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Moscow Arthur Lookyanov
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Glowing domes of Novodevichy

Glowing domes of Novodevichy

Novodevichy convent is one of the loveliest monasteries and major spiritual centers in Moscow from centuries back. On this picture you can see the magnificent 5-domed Smolensky Cathedral, the white church in Russian-Byzantine style with attractive big onion domes, which was erected in 1525 on the money given by Grand Duke Vasilily III (father of Ivan IV The Terrible) in honor of Muscovy's (Moscow Principality) great military and diplomatic triumph. When in 1514 the ancient city of Smolensk was reconquered by Russian forces after more than a century of Polish-Lithuanian rule, the Grand Duke has made a vow to raise a nunnery in the environs of Moscow and then he granted 3,000 rubles in silver plus several of his own villages to establish religious house and form a cornerstone of the new convent's prosperity. The image of Hodegetria, or Our Lady of Smolensk, to which the convent's cathedral was consecrated, became one of the greatest relics of Novodevichy. By the way, the convent was called "Novodevichy" probably (by one of several official versions) because of the family name of a nun, Elena Devochkina, who came from Suzdal and became the first prioress here.

The Novodevichy Convent reached the peak of prosperity in the last quarter of 17th century, during the rule of Tsarevna Sophia (1682-1689), who was step sister to Peter I The Great and governed Russia when Peter and his brother Ivan. Sophia lavished convent with donations and adorned it with new buildings in stone in "Moscow Baroque" style which was extremely popular at that time. On this picture, behind Smolensky cathedral from the left, you can see a remarkable five-storey bell-tower, 72 meters high, which was built in the last year of Tsarevna Sophia's regency to the east of the cathedral. Its two lower tiers contained chapels, the third and fifth provided space for bells. The bell-tower was the crowning triumph of the "Moscow Baroque" style at Novodevichy convent.

Photo taken on 2008-02-03 at 14:28:27

Random customer's Responses & Recommendations.
You are welcome to visit web site of Moscow Guide Arthur Lookyanov.
Jared & Evie Rein Jared & Evie Rein
From: Alameda, California, U.S.A.
Date: 2006-09-19 04:22:33

My wife and I as well as two of my friends just visited Moscow for 2 days. Arthur is truly a great guide to have on your trip to Moscow. He is a very friendly and fun guy that will have you remember your trip that much more. Arthur is also very generous and helpful, as on many occasions he got us through situations we would have no idea how to get through. He shows you his city which he is very proud of, and should be, I have been to 30 countries myself, and would easily choose Russia as the one with the most spectacular and beautiful things to see. May I recommend going along on the night tour of Moscow, it is a spectacular look at the sights under moonlight (and artificial light). Perhaps mention the route we took: St.Basil's, The Kremlin, Lenin's Tomb, night tour, Novodsky Convent during Day 2... Arthur doesn't let you feel out of place in Moscow, he truly is a friend in a far away place. He lets you go where you want to go. He is very informative, and just very fun to hang out with. I wish him only the best in his endeavors, and if I ever visit Russia again, we will definetly call our friend Arthur again!!! Thanks for everything man, we'll keep in touch ;)
-Jared & Evie