The small single-domed Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Savior is the oldest church of both Pereslavl-Zaleski and the entire Yaroslavl region. It is in the center of Red Square where the prince’s residence was located in the 12 century.
The cathedral was laid down in 1152, in the reign of Prince Yuri the Long-Armed, the founder of Moscow. Seventy years later, on May 30, 1220, a prince Alexander was born at the prince’s residence. He was was nicknamed «Nevsky» after the Neva battle and the Battle of the Ice. Today a monument of Alexander Nevsky is at the cathedral near the place of his birth. The Russian prince was proclaimed as a saint and his relics are kept at the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg.
The height of the Transfiguration Cathedral was 22 meters. Today its height is only 21 meters as the building settled. The width of its walls was also quite big ranging from 1 to 1,3 meters. They were made of white rubble, which was cut at the quarries.
In the 12 century all churches of ancient Rus had only one dome. The Church of Intercession on the Nerl (1165) is one of the most beautiful examples of the churches of that period. Originally the Transfiguration Cathedral had a helmet-shaped dome, which was later replaced by a more common onion-shaped one. There were almost no decorations in the cathedral but this simplicity is at least as impressive as the rich decor of the later architectural styles.