Novospassky Monastery in Moscow

The Novospassky Monastery is a historically stavropegic male monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church, located in Moscow behind the Taganka, on Krutitsky Hill, near the banks of the Moscow River. Known for his close relationship with the Romanov family. The architectural ensemble was formed in the XVII-XVIII centuries.

It was founded in 1490 with the name of the New Savior by Grand Duke Ivan III, who transferred the brethren of the Kremlin monastery of the Savior on Bor to the outside of the city. The latter arose around 1330 under the Grand Duke Ivan Kalita.

The first stone Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Savior was built in 1494.

At the beginning of the 17th century, the monastery withstood the siege of the Polish troops, near its walls the Russian militia in 1612 was preparing for the final liberation of Moscow from the Polish-Lithuanian invaders.

The monastery began to enjoy royal favor and began to acquire a modern look after the Romanovs came to power in 1613, since their family tomb had long been located in it. In the 1620s, Patriarch Filaret built a stone bell tower with a temple in the name of St. Savva the Sanctified.

In 1640, by decree of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich, the wooden fortress wall began to be replaced with a stone one. The length of the new stone wall was about 650 m, and the height reached 7.5 m with a thickness of up to 2 m. The monastery had three gates and 5 towers in the corners. Instead of the old cathedral in 1645, the current cathedral was founded. It was completed already under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich and consecrated by Patriarch Joasaph in the presence of the Tsar in September 1647.

The main buildings and structures of the Novospassky Monastery:

  • Enormous for its time, the six-pillar Transfiguration Cathedral, was built in 1645-1649; Guriy Nikitin was invited for painting from Kostroma.
  • Church of the Intercession with a refectory (1670s)
  • Walls and towers of the monastery 1640-1642 buildings
  • Fraternal cells with St. Nicholas Church
  • Rector’s chambers from the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries
  • The 78-meter-high bell tower, one of the tallest in pre-revolutionary Moscow, was built in 1759-1785 on the site of an ancient belfry designed in 1622 by Patriarch Filaret.
  • Church of the Sign (1791-1795, architect E. Nazarov).

The Znamenskaya Church standing nearby is the family burial vault of the Sheremetevs, the Kurakins and the Lobanov-Rostovskys. In 1742, State Chancellor A.M. Cherkassky was buried in the basement of the church that previously stood on this site in the presence of Empress Elizabeth.

A necropolis with a large number of aristocratic graves was formed within the monastery walls in the 18th-19th centuries. Here were buried the artist F. A. Rokotov, the mayor N. A. Alekseev, the historian P. P. Beketov, the Decembrist P. P. Titov.

Tomb of the Romanovs

In the basement of the Transfiguration Cathedral there are a number of graves, among which are the burials of the boyars Zakharyins-Romanovs.

In 1497 or 1498, Vasily Yuryevich Zakharyin (son of the boyar Yury Zakharyevich) was buried here, and then his brother Roman Yuryevich Zakharyin (died in 1543), from whose name the Romanov surname originated. At the end of the 16th century, Vasily Yuryevich Zakharyin (cousin of Anastasia Romanova) and Nikita Romanovich Yuryev-Zakharyin (Nifont, father of Patriarch Filaret) were buried here. In 1607, the remains of the brothers of Patriarch Filaret were transferred here, three of whom had died earlier in exile, having suffered during the time of Boris Godunov. The mother of the first king of this family, nun Martha (deid in 1631), is also buried here.

In 1902, the tomb of the Romanovs with the church of St. Roman the Melodist was rebuilt by the architect S. U. Solovyov.

After the monastery was closed in 1918, the main tomb was destroyed, and some of the tombs were lost. Only some of the remains were transferred to the underground chamber of the southern annex of the Archangel Cathedral. The tomb was restored in the late 1990s; it recreated the temple in honor of St. Roman the Melodist, consecrated on March 10, 2002.

Opened for public.

Current address: Krestyanskaya (Peasant) Square, 10. Nearest metro: Proletarskaya, Taganskaya, Krestyanskaya zastava.

Attractions nearby: Novospassky bridge, Bolshoy Krasnokholmsky Bridge, Krasnokholmskaya Embankment, Shlyuzovoy Bridge, Kosmodamianskaya embankment.

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