Church of Beheading of St. John the Forerunner

The church, which is a monument of the so-called oprichny school of Russian architecture known in the 1560s and the 1570s, the late period of Ivan IV the Terrible’s reign, has no direct analogues in style.
One of the architectural characteristics of the church is the compositional complexity coming up to excessive pretentiousness and the abundance of decoration elements that is typical for the Late Gothic architecture.
Those peculiarities are not accidental: the church may be a canalized but evident example of a ‘Russian-European’ construction, whose particular features invoke the idea of the creative beginning typical for the Renaissance architecture.
Ivan the Terrible chose this particular church for holiday worships and his birthday feasts. According to the court tradition, first tsars of the Romanovs’ dynasty came to this church for vespers and masses on the day of Beheading of St. John the Forerunner.
In 2008-2009, the authorities conducted full-scale repair and conservation work restoring and strengthening the foundations, brick walls, arches and rafters.

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