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Main page / Museums and sightseeing in Veliky Novgorod / Faceted Archbishop Chamber
Faceted Archbishop Chamber
The Kremlin, Veliky Novgorod

+7 (816 2) 77 37 38


Working hours:
10:00 – 18:00

Выходной: Пн, первая Ср месяца

Open: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Closed: Mon. and first Wed. of the month

Entrance Fee:
170 руб. – взрослый
120 руб. – студенты ВУЗов
дети до 16 лет — бесплатно
250 roubles (adults)
180 roubles (students)
children under 16 - free

58.52276300, 31.27633900
Download Mobile Guide in English around the museum!

This 15th century unique monument – Russia’s sole civil German-style Gothic building where the most important events, such as reception of ambassadors, sessions of the Novgorod Parliament (Council of Seigniors) and the Episcopal Court, as well as ceremonial feasts, were held – was being restored from 2006 to 2012.

Today, when restoration finished, the chamber is opened for visiting and the exposition Chamber of Archbishop Euphemius II at the Episcopal Court of Novgorod Kremlin is seen on the first storey. The exhibition is situated in one-pillar hall on the first floor of eastern three-storeyed part of Episcopal Chamber under the main "gothic" hall. Apparently, the hall was of a special status because it had a separate entrance made in the southern part of the building in the form of the monumental portal and served as the only front gate into the Chamber.

Exhibits revive history of the episcopal institution and the residence related to the concept and destiny of this unique monument. According to the chronicles, the Episcopal Chamber was built in 1433 by German and Novgorodian architects by the order of Archbishop Euphemius II. At first it was monumental representational building with compound structure. And though the purpose of the Chamber is unknown there are reasons to suppose that its construction is connected with the history of the episcopal institution and work of Archbishop Euphemius II Vyazhishchsky (1429-1458), one of the most outstanding figures in history of Novgorod. Perhaps his ideas of aggrandizement of Cathedral of the St. Sophia's cathedra, glorification of particularly honoured Novgorodian relics and saints were risen here.

The Faceted Chamber of Novgorod Kremlin is opened for visiting after 6 years of restoration.

Read more about the precious collection

The collection of decorative and applied arts in Novgorod museum is one of the most considerable in Russia and covers period from the 5th to 19th centuries. It is based on treasures of Cathedrals and Monasteries' sacristies of Veliky Novgorod, one of the largest centers of making silver in Ancient Rus. This is where precious relics were saved and artistic traditions were kept for many years.

Different stages of making gold and silver items are visually demonstrated in Gothic Hall. These are artifacts of jeweller's art, miniature plastic arts of Constantinopolitan, Russian and West European craftsmen. There are examples of the 11th – 12th cc., Golden Age of the Novgorod toreutics, connected with Byzantine Imperial House, the Prince's and the Episcopal Court: antique Eucharistic vessels, a large and a small pyxes.

Works of jewelers, bone, stone and wood carvers of the Mongol Invasion period (13th – 14th cc.) are demonstrated by the rare items of personal use that give information about local features of miniature plastic arts. Articles of unique church everyday items (14th –15th cc.) reveal the essence of Orthodox service. Particular attention should be paid to worldwide known panagiarian of Sophia that was made by Ivan, jeweler from Novgorod, in 1435.

The exposition also displays such artifacts that give evidence about contacts of medieval Novgorod with countries of Byzantine and Western Europe. The Ivory chest of Constantinople, gospel bindings, made by craftsmen from Limoges, France, a chest from Rhineland, reliquary, made by German craftsmen.

The Cross Chamber accommodates works of ceremonial religious and profane art showing tendencies of gold and silver making evolution in Novgorod (16th –17th cc.).

Particular interest arouses in respect of the articles of the first half of 16th c. which were made using refined filigree, cast refined relief, precious stones – cabochons. The exposition also displays well made silver and golden covers of communion and pectoral crosses, pectoral icons from Cathedral of St. Sophia, the Gospel from St. George Monastery.

The panagia of archbishop Pimen with Byzantine cameo of 11th c., oval carved icon in the golden cover with refined impregation of enamel and precious sapphires attracts attention as well.

Items of personal usage of Novgorodian bishops (15th-16th cc.), things for divine service, coming from Cathedral of St. Sophia's sacristy are worthy of appreciation. They are notable for rich ornamental decoration, high technique and artistic quality. These are croziers of Metropolitan Herontiy and archbishop Pimen, holy-water bowl of 1593, censer of 1586.

Church antiques of 17th c. that came from other Novgorod temples and monasteries form the most numerous group of monuments that once were found in the Novgorod temples. Censers from Cloister of Holy Spirit and Antony's Monastery, the communion cross made by Grigory Lopkov in 1690, ripidions from Cathedral of St. Sophia and the panagia of Metropolitan Macarius, cover of the big diptych St. Euphemius Vyazhishchsky demonstrate high professionalism of Novgorodian chasers and engravers. The plate of 1659 for the consecrated cross from Vyazhishchsky Monastery looks harmonious and solemn. Logical construction of floral ornament, relief's height of chasing, accuracy in transfering of decor in carved design, cleanness of decoration are seen in every work.

Works of enamellers of 17th c. are interesting and important. These are the samples of Orthodox church household items: covers of folding icons-cum-prayer, the Gospel of 1654, the panagia from St. George Cathedral. Works of the Novgorod Jewellery School as a whole are characterized by rich ornamental language, combinations of enamel hues.

Exhibition of Jeweler's Art of 17th – 19th cc.

The exposition including more than 150 works of silver and gold making (17th-19th cc.) is situated in three halls on the second floor of the vicars' building (Joannes building).

The first hall is devoted to works of profane art examples but which might be used as church everyday items. Russian and West European precious dishes, illuminating equipment, household goods of the end of the17th –18th cc. that came from Novgorod temples are exposed in such number for the first time.

The second hall is devoted to new trends in the development of silver making in the end of the 17th – 18th cc. Carving and chasing became new techniques. Works with bright-coloured semi-precious stones and pearls became fashionable.

The third hall accommodates a range of monuments of jeweller's art that belonged to workshops, manufactories, firms of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novgorod in the 19th c. Jeweller's art of this time is characterized by influence of classicism, new technologies in the first half of the century, decorative style and special stylishness by the end of the century.

Video by Triada television company about the mobile guide around the Faceted Chamber.

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