The Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior is located 3 km south of Novgorod, near the Settlement. It is small in size. However, it is one of the most valuable monuments of the city’s architecture, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The temple was built in 1198, at the Novgorod prince Yaroslav Vladimirovich, near the princely residence and is dedicated to the memory of his sons.
The next year after construction, the church was painted with frescoes. According to the hypothesis V.L. Ioannina, the author of the painting could be Olisya Grechin, well-known in Novgorod. Simultaneously with the erection of the church, a monastery was founded, where in 1322 he was tonsured before his death and the grandson of Alexander Nevsky, the Novgorod prince Athanasius Danilovich, was buried.
Back in 1915 Vladimir Konstantinovich Myasoedov, an explorer of ancient Russian painting, wrote: “It (that is, the church) surpasses all other Russian churches that have come down to us from the pre-Mongol era with its amazing preservation”.
The temple was rebuilt several times. In 1903-1904, restoration work was carried out (the first truly scientific restoration in Russia), during which the church of the Savior on Nereditsa was almost completely restored to its original appearance. The frescoes of the temple are one of the most famous monuments of monumental painting, not only Russian, but also European art. The painting of the Nereditsa reached the 20th century in excellent condition and was actively studied and described before the 1930s. Only in some places there were losses.
However, not everything is so colorful in the history of the church. In 1941, the temple was destroyed by Nazi soldiers in the early days of the German invasion of Novgorod. Approximately 50% of the masonry and 15% of the paintings survived (before the war, about 90% remained). Work on the rescue of the monument began in 1944. The church was restored in 1956-1958. It was destroyed and most of the unique frescoes of the XII century, which remained almost intact until the Great Patriotic War. Murals are still considered the main property of the church. They used up the whole temple - from top to bottom, which is amazing and attracts the attention of many art critics, historians and tourists from all over the country. For example, it was here that the most ancient images were found in the temple painting of saints Boris and Gleb.
The present Church of the Savior is the fruit of the most complicated work of restorers: the frescoes were restored anew from the preserved drawings and photographs using the smallest fragments of authentic murals that could only be found during the analysis of the ruins.
Expressive fragments of the “Last Judgment”, images of saints and martyrs in a deacon provide an opportunity to understand and feel its originality.
To date, the collection of fragments of fresco painting taken from the rubble continues to return to the walls of the temple.
And after hundreds of years, the temple continues to exist and flourish.