5 VYSOKOPETROVSKY MONASTERY
There is certainly no shortage of exquisite churches, monasteries, convents, or cathedrals in Moscow. As the ‘Third Rome’ and the centre of the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow boasts over 600 active churches with 200 more under construction. One of the more beautiful, centrally-located religious complexes in Moscow is the Vysokopetrovsky Monastery, which lies in the Bely Gorod District.
Russian historians believe that Moscow’s first Metropolitan, St. Peter of Moscow
(d. 1326), founded a monastery here in the 1320s, just as the city began to grow in wealth and importance. Boyars from the Naryshkin family — maternal relatives of Peter the Great (r. 1682-1725) — oversaw the reconstruction of the monastery and its seven churches in a mélange of Baroque and traditional Russian styles in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Although Soviet authorities closed the monastery in 1926, the Vysokopetrovsky Monastery reopened in 1992, much to the delight of Moscovites. Today, the Vysokopetrovsky Monastery is once more a place of contemplation, beauty, and respite, making it a favourite among Moscovites and visitors alike. The oldest church within the monastery that has survived to the present is the Cathedral of St Peter, which dates from 1517. Its grand, but gilded interiors evoke the power and glory of medieval Russia.