Novodevichy Convent – Moscow, Novodevichy Pass, 1
The Novodevichy Convent is located almost in the center of Moscow, in a historical place called the Field of the Maiden centuries ago.
The monastery cannot be perceived separately from the surrounding park and cemetery, so we will talk about one, and about the other and the third. The whole Novodevichy Convent is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The history of Novodevichy Convent began with the fact that the Grand Duke of Moscow Vasily III made a promise that he would build a monastery in honor of the icon of Our Lady of Smolensk if he won the Smolensk lands of the Lithuanians. In 1514, Smolensk became part of the Principality of Moscow, and ten years later, in 1524, by order of Vasily III, the construction of the monastery began.
The nuns of the monastery were mostly women of noble birth. Under Ivan the Terrible, many ladies of the court who had fallen out of favor were exiled to the monastery. At the end of the 16th century, Boris Godunov was elected to the kingdom in the monastery. At the same time, the monastery was completely burned by the Khan Devlet Giray of Crimea. Motivated by the idea of making an outpost from the monastery in the western accesses to Moscow, the new tsar completely renovated the monastery: he built new fortified walls with lagoons and towers. This monastery has survived to the present day.Disposition / disposition of the Novodevichy convent
The Novodevichy convent became a place of exile for some noble and royal people. Then, after Streltsy’s rebellion, Peter I imprisoned his own sister, Sophia, in the monastery. Here too Peter’s first wife – Evdokia Lopukhina lived his days. By the way, one of the modern superstitions of the monastery is related to the name of Sophia. According to this belief, if you make a wish, leaning against the tower of the embankment of the monastery or hugging it, then the wish will come true. In fact, the pilgrimage to the tower, which the people nicknamed Sofyina, became vandalism. People write directly on the wall of the tower with markers, so the tower must be whitened again every few months.
In Soviet times, the Novodevichy Convent suffered the fate of many sacred places: it was closed. For many years there was a branch of the Historical Museum. After the Great Patriotic War, a theological seminary was located here for some time, and only in 1994 the monastery became operational again. In 2010, the monastery became part of the diocese of Moscow, since the same year there is a church museum.
The oldest building in the monastery is the Smolensk Icon Cathedral of the Mother of God. Initially, it was the only stone building in the monastery. In the basement of the cathedral is the tomb, in which the sisters of Pedro I and his first wife are buried. Also in the territory of the monastery are the chambers of Irina Godunova and Evdokia Lopukhina. Basically, all the monastery buildings have been preserved since the 17th century.
The history of the Novodevichy cemetery goes back to the tombs of the monastery. Initially, newbies were buried here, even among noble and royal people. In the 19th century, the first tombs of famous people appeared, including men. Unfortunately, the Novodevichy Convent necropolis suffered serious damage in Soviet times, from the burials of 2000 there are no more than one hundred. In particular, the Volkonsky mausoleum, the tomb with the chapel of the owners of the Trekhgornaya factory, the tomb of Denis Davydov were preserved. At the beginning of the 20th century, there was no place for burial in the monastery, so it was decided to expand the territory. Then, first the old territory of the cemetery appeared, then in the 40-50s of the twentieth century, new, and in the late 70s, the newest territory.
Unlike other public burial sites, this cemetery does not sadden you. Apparently, there is so much accumulation of tombs of celebrities and adults that you prefer to feel a touch of eternity than dust and ashes. Judge for yourself: Chekhov, Gogol, Bulgakov, Mayakovsky, Chaliapin, Evstigneev, Gurchenko, Nikulin, Yeltsin: these are just some of the names of those who found an eternal refuge here. In addition to writers, poets, actors, directors, politicians, leading scholars, scientists, engineers, philosophers are buried here. And what monuments there are! Its authors, as a rule, are the most famous sculptors, for example, the author of the monument to N. Khrushchev is Ernst Unknown. Each monument has its own history, they can be perceived as independent works of art.
And finally, the park completes the complex, extending along the western wall of the monastery. The park has developed around the large and small Novodevichy ponds, which represent the old Moscow river channel. It is good here at any time of the year and very picturesque, which made this place famous among Moscow photographers. In the park is the famous sculptural composition “Duck and mommy ducklings”, a gift from Laura Bush. In summer, picnics are often held here. In addition, there are many shops: you can enjoy the view of the pond and the monastery. And most importantly, the park is always very clean.