Monastery was founded in 1487 by a monk named Alexander Svirsky who came
here from Valaam Monastery.
He chose this site as a missionary outpost as it was inhabited by pagan
tribes like karels, veps, tschudi and many others. Legend claims that
here he had a vision of Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) who
ordered him to construct two chapels. One was dedicated to the Holy
Trinity and other one was dedicated to the Savior's Transfiguration. It
is considered to be the beginning of Alexander-Svirsky Monastery named
after his founder. Two cloisters began to grow as new monks began to
flock to the area to join holy father in his prayers. These were two
separate formations that were united by a road along the monastery lake.
Alexander Svirsky died on August 1533 and was buried by his disciples in
the cloister of Transfiguration where generations of subsequent brethren
were laid to rest.
Monastery reached its heyday in the 17th century due to rich donations
from the royals, nobility and other rich people. During reign of
Catherine the Great Alexander-Svirsky Monastery was secularized in 1764.
Most of lands and serfs were taken away by the government. The
Transfiguration cloister was turned into a residence of the Olonets
archbishops as well as a local seminary.
In the autumn 1918
Monastery was captured and sacked by the Soviet troops. Its rector
Archimandrite Eugene (Trofimov) was arrested and later executed in
Olonets. It was converted to a concentration camp (Svirlag or Svirsky
Camp), disability home and also psychiatric hospital. Alexander-Svirsky
Monastery was restored in 1997 after it was returned to the Russian