Kokoschnik (architecture)

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Kokoschniki at St. Gregory's Church in Debrizy, Moscow (1668–79)

A kokoshniks ( Russian Кокошник ; plural Kokoschniki ) is a commonly used, especially in church facade decoration of the Russian architecture in the form of a semi-circular, triangular, keel arch - or pass-shaped decorative pediment. The name is derived from the similarly shaped headgear of the Russian women's costume. The Kokoschnik is a modification of the Sakomara , but in contrast to this has a purely decorative or structuring function and is often arranged in steps.


Kokoschniki appear for the first time at the old Assumption Cathedral in Kolomna, built between 1379 and 1382, and subsequently become a characteristic architectural ornament of Muscovite architecture. Other early examples of their use are the Dormition church in the town in Zvenigorod (1400) and the Katholikon of Therapontos monastery in Ferapontowo (1490).

Kokoschniki are particularly widely used in the tent roof churches of the 16th and 17th centuries, where they create a harmonious vertical transition between the components in a pyramid-shaped arrangement. B. at the St. John's Church in Djakowo (today in Moscow, 1553/54), the Basilius Cathedral (1555–61) or the Church of the Transfiguration of Christ in Ostrow near Moscow (1646). From the second half of the 17th century, the kokoschniki were increasingly transferred to bell towers and krylza and equipped with rich profiles, ornamental reliefs and majolica in the lunettes . The Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Putinki (completed in 1652) and the Trinity Church in Ostankino (1677–83, ascribed to Pawel Sidorowitsch Potechin ) are striking examples from Moscow .

At the beginning of the 18th century the kokoshnik was increasingly out of use as an architectural ornament and only reappeared in the historicist architecture of the second half of the 19th century - now also outside the historical borders of the Grand Duchy of Moscow.

Individual proof

  1. ^ NN Voronin, PN Maksimow: The art of the grand princely Moscow . In: Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Institute for Art History (ed.): History of Russian Art, Vol. III . Verlag der Kunst, Dresden 1959, p. 37 (Russian: История русского искусства, том III . Translated by Kurt Küppers).

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