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Main page / Museums and sightseeing in Veliky Novgorod / The Church of St. John the Baptist on Opoki
The Church of St. John the Baptist on Opoki
the Yaroslav’s Courtyard, Veliky Novgorod

+7 (816 2) 77 37 38
+7 921 730 93 92
+7 (816 2) 77 37 70


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закрыто / closed

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58.51985200, 31.28581600

To the west of the Church of St. George there is a church recently restored from the ruins, known in the history of ancient Novgorod as Church of St. John the Baptist on Opoki, built in 1127 - 1130's by Prince Vsevolod Mstislavich. Shortly after the construction Vsevolod with a special charter handed the church to Novgorod wax merchants’ guild (the merchants selling wax and honey were the wealthiest). St. John association (The Ivan's Hundred) consisted of the richest merchants of Novgorod. Anyone who wanted to join it had to give a fee of fifty silver grivnas. That contribution gave them a number of benefits.

The church included a Merchant Court that heard litigation on various commercial issues. The court was headed by tysiatskii and consisted of three elders (starostas) from the boyars and two – from the merchants.

The standards of weights and measures were also kept in the church of St. John: "Ivan’s elbow"  to measure the length of cloth, "ruble grivenka" – for weighing precious metals, "wax scales" and so forth.

In the last twenty years before Novgorod lost its independence the deliberate imitation of old, 12th-century buildings became fairly widespread. In 1454 Archbishop Euphymius had the Church of St. John the Baptist on Opoki demolished and a new one built on the old foundations, which not only copied the ground plan of the original church but all its other details as well.

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