Kirilo-Belozersky monastery. Sights of Russia

This is one of the largest monasteries of the Russian North

One of the most important sights of the Vologda region of Russia, the Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Reserve, is located 120 kilometers north-west of Vologda

Cyril-Belozersky monastery is the shrine of the Russian North. Two monks, follower of Sergius of Radonezh, founded the monastery in 1397: Kirill Belozersky and Ferapont Belozersky from the Simonov monastery (Moscow region of Russia). By the end of the 15th century, the monastery became one of the most important book centers of Russia - 210 manuscripts were kept here.

Russian North is unique and unrepeatable in its own way: Ladoga, Onega, vast expanses of water, impassable thicket and wide rivers, wooden and stone architecture, holy places, white nights, historical and cultural monuments. The Kirillo-Belozersky monastery is the largest not only in Russia, but also in the whole of Europe. And the fortress walls surrounding its shrines are themselves an outstanding monument of history and architecture.

In 1528, Grand Prince Vasily III traveled to Kirillovsky Monastery with Princess Elena Glinskaya to pray for the gift of an heir. The birth of a son, the future Tsar Ivan the Terrible, was associated for a long time with that prayer and intercession of St. Cyril Belozersky. Ivan the Terrible throughout his life experienced special feelings for the monastery, apparently believing that this holy place, where the prayers of his parents were heard, he owed his birth. Before his death, taking the schema, Ivan the Terrible, like his father Vasily III, became the monk of Cyril-Belozersky monastery.

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Kirilo-Belozersky monastery

Kirillo-Belozersky Historical-Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve

In the town of Kirillov, on the shores of Siverskoye Lake, the ancient fortress walls of the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery rise. In 1600, the first stone fortress wall with 8 towers was built. Inside the walls were 9 stone churches, a bell tower, although the cells and some other buildings were wooden. 1612-1613 the monastery withstood the siege and repulsed the attacks of the Polish and Lithuanian troops.

The monks were blessed to fight for the Russian land, but afterwards they were not allowed to Holy Communion for 3 years, because even the killing of enemies who had encroached and committed treachery remained a personal spiritual tragedy of those who fought. In the 17th century, the monastery became one of the largest and most powerful fortresses in Russia. Tsar Peter the Great also came here.

Since 1924, the monastery has become a Historical-Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve. Monuments of wooden architecture from the neighborhood (Church of the Deposition of the Robe (1486) from the village of Borodava; mill (XIX century) from the village of Shchelkovo) were brought here. The revival of the monastery began in the 90s. Today, a lot of tourists visit the monastery, including foreign guests, so the "spirit of the museum" is felt more than the "spirit of the monastery".

In the early stages of its existence, the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery was important for the development of the uninhabited regions of the Russian north and for the enlightenment of this land. Books were collected and copied in the monastery, a book-writing workshop was working, which left a rich legacy - chronicle vaults and epistles, polemical works and other monuments of ancient Russian literature. Here church hymns, icons and objects of church decoration were created, the monastery was the center of cultural life in its broadest sense.

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