A certificate on the inclusion of the Assumption Cathedral in the UNESCO World Heritage list was handed to Tatarstan

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Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, handed a certificate on the inclusion of the Assumption Cathedral and the monastery of the island of Sviyazhsk in the UNESCO World Heritage List to Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov.

The Assumption Cathedral, part of the ensemble of the Dormition Monastery of the 16th-19th centuries of the island of Sviyazhsk, was included in UNESCO World Heritage List on July 9 by the decision of the 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (Krakow, Poland). The Assumption Cathedral was the third object in Tatarstan, to be included in the UNESCO list.

The Kazan Kremlin (2000), where an Orthodox cathedral is located next to a Muslim mosque, was the first one. The second one is the ancient city of Bolgar (2014), where Islam was officially adopted.

"This confirms the exceptional global value of the cathedral and monastery that have to be preserved, and we have long gone to see Bolgar and Sviyazhsk gain world recognition ... This is the result of careful and fruitful work of Tatarstan, Russian and international experts in archeology, urban planning, architecture, heritage, restoration and conservation of monuments," President Minnikhanov said at the ceremony of awarding the certificate. According to the President of Tatarstan, the republic is deeply aware of its responsibility to UNESCO for the further preservation of unique historical sites.

He assured the UNESCO Director General of the intention to strictly follow all the established rules for the proper preservation of the Kazan Kremlin, the ancient Bolgar and the island-city of Sviyazhsk.

Ms Bokova recalled that the UNESCO World Heritage Committee unanimously decided to include the Cathedral of the Assumption of Sviyazhsk in the list a few weeks ago. According to her, the significance of Sviyazhsk for Tatarstan, the Russian Federation, from the point of view of UNESCO, is much deeper than just a beautiful place, it is about tolerance, first of all, religious, about dialogue between cultures.

The inclusion of Bolgar and Sviyazhsk in the World Heritage List, according to Ms Bokova, is a reflection of the vision of the leadership of Tatarstan to preserve the diversity of cultural heritage.

The Assumption Cathedral is the largest church and a unique monument of Sviyazhsk. The cathedral was built from 1556 to 1560 by Pskov masters under the direction of the architect Postnik Yakovlev. The complete cycle of the wall fresco painting of the second half of the 16th - early 17th centuries with the total area of more than 1 thousand square meters, the iconostasis with icons of the 16th-17th centuries, have been preserved in the interior of the cathedral. Unique frescoes in particular contain the rarest image of St. Christopher.

Fresco and architectural ensemble reflect a new direction in Russian art and an ambitious cultural and civilizational ideology, initiated by the Russian state in the 16th-17th centuries. The uniqueness of the frescoes lies in the fact that they are a graphic reflection of the decisions of the Stoglavy Sobor (Council of a Hundred Chapters) of 1551, as well as the councils of 1553-1555, the historical significance of which is important not only for Russia, but also for the Eastern Orthodox Church and the history of iconography.

Source: RIA Novosti