Chamber of Facets

The Episcopal Chamber (Chamber of Facets) is a 15th-century monument located in Novgorod Kremlin, Veliky Novgorod, Russia. It is an exceptional example of Gothic architecture in Russia,[1] and included in the UNESCO World heritage list, along with other historic buildings in the city.

Episcopal chamber (Chamber of facets)
Внешний вид (1).JPG
Episcopal chamber (Chamber of facets) in 2010
LocationVeliky Novgorod, Russia
Coordinates58°31′22″N 31°16′35″W / 58.52278°N 31.27639°W / 58.52278; -31.27639Coordinates: 58°31′22″N 31°16′35″W / 58.52278°N 31.27639°W / 58.52278; -31.27639
Architectural style(s)Brick Gothic
Official nameThe ensemble of Novgorod Kremlin
Criteriaii, iv, vi
Reference no.5310033026


The main hall

The Chamber was part of the Episcopal complex founded in 1433 by order of Euthymius II, Archbishop of Novgorod. According to the Second Novgorodian Chronicle, foreign artisans took part in the building process. It is also indicated by the European Gothic wimpergs, fan traceries, lancet windows and other architectural features typical of the style. The ancient Novgorodian icon, "The vision by Tarasuis the sexton", which contains an image of the Chamber, shows that in the past the building had stepped gables with lancet niches, which are further Gothic features of the period.[2]

In 1441 the Chamber was decorated with frescoes. The main hall was a meeting place for the Council of Aristocrats, a body in the Novgorod republic. After the massacre of Novgorod in 1473, the Chamber was the place where the charter for joining the Novgorod republic to the Duchy of Moscow was read out publicly and signed by Ivan III of Russia.

The Chamber later underwent substantial rebuilding resulting in its current 19th-century exterior. The main facade in particular was changed and the eaves of the building raised. In 1822 the Chamber was turned into the Church in honour of Ivan, a 12th-century saint and Archbishop of Novgorod.

In Soviet times the building was transformed into museum for arts and crafts.


In 2008 the building was reconstructed to return its exterior closer to the original Gothic style.[3] In July 2008 the remains of a building believed to be the house of Novgorod Archbishop Bazil were found near the Chamber.[4] In the Chamber's cellar extensive underground vaults were found.

A prospective task for the conservationists and historians is to restore the Chamber's historical gallery near the gateway.[5]


  1. ^ "Новгородский государственный музей заповедник - Владычная палата (Novgorod State United Museum - Chamber of Facets (Russian)". Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  2. ^ Владычный двор Новгородского кремля
  3. ^ Грановитая палата Новгородского кремля будет отреставрирована
  4. ^ Вести Санкт-Петербург: Подземные залы Грановитой палаты — сенсационное открытие на территории Новгородского Кремля[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ реставрация владычной палаты — Поиск в Google

Further reading (Russian)Edit

  • Гормин В.В. Грановитая палата: Краеведческий очерк. - Л.: Лениздат, 1980. - 64 с.
  • Ядрышников В.А. Грановитая палата 1433 год. - Н.: Исторический паспорт НСНРПМ, 1981
  • Владычная палата Новгородского кремля / Э. А. Гордиенко, 104,[3] с. ил. 16 см, Л. Лениздат 1991