Walls and towers
2. Prechistenskiye Gate and Cathedral Belfry
3. Archiereyskaya (Eparch's) Tower
4. Zhitnaya (Corn) Tower
5. Crimean Tower
6. Red Gate Tower
7. Water Gate
8. Artillery (Torture) Tower and Gunpouder (Potion) yard
9. St. Nicholas Church-over-the-Gate
10. Assumption Cathedral with Galleries,
11. "Lobnoye Mesto"
13. Trinity Cathedral complex
14. St. Cyril chapel
15. Eparch's Chambers
17. Administrative building (Office of the Military Commander)
18. Artillery Store (Armoury)
19. Officers' House
20. Soldiers' Barracks
21. Barracks (by Zhitnaya Tower)
22. House of Senior Cathedral Clergy
2. Ensemble of the Uglich Kremlin
Geographic location: The town of Uglich, the Kremlin is flanked by natural water bodies: on the north side it is limited by the Volga river, on the east by the Kamenny Brook, on the west-by Shelkovka river, on the South side it is limited by a ditch, stretching from the Volga to the brook
National Protection Status:
Legislative and legal standard setting acts ensuring preservation of monuments are:
- 1. The Constitution of the Russian Federation of December 12,1993.
- 2. The Code of the Russian Federation of Administrative Offenses of December 30.2001 №195 ( Ф З)
- 3. The Urban Development Code of the Russian Federation December 29.2004 №190 (Ф З)
- 4. The Federation Law "About objects of cultural heritage (monuments of history and culture) of peoples of the Russian Federation" of June 25.2002, №73 (Ф З)
- 5. The Law of Yaroslavl oblast "About objects of cultural heritage ( history and culture monuments) of peoples of the Russian Federation" of October 7,2003 №52-3 (Book III §8)
- 6. The Project of zones for protection of monuments of history and culture of Uglich confirmed as a part of a general plan by the Decision of Yaroslavl regional executive Сommittee of December 25,1987 № 714 (Book III §9)
- 7. The Decision of the Governor of Yaroslavl Oblast "About the preservation and use of objects of historic and cultural heritage of the Yaroslavl Oblast and the preservation of lands of historic and cultural significance" of November 22,1993 № 330 (Book III §10)
- 8. The General plan of the development of the town of Uglich confirmed by the Resolution of the Municipality of the town of Uglich of May 21,2009 № 15 (Book III §11) confirming protection of buffer zones of Monuments of history and culture
Practical implementation of legislative and standard setting acts providing for preservation of monuments is realized by the Committee of Historic and Cultural heritage.
The present day territory of the Kremlin of Uglich is a trapezium in shape island with a short southern side the Kamenny brook flowing into the Volga. Its total area is 3.5 hectares and the perimeter is 750 meters. The Kremlin is flanked the north with the Volga river, to the east with the river Shelkovka (these are the right tributaries of the Volga river) to the south with a ditch, stretching from the river to the brook.
The Kremlin of Uglich is the town-forming nucleous of Uglich, the starting point of the town's history. The Kremlin was initially a fortified town centre. It preserved its preregular planning. The Kremlin is located on a sort of island formed by big the tributaries of the Volga river. The Kamenny Brook and the River Shelkovka flow into the Volga river parallel to each other. Initially the Kremlin was quite small and had the form of a triangle. It occupied the promontory that the Kamenny Brook formed flowing into the Volga. On the south west side it was limited by a ditch. Today only the pond reminds of it. On old maps (Book II photo) it is well seen that the pond is crescent - shaped, stretches from north to south, cutting off the «angle» formed by the Kamenny Brook and the Volga river. Archaeological research in the Uglich Kremlin discovered a wooden pavement on the bank of the Volga river and the foundations of a tower. In the XVth constructed before the Tatar mongol yoke. Century the fortress was rebuilt and an artificial ditch now connected the Shelkovka River and the Kamenny Brook. The principality of Uglich reached the height of its prosperity in the XVth century. Archaeologists unearthed the palace walls belonging to that time.
In the second half of the XVIIIth century the ruined fortress was taken down and the artificial ditch was preserved. The Kremlin hasn't changed since the end of the XVIII century.
The main axis of the Kremlin is the alley leading to the south front of the Transfiguration cathedral. The alley divides the grounds of the Kremlin into two parts: the western one with a park and the eastern one on which all the historic buildings are located.
At present, the Uglich Kremlin architectural ensemble includes:
- the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Our Saviour, with the bell tower,
- the Epiphany Cathedral,
- the Palace of the local princes,
- the Church on Prince Dimitri's Blood,
- the Building of the Town Duma and
- Nickolsky bridge.
3. Ensemble of the Pskov Kremlin
Pskov is the administrative centre of Pskov Region in the Northwest Federal District. The Region borders on Leningrad, Novgorod, Tver Regions and has a borderline location. It shares borders with the Baltic States of Estonia and Latvia, and Belarus in the south. The city on the Velikaya River is located 20 km. from its confluence with fourth largest fresh water lake in Europe - the Chudskoe-Pskovskoe Lake (a.k.a. Peipsi-Pihkva). Located on the highest cape hill at the confluence of the Pskova and Velikaya Rivers, the Pskov Kremlin occupies a central position in the urban ensemble. The total area of the Citadel (with the Dovmont Town) is 9,2 hectares.
National Protection Status:
In accordance with the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR № 1327 of 30.08.1960, the Ensemble of the Pskov Kremlin is the subject of Federal significance and it is protected in accordance with Federal Law (FL-73). The state of the Kremlin's facilities and management are regulated by Federal Law (Folder III, Section 7 «b»). In accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the Federal Law № 73-FZ of 25.06.2002, which defined the concept "object of cultural heritage (IPOs), the conditions of its inclusion in the State Register, the protection of IPOs is the" priority ... task of State authorities of Russia, the RF subjects, institutions of local government ... ". In Art. 6 to identify the notion of "protection of IPOs. Chapter II defined the powers of the authority, Paragraph 26 of these credentials protection and management of IPOs, in accordance with the state registry (including IPOs ensemble "Pskov Kremlin") transmitted RF subjects - the State Committee of the Pskov Region of Culture. Hd. VI deals with the aims and objectives of IPOs. Ch. VII regulates the conservation of objects, defines the state and other sources of funding. Based on federal law designed regulations, instructions, regional legislation on all matters relating to the protection, property, work to preserve IPOs, design and procedure of coordinating the project documentation, management and planning (Folder III, Section 7 «b», n .).
Pskov Kremlin is an outstanding Russian national architectural ensemble and a national memorial of town-planning, the capital city of Veche Republic (people's assembly republic) of Pskovian Land, a remarkable monument of Russian fortification art of the 12th-18th centuries, which includes the historical, artistic, architectural and town-planning art of 1500 year long Russian and European history.
The Pskov Kremlin, the ensemble of multi-stone buildings and structures enclosed in the contour of fortifications of different historical periods, consists of two subordinate units - the Kremlin proper ("Krom") and Dovmont Town (a.k.a. "Dovmont Wall").
Krom is the top site in the area between the capes of the rivers Velikaya and Pskova, as well as the slope and the lower part of the grounds, which are currently under the strong earth backfilling (except for two gates known as "zakhabs" (trap entrances) protected by side walls of the passages). Dovmont town adjoins the Krom from the south on the lower ground and is separated from it by a moat called "rowing" (restored in part, to a limited depth); and also by a powerful southern wall called "persi", which includes two entrances called "zakhabs". From the Velikaya River, along the upper edge of the coastal terraces, the Krom ensemble is protected by stone walls and the towers: Koutnya, Dovmont (Smerdy), which was part of the western zakhab - "smerdov gate" or Dovmont town i.e. the fortress wall. From the Pskova river the Krom is protected by walls and towers - the Central Tower (north of the Trinity Cathedral) and the Clock Tower of the Great Gate (Eastern zakhab). The central place in the ensemble is taken up by the tall building (70 meters) of five-domed two-tier Trinity Cathedral.
Justification of Outstanding Universal Value
Russian Kremlins are unique, exclusive phenomenon of word history and architecture. It should be especially emphasized that Kremlins exist in Russia only. No other nation has ever built such edifices as Russian Kremlins.
They have a particular place in Russian history. For centuries, Kremlins were military strategic centers of defence, focus of political and administrative state power, urban and architectural core of ancient settlements, spiritual-religious centers. Russian Kremlins are not only citadels. They are fortresses-strongholds; temples and palaces of amazing beauty; depositories of memory of the glorious past; treasure houses of historical and spiritual relics. They are also symbols of power.
By the XVI century, Russian Kremlins had composed the basis of the single national integral system of powerful defences, they were its main defence-knots, located on key strategic directions of possible enemy strikes.
Russian Kremlins became city-forming cores of the development of several Russian towns. In contrast to medieval fortresses and castles in Europe, a Russian Kremlins had a greater social significance and they were closely associated with the surrounding "posads" (town settlements). The specifics of historical development of Russian towns around Kremlins conditioned common and peculiar features of urban structure and architectural-planning composition of Russian cities.
The combination of practical purposes and artistic expressiveness is one of the peculiar features of Russian Kremlins. It was very important for dissemination of Orthodoxy on Russian lands. Cathedrals of the Russian Orthodox Church always took up the central place on the territory of Russian Kremlins. As a rule, Cathedrals of amazing beauty were built at Kremlin's premises.
Statements of authenticity and/or integrity
The presented Russian Kremlins have quite high level of authenticity. There are a lot of documents related to creation, history, development and state of the Kremlins in coarse of their history and contemporary usage.
Comparison with other similar properties
There are no other similar properties all over the world as Russian Kremlins. Kremlins exist in Russia only.
In contrast to medieval fortresses and castles in Europe, a Russian Kremlin had the greater social significance and it was closely associated with the surrounding "posads" (town settlements). The capacity of the Kremlins was rated at the whole population of the town in case of enemy army attack. The townspeople would hide behind its strong walls, the most affluent of them would have their own "siege yards". In the Kremlin the Cathedral, which played a role of public building, dominated over everything, whereas the main construction in Europe castles was donjon - the last stronghold of a feudal lord.