Stone churches that were built in Novgorod
in the beginning of the 12th century continued to preserve the main
characteristics of Byzantine style. The influence of the famous cathedral of
the Assumption in the Kiev Monastery of the Caves is quite obvious. A fine
example of these early churches is the cathedral of Saint Nicholas that Prince
Mstislav built in 1113 in the so-called Yaroslav's Courtyard, just across the
river Volkhov, opposite the Kremlin in Novgorod. Six piers divide the church
into a nave and two aisles, all ending in apses at their eastern side. Its
austere walls are divided by simple pilasters that conform to the inside
vaulting and partition of the church, and which form the base for the arched
sections (zakomari), making the parapets semicircular. The cathedral was
adorned in the 18th century with five cupolas, however all that
remains of the five cupolas is the central one above the four sloped roof. The
interior was covered with frescoes, but none of the original were preserved.
Please see the section on Novgorod in the Russian cities directory.