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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.
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Debra Martin Debra Martin
From: USA
Date: 2013-04-19 16:15:02

This was my second time using Arthur's services - this time with a group of 7 people, and I found him every bit as impressive the second time around. He is one of those people that was simply born to do this job, and has all the necessary skills. He's thoughtful and accommodating, very knowledgeable, passionate about his city, and just great fun to be around. A great bonus is his photography skills and the fact that he willingly shares all his photos of your trip with you at no extra charge. You can easily hire many guides that would be adequate, but if you want something extra-special for your trip, then Arthur is your guy!