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District of Belozersk

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Belozersk, the oldest city in the Russian North (it was first mentioned in a chronicle of 862), boasts over 50 monuments of history and culture - earthen rampant, churches and a number of dwelling houses.

The architectural ensemble of the Belozersk museum of arts and history comprises monuments of Russian church architecture - the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of our Lord (17th century), a wooden church of the Prophet Elijah (17th century), Church of Peter and Paul (18th century), Cathedral of the Transfiguration of our Lord, an old city of Belozersk with a group of old churches, the Kremlin in the form of an earthen rampant (15th century) and a three-span bridge across the Kremlin moat (19th century).

Many architectural monuments of Belozersk have been preserved. An imposing earth mound, surrounded with a deep ditch, appeared in the centre of the city under the command of Ivan III, Grand Duke. Fortifications appeared at the end of the 15th century, when the city finally passed to the Moscow princedom. The mounds were 30 metres high and wooden walls with towers stood on them from above. The locals used it as a shelter. No one coming to the city can help being impressed by it. Having been built some centuries ago it remains one of the best monuments of this kind in Russia.

Taking into consideration an encircling ditch with water, one might say, that the fortress was strongly defended. Nowadays the mounds slipped a little, nevertheless they make the city landscape unusual.

The cathedral of Transfiguration, which is half concealed behind the rampant, is especially beautiful. Only cupolas with crosses are seen from the city. From the top of the fortifications one can make a circular walking tour and admire a panorama of the city.

The five-domed Cathedral of the Transfiguration of our Lord has kept a wonderful ensemble of fretted wooden works of monumental-decorative art: an iconostasis, decorated with a gilt polychromatic sculpture, icon cases, icon frames, decorated with gilding and frescos.

On the territory of the former trading quarter (outside the earth mounds) there is wooden tiered Church of the Prophet Elijah (1690) of pillar form with refectory. It also makes a profound impression.

Not far from the bridge across the ditch, leading inside the mound, there is an original monument. It is devoted to the 1112th anniversary of the city. The history of Belozersk was closely connected with the water way and a boat was chosen as a symbol of the monument not by chance. A stone near the boat and a plaque on it testify to this fact.

The Assumption church (1552) is another place of interest historically. It is the oldest stone construction of the city (at least, among those which have been preserved to our days). The church itself is monumental and stately in form. A large bell is set on the porch. It was bought by citizens in 1545 in Pskov. Near the temple there is a small winter church of the Theophany (the middle of XVIII century) in baroque style.