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Russian Sacred Places: an Overview
July 21, 2011 13:35


The most well-known churches and convents of Russian Orthodox Church are situated in the European part of the country, mostly in the North. So,what are they?

  • Trinity Lavra of Sergius
  • Nikolo-Ugreshskiy Monastery
  • Optina Monastery
  • Nilov Monastery
  • Valaam Monastery
  • Solovetsky Monastery

Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius

Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius ( rus. Troitse-Sergieva Lavra) is considered a spiritual center of the country. It was founded by Saint Sergius of Radonezh in 1337. The territory of the monasery is very spacious, apart from the cathedrals and churches you can also find the unique library of manuscripts and books published in Russia before the 18th century.

The most ancient cathedral is Troitskiy cathedral, built in 1422-1425. This is the place where saint relics of Father Superior of Russia Sergius of Radonezh have been placed. The iconostasis of the cathedral is famous for the icons painted by Andrei Rublev. Another important church is Assumption Cathedral, founded by order of Ivan the Terrible at the end of the 16th century. The vault contains burials of Boris Godunov and his family. The following churches can be ascribed to the monuments of church architecture: the church of St. Zosima and St. Sabbatius of the Solovets monastery, the Smolenskaya Church, the church of the Holy Spirit , the Dormition Cathedral.

Nikolo-Ugreshskiy Monastery

The monastery was founded in 1380 by order of Dmitriy Donskoy and was dedicated to the victory of Russians against the Tatar-Mongols at Kulikovo Field, which played a decisive part in overthrowing the Mongol yoke. The Church of Transfiguration and seven-layer bell tower are the center of the great architectural complex, created in the 19th century.

Optina Monastery

The Optina Hermitage (rus. Optina Pustin) is an Orthodox monastery for men. The exact date of its foundation is not clear, it is believed to be approximately 15th century. In the center of the square-form convent stands the main cathedral - Vvedenskiy Cathedral. Additionally, there are also the Church of Mary Egyptian, Kazan Church, and Vladimir Church. Many old constructions remained, including houses where famous Russian writers Gogol and Dostoevskiy stayed. Russian writers perpetuated Optina Monastery in their works : Lev Tolstoy described it in his book "Father Sergius", Dostoevskiy took the old monk Amvrosiy as a prototype for his character of an old man Zosima in "The Brothers Karamazov ".

 Nilov Monastery

This active men monastery was founded in the 16th century. The main cathedral of the monastery is Bogoyavlenskiy Cathedral, built in 1821-1825. Here is also placed the most ancient construction of Nilov Monastery - Church of All Saints with hospital chambers (1699). Peter and Paul Churches are made in Barocco style. As the monastery is situated on the lakeside, you will see Arkhiereiskaya pier. What is more, Nilov Monastery is famed for its healing radon sources that help to cure many skin and joint diseases.

Valaam Monastery

Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy Cathedral on Valaam island is the ancient monastery of Old Russia and one of the most honoured ones in the country. It is not clear when the monastery was founded. As the cloister is not mentioned in documents before the 16th century, different dates - from 10th to 15th centuries - have been suggested. The Church relates its date to the 10th century. 

Solovetsky Monastery

Solovetsky Monastery was the stronghold of Russian christianity before the Soviet times, when it was turned into prison and labor camp. It was founded in 1429 by the monks Gherman and Savvatiy from Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. The monks with the help of the architects raised Assumption of Mother God Cathedral with two chambers (1552-1557). Later the main cathedral of the cloister was founded - Spaso-preobrazhenskiy Cathedral. In 1992 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

sources:

wikipedia.org

www.blagoveshenie.ru

Alexandra Dibizheva


Tags: Russian churches Russian sacred places Russian monastery Russian religion  

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