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Moscow is rather rich with monasteries as it has a history of over 850 years. Many of these fell into ruin and disrepair during the Soviet era when they taken over by the government and used for purposes including parking lots, storage areas and other things.
Today, most of the monasteries have been returned to the Orthodox Church and most now serve their original purposes. And most are open for public viewing.
Here is a list of our favorite monasteries within Moscow.
Telephone : 246-8526
Address : Luzhnetsky Proezd
Metro : Sportivnaya
Hours : grounds 8am – 8PM (daily)
Admission to grounds free
Museums 10am-5pm (closed Tuesday)
Novosdevichy is perhaps the largest and most impressive monastery close to the center.
The Novodevihcy Convent was founded in 1524 by Tsar Vasily III (1479-1533) to commemorate the capture of Smolensk from Lithuania. That it was intended to serve not only as a religious institution but also as a fortress is evident from its strategic location and strong wall with 12 battle towers. Until the 20th century, the convent marked Moscow's southern edge.
Peter the Great’s half-sister rebuilt the monastery during her rule of the 1680’s. Peter, aged 17, deposed Sofia to Novodevichy and imprisoned her for life for her part in the1698 Streltsy rebellion.
Telephone : 955-6757
Address : Danilovsky val Metro : Tulskaya
Hours : grounds 7am – 7PM (daily)
Telephone : 911-4502
Address : 10 Andronevskaya Pl.,
Metro : Ploshchad Ilyicha
Hours : grounds 11am – 6PM (closed Wed.)
Spaso-Andronikov is one of several fortress/monasteries located in the southeast of Moscow. It was founded in 1360 and named for its first abbot, Andronik. The monastery is mostly impressive from the outside but also has some sights of interest. The history of the monastery starts in the 14th century when Metropolitan Alexei found himself on stormy seas on a journey back from Constantinople. He vowed that if he survived, he would found a monastery that he would dedicate to the saint whose feast day fell on the day of his safe return. He was saved, so Alexei founded the monastery.
The monk Andronik later went on to become the first abbot and the monastery was eventually named after him.
Andrei Rublev (1360-1430), the 14th-century icon painter, was the most famous resident of the Monastery. In fact it is believed that he is buried in the monastery’s crypt.
Telephone : 676-9570
Address : Bolshie Kamenshchiki at Novospassky per
Metro : Proletarskaya
Hours : grounds 7am – 7PM
This is another fortress/monastery. Built in 1462, its history dates to the 13th century. Originally inside the Kremlin, it was moved to it’s present by Ivan III, also known as Ivan the Great, who wanted to free up space in the Kremlin for other construction. Ivan is noted that he was the first Russian leader to break Russia's allegiance to the khan of the Golden Horde. Many monasteries prospered under Ivan’s reign and this is just one of them.
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