The Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ in the Ryazan Kremlin looks very modest next to the huge Assumption Cathedral. However, it is the oldest stone church in Ryazan and the main church of the Ryazan diocese. The Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ was initially called the Assumption Cathedral.
In 1237, Old Ryazan was destroyed by the army of Batu Khan. He completely burned down the city and killed the inhabitants. Attempts to restore Ryazan in its former place did not make sense, so the Ryazan princes moved their capital to the city of Pereslavl-Ryazansky, 50 kilometers north of the Settlement of Old Ryazan. However, the archbishop moved his chair not to Pereslavl-Ryazansky, but to the small town of Borisov-Glebov.
In the second half of the 14th century, Oleg became the Prince of Ryazan. Under him, the Ryazan Principality became powerful. Prince Oleg founded a stone cathedral in the Ryazan Kremlin. Its masonry can now be seen near the altar of the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ. After the foundation of the stone cathedral, Oleg moved the bishop`s chair to Ryazan, which strengthened his influence.
The cathedral was rebuilt many times, completely losing its original features. By the end of the 17th century, it had become dilapidated, and in 1677 the Ryazan Metropolitan Joseph appealed to Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich with a request for the construction of a new spacious cathedral. By 1699, the construction of the new Assumption Cathedral was completed. The temple turned out to be huge, three times larger than the old cathedral. After the consecration, the new church was called the Assumption Cathedral, and the old Assumption Cathedral was called the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ was completely reconstructed in the style of classicism. This appearance has survived to this day. The graves of five Ryazan princes and three princesses have been preserved in the cathedral. The relics of St. Basil of Ryazan, the first bishop and patron saint of the Ryazan land, are also kept here.
In the 20th century, both cathedrals of the Ryazan Kremlin: the Assumption and the Nativity of Christ were closed. In 2002, the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ was returned to the church and consecrated as the main church of Ryazan.