Novodevichiy monastery. Sights of Russia

Novodevichy Women's Convent. Moscow, Russia.

Novodevichy Convent is a picturesque old temple complex located in the historical part of Moscow, near Luzhniki

This is one of the oldest religious ensembles in the country, which has been revered for many centuries. Throughout its history, the monastery survived wars and ruin, Time of Troubles, fires, becoming a museum and much more. Despite this, today the shrine has been transferred for indefinite and gratuitous use of the Moscow Patriarchate, fully restored, open for visiting by pilgrims and tourists.

There are several versions of the origin of the name of the monastery. The first one says that the shrine got its name because of the place where the Maiden Field was built. According to legend, it was here that they chose the most beautiful girls who were sent as a tribute to the khan of the Golden Horde. The second version claims that the name comes from the name of the first superior, Elena Devochkina. The third is the most realistic and is most often used by historians. According to her, from the very beginning the monastery was created for women, that is, it was girlish. They began to use the prefix in order to distinguish the shrine from the similar one that had been previously discovered in the Kremlin.

In the 16th century, Basil III founded a monastery on Samson's meadow, which was also called the Maiden's Field. Originally a majestic complex of buildings, as well as the walls of its territory were made of wood. Soon after the construction was completed, the first prisoner of royal blood appeared, which will later be many. Basil III was able to achieve a divorce from Princess Saburova, who for many years of marriage and was unable to give birth to an heir. The first wife of the Moscow prince was exiled to Novodevichy and lived to the end of her life within its walls.

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Novodevichiy monastery

Bogoroditse-Smolensky Monastery aka Novodevichy Convent

The museum part of the Novodevichy Convent tells in detail about its history, famous personalities, whose destinies at various times were associated with this place, there is an excursion department. Also here are held daily services, where you can attend to everyone. In addition to exploring some of the attractions, on the shady territory of Novodevichy just pleasant to make a leisurely contemplative walk.

A new stage of history began for the Novodevichy Monastery with the coming to power of the Romanovs. During this period, the shrine is donated land, jewels. The monastery itself enjoys great honor in the royal family. Sophia Alekseevna, who came to power, made a huge contribution to the development of the shrine. Thanks to her, almost all the buildings were converted in the style of the metropolitan baroque, and several new residential and religious buildings appeared.

Several temples of the monastery are lined up in such a way that they form an Orthodox cross turned to the east. The centerpiece of the ensemble is Smolensk Cathedral. It is here that contains the oldest list of the icon of the Iberian Mother of God, which is considered the main and most honored relic of the Novodevichy Convent. The large five-domed cathedral has preserved unique frescoes of the XVI century and the iconostasis of the XVII century, which every visitor can admire today. In the architectural ensemble mixed Moscow baroque and the later style of the Middle Ages. This image was formed in the first centuries of the monastery and since then has not changed much. Despite this combination, the temple composition looks very harmonious.

White-purple buildings of the monastery beautifully stand out against the background of dense greenery growing on the territory of the shrine. The monastery has the second highest bell tower in Moscow, second only to the Kremlin Ivan the Great Moscow Bell Tower. Its six levels rise to a height of 72 meters. The alternation of openwork and continuous tiers looks very picturesque.

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