The Rostov Kremlin (Metropolitan's Court) is the former residence of the Metropolitan of the Rostov diocese. It is in the center of Rostov on the shores of Lake Nero. According to the legend, it's in this lake that the mysterious city of Kitezh drowned. Or maybe it is the most ancient part of Rostov the Great taken by the lake.
The Kremlin was built in 1670-1683 according to the plan of the metropolitan Iona Sysoevich. His plan was to create the spatial icon of the Heavenly City based on the Biblical description. It had to be the Garden of Eden surrounded by walls with towers and with the pond in the middle. The whole complex consists of three parts. The central one is the bishop's courtyard proper. In the Northern part there is the square with the Dormition cathedral. In the Southern part there is the metropolitan's garden.
The Dormition cathedral is the main dominant of the complex. It is also the oldest building in Rostov. The church is built where its white-stoned predecessors stood. The first church here was wooden. Its name was Dormition of the Mother of God cathedral "Of oaken trees". It was founded as early as 991 in the days of Prince Vladimir, this is one of the first cathedrals of the Ancient Rus.
The current cathedral is already the fifth in this place. Earlier it probably had the helm-like domes, which were later changed to bulbous ones. It was built in 1508-1512, long before metropolitan Iona, who influenced the artistic look of these buildings a lot. A set of 15 ancient bells has been completely preserved on the belfry.
All the various buildings of the Rostov Kremlin combine into a uniquely pictorial and amazingly harmonious ensemble. The unity and noble restraint of its color palette give it a special spiritual feel. Today, as before, they raise the eyes of our hearts towards Heaven.