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Novospassky Monastery facts for kids

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Новоспасский монастырь и церковь Сорока мучеников Севастийских
The New Monastery of the Saviour in 2012
Novospassky Monastery
The New Monastery of the Saviour in 1910

Novospassky Monastery (New monastery of the Saviour), is one of the oldest monasteries in Moscow. The first monastery was built in the 14th century. At that time it was inside the walls of the Kremlin. In 1491 the monastery was moved to new buildings on the banks of the Moskva River. It was called the "new monastery".

In 1571 and 1591, the wooden buildings were attacked by the Crimean Tatars. In 1612, the Tsar, Michael of Russia, had the monastery completely rebuilt. This included the thick stone walls which made it one of the fortified monasteries on the edge of Moscow. These new stone walls were 7.5 meters high and 2 meters thick. They were 782 meters in length, and included six towers. These are the buildings which are still standing. The bell-tower, one of the tallest in Moscow, and the Sheremetev sepulchre in the church of the Sign, were added in the 18th century,

The monastery was supported by Andrei Kobyla's descendants, including the Sheremetyev and Romanov boyars. They used it as their burial vault. Among the last Romanovs buried in the monastery were Xenia Shestova (the mother of the first Romanov Tsar), Princess Tarakanova (a pretender who claimed to have been the only daughter of Empress Elisabeth) and Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia.

Monastery buildings

  • The Cathedral of the Transfiguration, (1645-49), a large five-domed katholikon with frescoes by the finest Muscovite painters of the 17th century
  • The Intercession Church, or Church of the Veil of the Virgin (1673-1675) with a refectory
  • The Church of the Sign or Church of the Znamenie Icon of the Virgin (1791-1795)
  • The bell tower (1759-1785)
  • The infirmary Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker and monks' living quarters
  • The house of Patriarch Filaret
  • The House of Loaf-Giving.

The monastery was closed in 1918 and used as a prison. The cemetery was removed between 1927 and 1930. For a time it was used as a hospital for alcoholics. In 1968 it became a museum of history and an art restoration institute. In 1991 it was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church.

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