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a city in Moscow Oblast, RSFSR; located on the Moskva River, 3 km from the Zvenigorod railroad station, which is the terminus of the 16-km branch from Golitsyno. Zvenigorod is 53 km west of Moscow.
Zvenigorod is first mentioned in the spiritual epistle of Ivan Kalita (1339). However, materials from the archaeological excavations of 1943–45 and 1954–57, carried out in Zvenigorod’s “Gorodok” (citadel), testify that the city had existed even in pre-Mongol times. Discoveries were made of a 12th-century residential complex and a 13th-century coppersmith’s shop; various household objects, ornaments, and ceramic wares dating from the 12th and 13th centuries were also found.
Zvenigorod flourished from 1389 to 1434. From the 14th through the 16th centuries it was an important guard point on the western approaches to Moscow. During this period heavy defensive ramparts and oak walls were put up around the city, and the Uspenskii Cathedral was built in the “Gorodok” (1399). The cathedral is built of white stone and has a single dome, four columns, and three apses. Its facades have a broad carved band and portals with carinate arch vaults, characteristic of early Muscovite architecture; inside are fragments of frescoes by Andrei Rublev.
In 1398–99 the Savvino-Storozhevskii Monastery was founded at the confluence of the Storozhka and Moskva rivers. The complex included the ancient Rozhdestvenskii Cathedral (1405; expanded during the 17th century, with interior paintings from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries) and 17th-century brick structures—walls and towers (to replace the 14th-century wooden ones; 1650–54, built under the supervision of N. Boborykin and A. Shakhov); a refectory (1652–54) with the Preobrazhenskaia Church (1693) and a campanile (mid-17th century); the Troitsa Church (1652); palaces for the tsar and tsaritsa (both 1652–54); cells; and the Red Gate located in the monastery’s east wall (18th century, early baroque). Zvenigorod became a district city in 1781.
Zvenigorod produces furniture, school and office supplies, toys, sports equipment, haberdashery items, and clothing. The city has a finance technicum. There is a museum of history and architecture on the monastery grounds. Zvenigorod is one of the most picturesque cities in the Moscow vicinity. It has a sanatorium, rest homes, and a camping site. In 1887, A. P. Chekhov practiced medicine in Zvenigorod. The village of Diut’kovo (3 km from the city) has a voluntarily organized museum devoted to S. I. Taneev, I. I. Levitan, and A. P. Chekhov.
REFERENCESTikhomirov, N. Ia. Zvenigorod. Moscow, 1948.
Rybakov, B. A. “Raskopki v Zvenigorode.” In the collection Materialy i issledovaniia po arkheologii SSSR, no. 12. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Borovkova, S. Zvenigorod i okrestnosti, 2nd ed. [Moscow] 1970.