Assumption Cathedral and Monastery; Ashawnta; Atlas Obscura

Russia – Assumption Cathedral and Monastery of the town-island of Sviyazhsk

A former military outpost of Ivan the Terrible, the 16th-century church contains some of the rarest examples of Eastern Orthodox mural paintings.

Sviyazhsk, a rural island at the junction of the Volga, the Sviyaga and the Shchuka Rivers has played a role in the artistic, military, architectural, and religious history of Russia, much of it centered at the Assumption Cathedral and Monastery.

The building, recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, was built for the first tzar of all Russia, Ivan IV aka Ivan the Terrible, who founded the town as a military outpost in 1551. He used the island to plan his conquest of Kazan Khanate, quickly building a fortress to serve as his base.

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