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Novgorod was one of the main political and ecclesiastical centers of Medieval Rus' and one of the most important cities in the Baltic region. For centuries, the archbishop remained the real head of the Novgorod republic. His residence, the Archbishop's Court, located inside Novgorod's citadel, the Detinets, served as a centre not only for religious, but also for social activities of the city (Figs 1 and 2). In this context, the information of secular masonry constructions at the Archbishop's Court is of particular interest.

The majority of known monuments of Old Russian architecture from the 10th to the 15th century are churches. The examples of secular and residential architecture are quite rare and, therefore, they arise a special interest of the scholars. A few buildings of this kind were discovered during the archaeological excavations on the territory of medieval Novgorod (Zasurtsev 1972, 259 ff.), but the percentage of masonry houses in the medieval timber city remains unclear. The function of these buildings is also uncertain: either they were provided with furnaces and consequently served as living areas, or they were used for mere storage. All the discovered masonry buildings have a simple pillarless structure; most of them probably had a single story. Unfortunately, there is lack of evidences of masonry constructions in the city area in the chronicles of the 12th-15th centuries, and only the history of the Archbishop's Court is much better supported by written documents.

Large-scale masonry construction in the Novgorodian Archbishop's Court began in 1433 with the building of the Archbishop's palace (so-called Faceted palace) commissioned by Archbishop Evfimij II (1429-1458) and erected by German masons (Antipov & Yakovlev 2018, 82 ff.). In the 1440s-1450s a whole succession of masonry buildings followed under his commission. Archbishop Iona Otenskii (1458-1470), the successor to Evfimij II, continued the building activity (Antipov 2009, 44 ff.). Various residential, ceremonial and service buildings, as well as churches, were erected at the Archbishop's Court in the 1430-1450s. The construction of the new masonry buildings was necessary due to the fire of 1432, that demolished the timber structures of the Court (NPL, 416). However, the written sources give us reason to believe that some of the buildings in the area had been made of masonry by the 1430s; it has also been confirmed by the archaeological findings. In the context of Old Rus' of the 13th-14th century, the presence of several secular masonry buildings in such a small area is a unique phenomenon lacking resemblance with other residences of Russian princes or hierarchs.

The main purpose of the paper is to reconstruct the key features of the Novgorodian Archbishop's Court complex by the early 1430s, before the large-scale masonry construction initiated by Archbishop Evfimij II.

The survey is based on the chronicles' evidences and the results of the architectural archaeological investigations held by the author on the territory of the Novgorodian Archbishop's Court in 2006-2009, 2011 and 2018 (1). An important aim of the paper is to introduce the data collected by the excavation.

The written sources of secular masonry buildings of the 12th-13th century at the Novgorodian Archbishop's Court

There are no direct evidences of secular masonry buildings at the Novgorodian Archbishop's Court of the 12th-13th centuries in the written sources. The only indication of their presence appears in the chronicle of 1211. It is reported that Antonii, the new archbishop of Novgorod "stvori polatu Mitrofanyu tserkov' v imya svyatogo Antoniya" (made a polata of Mitrofan Church in the name of St. Antony) (NPL, 52). The Church of St. Antony is not mentioned in the written sources afterwards, while the chronicle evidence remains uncertain about the nature of this building. Most probably, it should be interpreted that a church was consecrated within a secular building (polata). To become an archbishop of Novgorod, a hierarch first had to be elected and named the future archbishop (narechennii vladyka), then he had to be ordained through cheirotonia conferred by the Metropolitan of Kiev or by several hierarchs together. Mitrofan was named archbishop of Novgorod in August 1199; in 1201 he was ordained by the Metropolitan of Kiev; in January 1211 he was expelled from Novgorod. Hence, the palace of Mitrofan could be built between 1199 and 1210. Presumably, the construction started after his ordination in 1201. It should be noticed, though, that the chronicle does not specify the location of the palace. Therefore, it cannot be definitively asserted that the building was situated in the Archbishop's Court, although such an interpretation seems the most likely.

It has been repeatedly suggested that in the early 12th century the so-called cells of Bishop Nikita were built there. They were located next to the northwest corner of St. Sophia's Cathedral, on the spot of the so-called Nikita's building, partly demolished in the first third of the 19th century (Novoselov & Khrustalev 2013, 22 ff.). The statement is based on a passage from "Rospis' ili kratkii letopisets novgorodskikh vladyk" (Register or Short Chronicle of Novgorodian Bishops) and "Novgorodian Chronograph of the 17th century". It is indicated that in 1669 "drevnie kel'i Nikity episkopa novgorodskogo chudotvorza" (the ancient cells of Nikita the bishop of Novgorod, the Miracle-Worker) were demolished up to the vaults in the middle story (Register 1879, 162; Tikhomirov 1979, 315). However, in the earlier written sources there is no mention of the building, and hence the reliability of the evidence from the 17th century source is hard to be proved. Grigorij Shtender observed that in the 12th century the masonry of the northern wall of the gallery of St. Sophia's Cathedral was reinforced by thickening of 120-125 cm in the western part of the outer wall. At that time a wall was also attached to the church, that wall was traced for 3 m to the north-east of the cathedral corner (Shtender 1982, 17 ff.). The scholar noted: "the section is hard to identify; it may belong to the remnant of Nikita's building of the early 12th century, to the fence of the Archbishop's Court located in between St. Sophia's Cathedral and the Nikita building, or to the buttress of the 12th century, lately demolished" (Shtender 1982, 18). Since the masonry was discovered by Grigorij Shtender, we have not got any new information about it. For this reason, the interpretation of the masonry as the wall of the pre-Mongolian Nikita's cells seems, for now, unlikely.

Another mention from the chronicle informs us of a secular building at the Archbishop's Court, but it is uncertain whether it was made of masonry or timber. In a story dating from 1229 that tells how a monk Spiridon, the deacon of St. George's Cathedral of the Yuriev Monastery, was named archbishop, the chronicler narrates "...poslasha iz grid'nitse vladyts'ne knyazhitsya Rostislava..." (prince's son Rostislav was sent out from the gridnitsa of archbishop) (NPL, 68). Thus, it can be deduced that in 1229 a certain archbishop's chamber (vladychnaya gridnitsa) existed and it was probably situated in the Archbishop's Court. The chronicles do not give a distinct description of this term. The assumption that gridnitsa is "a large building spotted in the area of a prince residence, with a spacious throne hall and a lot of windows, that may be two-story and have luxurious interiors, usually monumental" (Popov 2000, 396) is based mainly on scholarly speculations rather than information from the written sources (Elshin in press). A small number of chronicle evidences does not enable us to identify gridnitsa with a prince's residence. The term derives from the word grid'--a soldier, member of the prince's retinue, druzhinnik (Sreznevskij 1893, 592). Consequently, gridnitsa probably was a sort of a barrack which for sure included a large room where the feasts for the soldiers might have been held. The identification gridnitsa with a barrack can be verified with several chronicle evidences reporting that a prince could confine the captured enemies to gridnitsa, when prisons were full. It is hard to imagine, though, the enemies imprisoned in a prince's palace... There is another mention of gridnitsa in Novgorod of the pre-Mongolian period and in this case its function as a prince's prison is directly indicated. In 1232 prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovich "izima pl'skovitsi i posadi ya na Gorodischi v gridnitsi..." (seized the men of Pleskov and imprisoned them in gridnitsa in the Gorodische) (NPL, 71). Most likely, gridnitsa vladychnaya mentioned in the chronicle of 1229 was a building for guards of the Archbishop's Court (2). Together with the guards there was also the young prince's son Rostislav, who had to draw the lots from the altar and thus to elect a new archbishop. The presence of the guards at the Archbishop's Court already in the 12th century is known from the chronicle evidence of 1136, when the Novgorodians confined prince Vsevolod "v episkopl' dvor... i storozhe strezhachu..." (at the Bishop's Court... and guards guarded him... ) (NPL, 209). Two other gridnitsa are mentioned in the written sources of the 1470s, and one of them is indicated to be located "na knyazhe dvore" (at the Prince's Court) (NPL, 449).

The excavations at the Archbishop's Court did not reveal any traces of masonry that can be identified with the remnants of secular buildings of the 12th-13th centuries. However, during the excavation the distinctive building materials of the period--plinths (large and thin bricks of the Byzantine type) with the remains of lime-based mortar containing crush bricks were frequently found. The materials of this kind vanished from the Novgorodian architecture after the middle of the 13th century. The findings of plinth fragments are usually associated with repair works of St. Sophia's Cathedral, but the possibility that they belonged to a yet undiscovered secular building of the pre-Mongolian period should not be excluded.

Masonry buildings of the middle of the 14th century of the Archbishop's Court: written sources and archaeological data

The next report about construction at the Archbishop's Court appeared only in the 1340s, when Vasilij Kalika became the new archbishop of Novgorod and undertook an extensive building activity inside the Novgorod Detinets. The chronicle of 1341 reports: "postavi vladyka terem velikyi" (the archbishop built a large terem) (NPL, 353 f.). It is not indicated that the building was erected in the Archbishop's Court. However, the chronicle of the previous year informs us of the great fire of 1340 that among other sites severely damaged the Archbishop's Court (NPL, 351). Taking into account that the commissioner was a vladyka, it seems plausible at first glance that the structure was built in the archbishop's residence. On the other hand, it is not clear whether the building was at all secular. In 1336-1337 Archbishop Vasilij erected the Church of the Entry into Jerusalem to the southeast of St. Sophia's Cathedral, thus outlining the main axes of sacred topography of the Novgorod Detinets that was preserved up to the 17th century (Bulkin 2015, 62 ff.). The chronicle indicates that the church was constructed on the spot "gde teremets bil" (where was a teremets) (NPL, 347). According to Valentin Bulkin's assumption, the teremets was a ciborium over the holy water basin (Bulkin 2015, 60). It might be possible that the large terem mentioned in the chronicle of 1341 was a new canopy over the holy water basin that replaced the older one destroyed during construction of the Church of the Entry into Jerusalem. There is another direct mention of a canopy over the holy water basin from the chronicle of 1409: "postavi vladyka Ioann teremets kamen, idezhe vodu svyaschayut na vsyakyi mesyats" (Archbishop Ioann built a teremets of stone, where the water is blessed every month) (NPL, 401). Obviously, in the period between 1336 and 1409, there ought to be a canopy over the holy water basin close to St. Sophia's Cathedral (not necessary in the Archbishop's Court), therefore the building mentioned in the chronicle of 1341 may be interpreted as a construction of this kind.

The first indisputable evidence of a secular masonry building at the Archbishop's Court dates from 1350 -- "vladyka Vasilij postavil polatu kamenu u sebe na dvore, podle Rozhestvo" (Archbishop Vasilij erected a masonry palace in his own court, next to the Nativity church) (NPL, 362; or see also NChL, 280). Evidences from the later chronicles and other written sources lead us to the conclusion that the Church of the Nativity was indeed situated in the Archbishop's Court, although the precise location of it is still uncertain (the stone church of the Nativity of Christ was built in 1362 -- NPL, 368). The construction that may be identified with the building mentioned above was discovered during the excavations of 1989 and 2008-2009 at the Archbishop's Court (Fig. 3).

For the first time, small parts of the building were revealed in 1989. During earthworks the masonries of an unidentified medieval construction were partly destroyed with an excavator bucket (Gusakov 1989; Gusakov & Sukhovarov 1990, 25). The discovered masonries were examined by Grigorij Shtender, who identified this building with the palace of Archbishop Vasilij (1350). The comprehensive drawn record was done by architect Elena Skriptsova. Unfortunately, their observations were not published. This provoked a speculation that to the south of the Archbishop's Palace "a well, commonly set up in enclosed monastic yards" was discovered in 1989 (Velikiy Novgorod 2009, 122) (3). Examination of the drawn records enabled us to precisely relate the excavation of 2008-2009 with the excavation site of 1989.

In 2008 the excavation trench No. 24 was made on the spot of the narrow trench that was cut in 1989 (the north-west sector of the lawn in the square to the west of St. Sophia's Cathedral). After the discovery of the medieval masonries, in 2009 the excavation trench had been extended (the total square of the 2008-2009 excavations is now approximately 142 sq. m) (Figs 4 and 5).

During the investigation the basement of a one-pillar construction with vaulting was discovered. The remains include the walls preserved at heights of up to 250 cm, arches, and fragments of vaults, partly joined to the arches and partly laying on the backfilling (Fig. 6). All the walls of the building were opened up (the north one only from the inner side). In the backfilling a single unit to the floor level was excavated. The rest of the backfilling was left untouched, otherwise it would have inevitably caused destruction of the vaulting system demanding conservation. It was found out that the load-bearing pillar, arches and vaults of the building were made of large bricks covered with coarse sand on each side except the upper bed; the walls were built mainly of shelly-limestone and flagstone plastered on the inner side. The dimensions of the bricks are 28-29 x 14-15.5 x 8-9 cm (predominant) and 26-28 x 13-14 x 6.5-7.5 cm (additional). Besides, huge square bricks with dimensions of 25-27 x 25-26.5 x 10-12 cm were used in the masonry; they imitate stone blocks, some of them were wedge-edged (4). There were also some other types of curved bricks discovered during the excavation: with splay butt-end and with semi-circular end. Lime-sand mortar containing coarse sand, pebbles, some organic elements and coals was used in the bonding. The basement was set in a foundation trench, as its protruding walls are not provided with outer front surfaces.

The one-pillar structure discovered in the Novgorodian Archbishop's Court is a small building with dimensions of 8.1 x 7.0 m, and it consisted of four compartments. It had a square pillar in the middle of the basement, with four arches resting on it and tying it to the outer walls (Figs 7 and 8). The arches supported the vaults aligned north-south, certain fragments of the vaulting are preserved. The compartments differ in size; the two on the west are larger than the eastern ones. On the south side the remnants of the original sunken staircase that led down to the basement were recorded; it was rebuilt in the 15th century and, unfortunately, badly preserved. Numerous fragments of frescoes and samples of redeposit building materials of the medieval times found on the site indicate that the building had at least one more masonry story. The arrangement of the staircase to the upper floor is yet unclear, as the southern, western and eastern walls (the northern one was not excavated fully) are not thick enough to contain a stairway. It is likely that the basement was used only for service functions and consequently it was isolated from the state rooms of the upper part of the building. In several spots the fragments of the initial blind area made of brick by the walls of the construction were recognized. The building had a brick floor, which is partly preserved.

A foundation of a 17th century construction is adjoined to the southern wall of the staircase chamber. It is supposed to be a building of the Treasury Department (Kazennyi prikaz), repeatedly mentioned in the written sources (Gordienko & Petrova 1995, 244 ff.). The nature of the joint in between enables us to conclude that the Treasury Department building was added to the still existing structure of the 14th century, probably rebuilt in the 15th century. The chronicle reports that "kazennaya palata s senmi vnovo sostroena" (the treasury building with a vestibule was built anew) should probably be interpreted that the upper part of the Archbishop Vasilij's Palace underwent another rebuilding in 1669 (1670). However, the basement of it evidently remained in use, together with the late 17th century building.

The masonry palace was integrated into the existing city pattern: the walls are aligned with the walls of St. Sophia's Cathedral, the main element of the ensemble.

Several questions remain unanswered--the issue of lighting of the basement is among the most striking. No traces of windows were found during the excavation; and considering the absence of the outer front surfaces of the masonries set in a foundation trench, it is likely, though curious enough, that the basement was a windowless space.

The basement was backfilled with a homogeneous layer of soil containing no findings, except for the brick and mortar fragments. That indicates that it was done not by gradual filling but rather by being backfilled at once. In the celebrated 18th century depictions of Novgorod, including the Mikhailovskaya icon of the beginning of the century, nothing is represented on the spot of the building under consideration (Yanin 1999, fig. 15a). One may conclude consequently that it was demolished in the 17th century or earlier. Numerous coins and other findings distinctive for the second quarter--middle of the 18th century--were found in the layer over the remains of the 14th century building. It is likely therefore that the basement ceased being used in the first half of the 18th century.

Grigorij Shtender suggested that the building dated from the 14th century (Shtender 1991, 102). The date is confirmed not only by the notions of stratigraphy, but also by the nature of bond and building materials, namely the use of a specific brick type--the palace is made of dark-red, large bricks 8-9 cm thick covered with coarse sand. This type of brick is known in the Novgorodian architecture since 1292 (St. Nicholas Church at Lipno) up to 1361 (Church of St. Theodore Stratelates on the Brook) (Antipov & Gervais 2015, 69 ff.). The lime mortar with coarse sand was also used in Novgorodian architecture of the same time. This provides us with the wide date range from the late 13th to the middle of the 14th century. The narrow date suggested by Grigorij Shtender seems to us more plausible. Evidently the building under consideration is the one, known from the chronicle to be commissioned by Archbishop Vasilij Kalika in 1350 and located "podle Rozhestvo", that is next to the Church of the Nativity of Christ in the Archbishop's Court (NPL, 362). It is possible that the chronicle of 1434 reports of painting of this exact building: "podpisana byst' prezhnyaya polata v vladychne dvore" (the former building in the Archbishop's Court was painted) (NPL, 417).

The discovered building is one of the earliest examples of secular masonry architecture in Novgorod, while its structure is more complicated than in the other known buildings of the kind, most of them had one room and log ceilings. The sunken basement of the Vasilij's Palace has not been noted in the earlier monuments; for this reason, a similar basement of the Archbishop's Palace (1433) had been considered before as an innovation of German masons. It is clear now that builders of the 15th century were influenced by the construction nearby. It should be mentioned that up to the early 16th century basements and lower floors of the churches remained not vaulted in the Novgorodian architecture. Even in the Archbishop's Palace built in 1433, only the upper floor is partly vaulted, while the two lower floors have log ceilings. In the middle of the eastern part of the Archbishop's Palace there is a pillar playing a role of the vertical axis of the structure. The building of the 14th century might be used as a model for the Archbishop's Palace. Unlike the usual practice of the Novgorodian architecture, Vasilij's Palace was built for the most part of brick rather than stone. All the features mentioned above seem out of the ordinary; perhaps further investigations will clarify their origins.

It is not unlikely that in the first half--middle of the 14th century there were some other masonry buildings in the Archbishop's Court. During the excavations at the Archbishop's palace, it was noticed that in the foundation for one of the inner walls a masonry made of rectangular bricks was used. Bricks formed a gentle sloping irregular-shaped arch curved very slightly. There are two types of bricks used in the arch masonry: smooth hell-red bricks of 1433 (27-28 x 12-13 x 6.5 cm) and dark-red ones covered with sand (28-29.5 x 14-14.5 x 7.5-8 cm). The size and type of molding of these bricks can help us to identify them with the type of the first half--middle of the 14th century. The building from where the masonry was taken was clearly not located on the spot of the Archbishop's Palace of 1433. The latter (at least its north-western part) was constructed in the area clear of any masonry structures (5). It is indicated by wooden planking in the trenches located close to the wall of the Archbishop's Palace and inside the building, while the marked layers of the collapsed building materials in these trenches are absent.

The construction of the second half of the 14th--first third of the 15th century at the Archbishop's Court

The chronicles have preserved evidences of the constructions at the Archbishop's Court and by the walls of St. Sophia's Cathedral in the second half of the 14th--first third of the 15th century, commissioned by archbishops Aleksej, Ioann, Simeon and Evfimij I. In 1362 Archbishop Aleksej erected the church of the Nativity of Christ at the threshold. In 1390 Archbishop Ioann founded a wooden church of St. Athanasios as a vow against the plague; later in 1409 he built the canopy over the holy water basin and a bakery, and then a chapel in St. Sophia's Cathedral dedicated to St. Gurias, Samonas and Abibus in 1411 (NPL, 368, 384, 401). In 1416 Archbishop Simeon erected two churches next to the northern wall of St. Sophia, one of them was dedicated to St. Athanasios (it probably replaced the wooden church of 1390), the other to St. Peter the Metropolitan (NPL, 407; NChL, 415). In 1417 a wooden church of St. Anastasia the Roman was built to the north-east of St. Sophia's Cathedral (NPL, 408). Finally, in 1424 Archbishop Evfimij I built a wooden Church of St. Saviour the Merciful, probably to the south-east of the cathedral. In 1427, it was rebuilt in masonry (NPL, 415).

Of the constructions mentioned above, only one building can be considered as a secular one. It is the stone bakery (peklenitsa kamennaya) that was supposed to be a small building with a stove for baking prosphoras and bread (Sreznevskij 1902, 893). The Novgorodian Kormchaia describes the function of such a building: "v peklenitsah, idezhe pekut hleby" (in bakeries, where breads are baked); a similar description can be seen in the records of the Stoglav Council: "v peklenitsah, idezhe pekutsya hleby" (in bakeries, where breads are baked) (Sreznevskij 1902, 893). A 16th century text equates the term peklenitsa (in this case pekol'nitsa) with hlebnya, which is the place for making bread: "priide zhe v pekol'nitsu izhe est' hlebnya" ([he] went to the pekol'nitsa that is hlebnya) (Sreznevskij 1902, 893). The fact that the term hlebnya is applied to a chamber for baking bread is confirmed by the documents of the Novgorod House of St. Sophia of the 16th-17th centuries that repeatedly mention bakers and flour sifters working in the hlebnya (Grekov 1960, 63). No doubt that the construction of such a building in stone was intended to prevent fires. There is also mention of hlebnya in the Novgorodian inventory of 1617: "da v hlebne sudov" (and tableware in the hlebnya) (Opis' 1984, 44).

In 1671-1672, during the reign of Archbishop Pitirim, the bakery of the Archbishop's Court was rebuilt: " vladychne dvore vnov' podoshvu tverdisha i delasha, gde byti kamennye povarni i hlebni i kel'yam, hlebennye i povarennyya, i porgebu piteinomu u tserkve svyatago Sergiya ot vorot i sushila, i na drugoe leto sostroisha" ( the Archbishop's Court the foundations of the masonry kitchens, bakeries and the cells belonged to the bakery and kitchen, of the wine cellar next to the Church of St. Sergius over the gate, and of the granary, were strengthened and the walls were built in the next summer) (Tikhomirov 1979, 316 f.).

The inventory of 1763 mentions a bakery with a cell and a vestibule that belonged to it. Behind the vestibule there were a bread storage room on the left and a key keeper's cell on the right. All these chambers and cells were stone vaulted (Gordienko & Petrova 1995, 212). The given evidence should be examined in the context of the chronicle report of 1439 informing us about the construction of a stone klyuchnitsa hlebnaya (key keeper's cell near bakery) commissioned by Archbishop Evfimij II (NPL, 420). In 2009 we suggested that the building in the report can be identified with the granary rebuilt during the reign of Pitirim, which probably became a part of the Nikita's building (Antipov 2009, 208). A careful examination of the written sources and the interchangeability between the terms peklenitsa and hlebnya discussed above, enabled us to make a further proposition. Initially, before its rebuilding in the 17th century, the construction under consideration had consisted of two parts: a bakery with a stove (that is hlebnya or peklenitsa in the narrow sense) and two storage rooms which were used to store bread (the general term for this part is klyuchnitsa hlebnaya). The latter rooms were connected to the bakery through a vestibule, in 1439 they were added to the bakery that was built in 1409 (6). This structure probably had remained after the rebuilding of the 17th century. According to the inventory of 1763, the building became a part of the present Nikita's building (Gordienko & Petrova 1995, 212, 259 f.).

The archaeological data indicate that some construction was rebuilt in the second half of the 14th-15th century to the west of the one-pillar structure of 1350, as two masonry fragments that probably belonged to a single structure were found during excavation. In 2009, on the western side of the trench No. 24 a masonry of a wall made of shelly-limestone and bricks was discovered. There are two types of bricks used in the masonry: the type of the 14th century (7.5-8 cm thick) and the thin 5 cm bricks; it has a quite firm lime-sand mortar of yellow colour with rather fine sand.

Most likely, the masonry should be dated from the 14th-15th centuries judging by the bricks specific for both the 14th and the 15th century. It is worth noting that the masonry lies parallel to the western wall of the Vasilij Palace, as it means that the building was erected after the palace had been constructed. The notions of stratigraphy indicate that by the late 17th century the building had already been demolished. The configuration of the building is expected to be revealed in further investigations.

The other masonry fragment of presumably the same building was found in 2011. In the trench No. 36, set on the route of the old communication line, a wall made of stone and bricks of about 15 m length, was opened up (Fig. 3). There are three or four phases of building visible in the masonry, while the orientation of the wall remains constant. This fact allows us to conclude that in the final stage of the construction all the masonries functioned together.

The wall was intersected in the middle by another wall aligned north-south, lately cut off (Fig. 9). The lower part of the wall under consideration was built of shelly-limestone and flagstone, bedded on greyish lime-sand mortar with coarse sand, typical of the construction of the late 13th--first quarter of the 15th century. The nature of the masonry indicates that it belongs to a wall rather than to a foundation. The upper part of the wall is slightly moved to the south; it is made of shelly-limestone, flagstone and bricks with dimension of 27 x 14 x 6.5 cm, 27.5 x 7 and 29 x 4.5 cm, bedded on greyish lime-sand mortar with fine sand and fragments of lime. In the base of the upper part, there is a shelly-limestone block that is supposed to be indicating the ground surface of the time of the wall's construction. The bricks of the masonry, including the thin ones, are roughly molded and covered with coarse sand. This fact, together with the dimensions of the bricks and the nature of mortar, enables us to date the masonry from the first third of the 15th century. It is not unlikely that the lower part was built earlier in the 14th century. During the excavation of 2018 an extension of the masonry was discovered. It was affirmed that the wall was connected to the masonry, found in the trench No. 24 in 2009, but the plan of the building is yet to be reconstructed.

The building material from the constructions of the second half of the 14th-15th century was also discovered in the trench No. 31 in the north-western part of the Archbishop's Palace. It is possible that there was a building of this time that was demolished before the palace was erected, but the location of it is unknown.


To sum up, the written sources indicate that before the reconstruction of the complex during the reign of Archbishop Evfimij II in 1433, the Archbishop's Court was, for the most part, wooden. However, it is clear that in the area from the west of St. Sophia's Cathedral to the wall of the Detinets there were a few small masonry buildings from different time periods. Only two of them can be classified as secular--the palace of Archbishop Vasilij built in 1350 (residential and state structure) and the stone bakery built in 1409 (service structure). The absence of other masonry constructions can be proved with an evidence from the Life of St. Evfimij reporting that the Archbishop "pomysli polatu kamenu vosdvignuti; zanezhe pervie drevyani byakhu i mnogazhdy ot ognya poyadaemi..." (intended to build a masonry palace, as the previous ones, were made of timber and the fire destroyed them repeatedly) (Story about Evfimij 1862, 20). Aside from the secular masonry buildings, there was the Church of the Nativity of Christ at the threshold in Archbishop's Court; and next to the western wall of St. Sophia's Cathedral, that is in fact the territory of the Archbishop's Court as well, there was the Church of St. Peter the Metropolitan. Thus, by the early 1430s the Novgorodian Archbishop's Court constitutes a unique ensemble involving several secular and sacred masonry buildings apart from numerous timber-made structures. Unfortunately, the precise layout of the ensemble is yet to be reconstructed.

In 1433 Archbishop Evfimij II launched the vast reconstruction project of the whole complex of the Archbishop's Court, and as a result, the most of timber buildings were replaced with masonry ones. The opportunity to carry out construction of such a big scale was, probably, determined by the collaboration with the German masons, well-experienced in building secular masonry heated structures (Antipov & Yakovlev in press).

Unusual features of the palace of 1350, such as the vaulted basement, one-pillar structure and the use of large wedge-edged bricks, lead us to the assumption that it was influenced by the building methods and forms distinctive for the architecture of the Baltic region. We must not forget the trading factories established in Novgorod--the German and Gotland Yards, where, according to the written sources, secular masonry buildings could be found aside from masonry churches. It is not impossible that the constructions at the Archbishop's Court might have been inspired by the architectural peculiarities of these buildings.


This publication has been completed thanks to funding from the Russian Science Foundation (RSF), project No. 18-18-00045 "Civil stone architecture of Novgorod (14th-15th centuries): a complex study". The publication costs of this article were partially covered by the Estonian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of History and Archaeology at the University of Tartu, and the Institute of History, Archaeology and Art History of Tallinn University.


Antipov, I. V. 2009. = [phrase omitted].

Antipov, I. & Gervais, A. 2015. The bricks from St Nicholas church at Lipno near Novgorod (1292) and the origins of the new Novgorodian building tradition.--EJA, 19: 1, 58-79.

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Ilya Antipov



Artiklis on kasitletud kiviehitiste ajalugu Novgorodi peapiiskopi residentsi territooriumil. Peapiiskop oli aastasadu tegelik Novgorodi vabariigi pea. Tema elukoht Detinets asus Novgorodi kindluses ja oli linna mitte ainult usuliste, vaid ka uhiskondlike tegevuste keskus. Selles kontekstis pakub teave sealsete ilmalike kiviehitiste kohta erilist huvi.

Artikli peamine eesmark on rekonstrueerida Novgorodi peapiiskopi residentsi kompleksi pohijooned varastel 1430. aastatel, enne kui peapiiskop Jevfimi II alustas laiaulatuslikku kivihoonete ehitust. Too toetub kroonikate materjalile ja autori poolt labiviidud arhitektuurilistele-arheoloogilistele uuringutele Novgorodi peapiiskopi residentsi ouealal. Oluline tahk on ka tutvustada kaevamiste kaigus kogutud teavet.

Peapiiskopi residentsi hooviala valjakaevamised ei toonud paevavalgele mingeid jalgi kiviehitistest, mida saaks tuvastada kui 12. ja 13. sajandi ilmalike hoonete jaanuseid, ehkki kirjalike allikate kohaselt voime arvata, et moned niisugused hooned ikkagi pustitati. Esimene vaieldamatu toend ilmalikust hoonest peapiiskopi ouealal parineb 1350. aastast, kui peapiiskop Vassili lasi oma ouealale kivilossi ehitada. Selle hoone uhe tugisambaga keldrikorrus avastati 1989. aastal ja aastatel 2008-2009 labiviidud valjakaevamiste ajal. On toenaoline, et 14. sajandi esimesel poolel voi keskel paiknes peapiiskopi ouealal veel teisi kivihooneid. Kirjalikud allikad ja arheoloogilised andmed naitavad, et ehitustood jatkusid sellel territooriumil ka 14. sajandi teisel poolel ning 15. sajandi esimesel kolmandikul.

Enne peapiiskopi residentsi kompleksi umberehitust aastatel 1430-1450 olid hooned enamasti puidust, samas olid seal moned eri aegadest parit vaiksemad kiviehitised. Ainult kaht saab praegu tuvastada kui ilmalikke: peapiiskop Vassili loss 1350. aastast (elu- ja ametihoone) ja kivist pagaritookoda 1409. aastast (teenindushoone).

Ilya Antipov, Saint Petersburg State University, 7-9 Universitetskaya nab., 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russia;

(1) In 2006-2009 and 2011 the excavations were carried out together with Valentin Bulkin and Alexey Gervais.

(2) As an analogy for the building, a guard's house could be applied--storozhnya (1443), mentioned in the chronicle (Antipov 2009, 222 f.).

(3) The other version of the same author--"teremets idezhe vodu svyaschayut" (teremets where the water is blessed) (Gordienko 1991, 14 f.).

(4) The only analogy in Novgorodian architecture are the large wedge-edged bricks used in the arches and vaults of the St. Nicholas Church at Lipno, 1292 (Antipov & Gervais 2015, 66 f.).

(5) In the eastern part of the palace of 1433, the foundation trench under the basement destroyed the occupation layer to the natural subsoil; in the south-western part it should be the same (the part was not excavated to the subsoil because of the subterranean waters).

(6) In the Life of St. Evfimij, hlebnya is listed among the archbishop's commissions (Story about Evfimij 1862, 20). However, the author of it did not have a goal to conduct a complete census of the buildings (most of the known constructions by Evfimij are not mentioned in the text). Therefore, we have no definite reason to believe that peklenitsya was rebuilt in 1430-1450-ies.

[Please note: Some non-Latin characters were omitted from this article]
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Author:Antipov, Ilya
Publication:Estonian Journal of Archaeology
Date:Dec 1, 2019

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