Travels Across Russia: Murom

Murom, Vladimir, Russia

The following views are from a collection of nearly 55,000 photographs and digital images of Russia donated by the scholar and photographer William Craft Brumfield. This group highlights his work at Murom, one of the most picturesque ancient towns in the Vladimir region. Murom is mentioned in medieval chronicles from 862 as part of the domains of Riurik, the Viking founder of the first Russian dynasty. In later centuries the city was a bulwark against Tatar invasions.

 

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    Oka River Passenger Station, Embankment Street. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    With its advantageous location on the Oka River, Murom served as an important eastern outpost in the defense of Moscow against attacks from the Tatar state of Kazan. The votive Church of Saints Kosma and Demian was built by Ivan the Terrible after the conquest of Kazan.

    Church of Saints Kosma and Damian, west view. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Right: Chapel of the Blessed Kseniia of Petersburg. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

    Gate Church of Saint Kirill Belozersk, Transfiguration of the Savior Monastery, northwest view

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    This most ancient of Murom’s monasteries, dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Savior, is situated to the south of town on a steep bank overlooking the Oka River. The earliest written reference dates from 1096, but its oldest extant structure—the Church of the Transfiguration—was built in the 1550s and has been substantially reconstructed. 

    Cathedral of Transfiguration of the Savior, Savior Monastery, southwest view. Left: Church of the Intercession. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    The crypt of the Transfiguration Church contains a sarcophagus with relics of Saint Ilya Muromets and has become a major pilgrimage site.  

    Symbolic tomb with relics of Saint Il'ia Muromets, crypt of Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Savior, Savior Monastery. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Savior (left) and Church of the Intercession, Savior Monastery, east view. Far right: Hostel. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Abbot's residence, with Church of Vasilii, bishop of Riazan', Savior Monastery, west view. Left: Church of the Intercession. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Church of Saint Sergii Radonezh, over east gate, Savior Monastery, northwest view. Background: Oka River. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Chapel of Icon of the Mother of God, "Lifegiving Source," Savior Monastery, southwest view. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Gate Church of Saint Stephen, Annunciation Monastery, southeast view. Background: Cupolas of Cathedral of the Annunciation. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    The Annunciation Monastery was founded by Ivan the Terrible in 1553 but was destroyed in 1616 when Polish forces devastated Murom. Its main Church of the Annunciation was lavishly rebuilt in the 1660s by the wealthy merchant Taras Borisov.

    Cathedral of the Annunciation, Annunciation Monastery, southeast view. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Cathedral of the Annunciation, Annunciation Monastery, window in south facade. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Cathedral of the Annunciation, Annunciation Monastery, interior, west portal. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Cathedral of the Annunciation, Annunciation Monastery, Iconostasis, Royal Gate. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Church of Saint Stefanii, Annunciation Monastery, south view. Background:  Cathedral of the Annunciation. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Trinity Convent was endowed in the 1640s by the merchant Taras Borisov, known as Bogdan Tsvetnoi (the Colorful). The ornate Church of the Holy Trinity contains the relics of Saints Peter and Fevronia (canonized 1547) and is decorated with ceramic tiles.

    Church of Kazan Icon of Mother of God and bell tower, Trinity Convent, northeast view. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Bell tower, Church of Kazan Icon of Mother of God, Trinity Convent, window details, south facade. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Cathedral of the Trinity, Trinity Convent, northwest view. Right background: Bell tower of Church of Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Cathedral of the Trinity, Trinity Convent, South facade, ceramic tile decoration. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Cathedral of the Trinity, Trinity Convent, interior, view northeast toward iconostasis. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Church of Saint Sergii Radonezh, Trinity Convent (moved to the convent from Krasnoe village), southwest view. Left background: Bell tower and Cathedral of the Annunciation, Annunciation Monastery. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Cathedral of the Annunciation, Annunciation Monastery, southwest view from Trinity Convent. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Church of Saint Nicholas on the Embankment, northwest view. Background: Oka River. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Church of Saint Nicholas on the Embankment, south view. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Church of Saint Nicholas on the Embankment, southeast view. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Church of the Purification, south view. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Church of Smolensk Icon of Mother of God, southeast view. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Murom, like other provincial towns of the Russian heartland, has its share of early 19th-century neoclassical mansions. Major fires destroyed the largely wooden urban environment in 1805, and the town was rebuilt to a neoclassical plan designed during the reign of Catherine the Great.

    House, First of May Street. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    House, Temiriazov Street 12. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Murom also has neighborhoods of wooden houses from the turn of the 20th century, with their distinctive ornate window frames.

    Wooden house. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Wooden house, window. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Wooden house, Sverdlov Street 23. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Wooden house. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Commercial buildings, Lenin Street (?). Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    House. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    School, Tolstoi Street 40 at Lenin Street. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Water tower. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Apartment building, Moscow Street at Sverdlov Street 12. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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    Ilya Muromets (Elijah of Murom) is celebrated in numerous Russian epic folk poems as the greatest of all the Russian heros (bogatyrs). Later a monk, he was beatified as a minor saint of the Orthodox church.  

    Monument to Ilia Muromets. Murom, Vladimir, Russia. Copyright: William Craft Brumfield

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