… On small hill beyond the Spasovka River to the east of Rurik’s hill fort, in one of the most picturesque surroundings of Veliky Novgorod, a small church, known by name of Church of the Savior-on-Nereditsa, is situated. It is the only extant building of the former Nereditsky cloister. On a clear day, the silhouette of the church on the hill is well seen in the city. One can see a remarkable view of water-meadows, wide line of the Volkhov River, lake Ilmen from the hill. The whole Novgorod is clearly seen from there.
The history of the church goes back to the summer of 1198, when it was erected by Prince Yaroslav Vladimirovich (son of Vladimir) after the death of all his children. If the first prince's building – Cathedral of St. Sophia – was the biggest, the last – Church of the Savior-on-Nereditsa – the smallest. Reducing the role of princes as lords of the city reflected on building. The last prince's building had the same appearance as modest boyar, merchant temples, local churches of the end of the 12th c. This is a small church which is built as a cube and has one dome. The interior is very simple. Church of the Savior-on-Nereditsa was painted with frescoes in 1199 and gave the most precise idea about system of mural of Russian temples at that time.
The monument was ruined during World War II. Measures, made in preceding years, allowed restoring it but once tremendous ensemble of frescoes was lost forever. Only the expressive fragments of "The Day of Judgment", the images of the saints and martyrs in sacristy, a few figures in the lower part of the altar, give the possibility to understand and feel its uniqueness.
The monument's researchers not once drew attention to combining traditional antiquity and new elements as in choosing plots (images of Russian saints Boris and Gleb) and in artistic language. These murals were usually attributed to local masters. Several years ago archeologists found a manor of the end of the 12th c. where the artist, Olisey Grechin, had lived. Some findings let suppose that this master headed a work in creating the frescoes of the temple.Marina Puksant