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Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ

The Cathedral built in the times of Ivan the Terrible is one of the oldest buildings in Kargopol. The Cathedral was thought to become the symbol of the towns wealth and grandeur. Standing on the bank of the large Onega River in the center of the town, the Cathedral empresses the viewer with its severe beauty. The cathedral was erected in the second half of the 16th c. (during the reign of Ivan the Terrible) to symbolize the prosperity of the town (at that time Kargopol was a busy commercial center). Being the first stone building in the town the cathedral influenced its further development. It became the center of the towns social, cultural and spiritual life, it also attracted the commercial activity of the citizens( the main towns market square was arranged by its side).
The ancient Cathedral bears some of the characteristic traits of the 16th century Russian stone architecture magnificence, simplicity and expressiveness. The Cathedra; is a two-storeyed building domed with five onion-shaped cupolas.
The original austere appearance of the structure was a little bit altered by a two-storeyed gallery, three side-chapels and a porch added to the main part of the building in the 17th century. Inside the cathedral you find yourself in the atmosphere of mystery and solemnity. And today the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ remains the most precious architectural and historical monument in Kargopol.

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