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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.
Jan & David Chapman Jan & David Chapman
From: USA
Date: 2013-04-22 08:59:23

Arthur did a fantastic job for us. We had 12 hours in Moscow, six of which were committed to seeing our son's concert...so Arthur had less than six hours to show us Moscow. And he did a fine job of it. We had some wild drivers in Russia. Arthur was not one of them. He was safe and sane on the road. Arthur went the extra mile at each opportunity, from picking us up on the platform when we arrived at the train station, to escorting us to our cabin and making sure the steward had our dinner order on our departing train. Great service, good humor, a torrent of facts and figures about everything we saw, there is no way we could have gotten more out of our time in Moscow. Highly recommended!
- David Chapman