The history of the fair in Nizhniy Novgorod spans more than five centuries. From the mid-XVI century it was known as Makaryev Fair and was held annually near Makaryev Monastery in the Nizhniy Novgorod region. Following the destruction of the fair by fire in 1816 it was moved to the Nizhniy Novgorod city. Famous French architect Auguste de Montferrand, best known for constructing St. Isaac’s Cathedral and Alexander’s Column in Saint Petersburg, was entrusted with designing a fair complex and a cathedral that later became known as Staroyarmarochny. The project was completed in 1822. Gradually, the groundwater eroded the artificial ground on which the cathedral stood and caused numerous cracks in its walls. It was restored by the architect Robert Kileveyn and re-consecrated in 1888. The bell tower standing next to the cathedral was also replaced by a new one constructed in the same design.
The fair itself played a major role in the Russian trade and by the mid-XIX century it became a centre of the commerce of the Empire, where merchants would sell up to half of the total production exported outside Russia. It attracted many foreign merchants from India, Iran, and Central Asia making it a place where the East met the West. As a result of the economic instability in Russia in the beginning of XX century the fair business started to stagnate, which eventually led to the closure of the Nizhniy Novgorod Fair in 1929.
Nowadays, Spassky Cathedral belongs to one of the few surviving original fair buildings, until the XXI century.
Pair of engravings (app. 21.5 by 29 cm), contemporary hand colour.
Stock ID: 89698