This work is the first systematic study of how monumental buildings were constructed in medieval Russia. It deals specifically with ecclesiastical architecture, but also discusses such secular architecture, palaces or towers. In scope the book covers the territory of the Kievan state and the principalities that succeeded it, from the 10th century to the 13th century. Pavel Aleksandrovich Rappoport was the author of many of the standard works on the architectural history of Russia, whether monumental, military or domestic. He was also a leading archaeologist. In Building the Churches of Kievan Russia his aim is to investigate how people went about building them: from brickmaking and lime-firing to the roofing and decoration, from how the churches were laid out to how much brickwork was laid in a day. This book treats all these processes as one integrated and interconnected procedure. The detailed analysis enables Rappoport to identify the work of particular teams of builders, even individual masters, and to follow their progress from one site to another, and one town to a second. Similarly, he documents how the Byzantine styles and methods of church building, imported into Russia after its conversion in 989, were gradually adapted to meet the needs of local circumstances and climate. This study will be of direct relevance to those concerned with the architecture and the Church of pre-Mongol Russia, as well as its social history. The investigation of the earliest churches, furthermore, represents the sole extended discussion of Byzantine building practices. In terms of methodology, the book will be of interest to all architectural historians and archaeologists concerned with the Middle Ages, and makes accessible in English material that has hitherto only been available in Russian.
Contents: Foreword, Cyril Mango; Introduction; Brick; Stone; Lime and mortars; Ceramic floor tiles; 'Resonators'; Window glass and mosaic; Foundations; Walls; Arches, vaults, openings; Staircases; Wooden elements in the buildings; Floors; Roofs; Laying the foundations and laying out the building on the site; The period of construction; The construction process; The size and structure of the building teams; The social position of the builders; Conclusion; Index.