5 VYSOKOPETR­OVSKY MONASTERY

Timeless Travels Magazine - - RUSSIA -

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.

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