The church was built in 1164 as a monument to Andrew Bogolubsky' successful campaign against Bulgarians. At the same time it served as a monument to prince's son Izjaslav, killed in this action.
It was the first dedication of the church to the festival of the Intercession of the Virgin on Russian territory, because this festival had been established by Andrew Bogolubsky without the Kiev metropolitan' consent.
It was built at the place were the Nerl river flowed into the Klyazma, near "the gates of the Suzdal territory". Now there is the old bed of the Klyazma river on the bank of the lake. Besides, it was the first temple in Vladimir, which could be seen by the ships from The Volga and Oka rivers.
As it was found out during the excavations of N.N.Voronin in 1954-55, the church was raised slightly on artificial hill. This protected it from the spring high water, because the substructures had been laid in the basis of the hill 5,30 metres deep in the ground. The hill was paved by the white-stone plates and the church building was surrounded by the open galleries. In the wall of the gallery there was a staircase to the choirs.
This church is considered to be one of the masterpieces of the ancient Russian architecture. The height and the harmony of the small church is accentuated by its appearance: the projection of apses is minimal, they are submitted to the main bulk. Pryaslas of the eastern wall are so narrow, that they can hardly hold the elements of arcade, whose belt is lifted high above the level of the choirs and the columns are put
close together. The church walls are bent a little inside, which intensifies the impression of the temple' height due to the effect of the perspective reduction. Vertical movement is especially noticed in the interior, where the height of the arches is ten times as large as their width. The church was painted and its floor was decorated with the coloured majolica plates.
Damages, reconstruction, changes:
In 1803 the "helmet-like" cupola was replaced by the "onion" cupola.
In the middle of the 19-th century the first excavations were held. The brick gates were built to the north of the church.
In 1877 the church was reconstructed: the painting was brought down and the steel reinforcement installed. Damaged carved details were replaced by the stucco components. Under the drum spherical roof was installed, which hid the square pedestal of the 12-th century.

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