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Novodevichi plan

Novodevichi Convent

The convent was founded in 1524 by Vasilii III to commemorate the reannexation of Smolensk from the Lithuanians. This was an important step in Muscovy's effort to regain the territories of Kievan Rus. The Cathedral of the Virgin of Smolensk dates from that year. It is assumed that the architect was Alevis' Novi, who had already built the cathedral of the Archangel Michael in the Kremlin. The Virgin of Smolensk cathedral has the main features of the Assumption cathedral in the Kremlin, but it is raised on a basement and the cupolas are closer together. The frescos inside are among the best examples of Muscovite iconography. Boris Gudunov restored the cathedral in 1598 and ordered new icons for its iconostasis. He had lived in the monastery and was here when asked to become tsar. His sister, Irina, also lived here as did many women of the nobility. The brick walls were reconstructed at the end of the 17th century, when the convent was refurbished by the regent, Sophia. She also donated the elaborate iconostasis. She was later imprisoned in the convent by Peter I, after the unsuccessful streltsi rebellion. He also made his first wife, Yevdokia Lopukhina, live here. There were seven churches inside the walls. The Preobrazhenskaya (Transfiguration) nadvratnaya Church (1687-89) is over the main gate. The Uspenskaya (Assumption) church was built in 1685-87). The bell tower was completed in 1690. Most of the rest of the buildings date from this period. The cemetary contains the remains of many famous Russian personalities.
This page has a catalog of the photography of the Novodevichi Convent in Moscow taken during visits from 1991 to 1998. For further information please write to Xenophon Group For a lengthy text on the history of Moscow and nearby cities please go to Moscow.

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Diagram of the convent, shown above.

 

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Diagram of the convent - poor photo but it shows the layout well.

 

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The main entrance gate. under (Preobrazhenski) Transfiguration church.

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Uspenski Church on top, refectory beside, rear gate in trees.

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Uspenski (Assumption) Church and refectory (1685-87), other side

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Diorama of convent, under plexiglass.

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Corner of refectory.

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Smolensk Cathedral (1524-25), bell tower (1690).

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Nikol'skaya tower

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Transfiguration Church over main gate (1687-89) (right) wall and Lopukhinskaya tower, Lopukhin building in front.

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Tsaritsinskaya tower (square, left) and Nikol'skaya tower (round, corner, right).

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Front corner Naprudnaya (Pond) tower (left) Lopukhinskaya tower (right) Guard house left, Lopukhin building right.

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Uspenski (Assumption) Church (1685-87).

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Naipudnaya (pond) corner tower, guard house in front.

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Transfiguration Church over main gate.

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Pokhorov chapel (1911).

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Bell tower (1690), Shkval'naya tower (low) behind, corner of cathedral in front .

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Smolensk Cathedral (1524-25), bell tower, behind.

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Cathedral, Pokhrov chapel in front.

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Cathedral, bell tower behind.

 

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View over the wall from outside.

 

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Nadvratnaya Pokrovskaya (Intercession) Church (1683-88) over rear gate.

 

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Convent from across the Moscow river.

 
 

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Interior of Smolensk cathedral - icon.

 
 

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Interior of Smolensk cathedral - icon

 
 

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Interior of Smolensk cathedral - icon

 
 

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Convent in winter, view from outside over corner tower to Smolensk cathedral

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Corner of Novodevichi convent in winter.

 
 

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Smolensk cathedral in convent in winter.

 

For information on other Russian cities please go to Ruscity. For further information about our tours focused on Russian history please write to Xenophon. or visit the main page.

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