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Monasteries and Convents

Moscow's rise to political prominence in medieval Russia is inextricably linked to its importance as a religious centre, and this is reflected in the large number of monasteries and convents that were established in the city from the 12th Century onwards. The constant threat of attack from Mongol Tartar forces, among others, led Moscow's early rulers to establish a chain of citadel monasteries around the old city, and these have become some of the most important centers of the Russian Orthodox Church, including the official residence of the Russian Patriarch.

Although the Bolshevik government disbanded all of Moscow's monasteries after the Revolution, and used the buildings for a variety of more or less insalubrious purposes, including a Museum of Atheism and a prison camp, some of the sites were returned to the Church after the Second World War and, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the remainder have all found their way back into Church hands. Extensive work has been going on to restore these architectural treasures to their former splendor.

Novospassky Monastery in Moscow Novospassky Monastery
The 15th Century Novospasskiy Monastery came under the patronage of the Romanov and Sheremetev families, and hence is one of the most historically interesting in the city.  ›››

Danilov Monastery in Moscow Danilov Monastery
The official residence of the Russian Patriarch, the 13th Century Danilov Monastery has a number of fascinating buildings from different ages.  ›››

Donskoy Monastery in Moscow Donskoy Monastery
This impressively fortified 16th Century monastery is undergoing extensive restoration work after decades as a Museum of Atheism.  ›››

Novodevichy Convent in Moscow Novodevichy Convent
Moscow's most famous convent boasts glorious baroque architecture and a fascinating cemetery. It is perennially popular with tourists and postcard printers, and for good reason.  ›››

Andronikov Monastery in Moscow Andronikov Monastery
The Andronikov Monastery includes among its attractions the oldest stone building in Moscow, and the Museum of Ancient Art and Culture.  ›››

Zaikonospassky Monastery in Moscow Zaikonospassky Monastery
The remains of this monastery, founded in 1600, are just a matter of minutes from Red Square, making it well worth a quick visit.  ›››

Epiphany Monastery in Moscow Epiphany Monastery
Patronized by Ivan the Terrible, this Kitai Gorod monastery became one of the most important in Moscow, and has retained two interesting cathedrals.  ›››

Krutitsy Monastery in Moscow Krutitsy Monastery
Near the Donsky and Danilov Monasteries, this less celebrated institution has long been neglected, but it is one of the most harmonious collections of Old Russian architecture in the city.  ›››

The Nikolo-Perervinsky Monastery in Moscow Nikolo-Perervinsky Monastery
Near the Donsky and Danilov Monasteries, this less celebrated institution has long been neglected, but it is one of the most harmonious collections of Old Russian architecture in the city.  ›››
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