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Bogolyubovo Monastery (Боголюбский монастырь) (Bogolyubovo)

 Bogolyubovo Monastery (Боголюбский монастырь) (Bogolyubovo)

 

 

 

Established in 1155

 

 

 

 

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Description of Bogolyubovo Monastery

Vladimir Mother of God or Theotokos of Vladimir or Our Lady of VladimirBogolyubovo Monastery is one of the oldest medieval Russian Eastern Orthodox monasteries that survived to our modern times. Bogolyubovo Monastery was erected by the orders of Prince Andrew Bogolyubskii (literally God loving), son of Yuri Dolgoruky (literally Long- handed) founder of the Russian capital Moscow. According to a legend this Russian medieval ruler travelled from medieval Russian capital of Kiev (now capital of independent Ukraine) to Vladimir. The horses that carried an icon of Holy Mother of God stopped at a steep bank overlooking Klyazma river just 10 km (6 mi) Northeast of Vladimir. Despite all attempts the horses couldn't move so a prince took it as an omen, a sign of God.

 

Construction of Bogolyubovo Monastery have started in 1157. The icon that prince carried became known as Vladimir Mother of God or Theotokos of Vladimir or Our Lady of Vladimir. This important relic became one of the most significant symbols of Russian. Its significance is also important due to a fact that it was one of the first icons written (not drawn) in Russia. Most of icons until then were made in the Byzantine Empire and delivered to Russia by ships. Today one of its copies is located in a small church next to Tretyakov gallery in Moscow. It is probably the most beautiful Russian Orthodox icon.

 

Prince Andrew himself became famous for his pious and very religious life style. In fact he recieved nickname of Bogolyubovo or God- loving. He ordered construction of more than 30 monasteries and churches. However he was also famous for his attempts to unify Russian kingdoms into a single state. This admission became the reason why in the summer of 1174 he was killed by a group of conspirators.

 

 

After the death of Prince Andrew, Bogolyubovo monastery was looted several times, but continued to exist. Many Russian princes, czar, emperors and other eminent persons came here as part of their pilgrimage. It was visited by the Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky, and in 1263, after his sudden death, his body was brought here. Metropolitan Peter, the saint of Moscow, served Orthodox Mass here. From 1364 on 1373 years Suzdal Bishop John called Bogolyubovo Monastery home. He was later canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church. Ivan the Terrible came here in 1552 during his Kazan campaign before capturing it. Other notable visitors included Dmitry Pozharsky during his campaigns against the Poles in the early 17th century, Alexander Suvorov, Andrei Rublev, Tsar sPeter I, Paul I, Alexander I, Alexander II, and many other emperors, tsars and great princes. On May 13, 1913 Bogolyubovo monastery was visited by a family of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II. Interestingly enough just few years later on July 17, 1918 on the feast day of Prince Andrew Bogolyubsky, family of Nicholas II was brutally murdered, just like their predecessor Prince Andrew.

The 19th century was the heyday of Bogolyubovo Monastery. Swelling number of monks forced the abbot of the abbey to order construction of new housing in 1842 followed by a bell tower and in the period from 1855 to 1866. Additionally a new five-domed cathedral church was built in honor of the icon Virgin of Vladimir. This church is one of the largest in Central Russia. It can accommodat about 5 thousand worshippers. Money for its contraction were donated by a local merchant A. G. Alexeyeva following a design of an architect Y. M. Nikiforov. The church was consecrated in 1866.

Like many other monasteries in Russia Bogolyubovo Monastery was closed in 1923. Its last abbot Athanasius Sakharov was later canonized. After the Revolution of 1917 Bogolyubovo Monastery was abandoned and fell in desolation. Its churches were destroyed, bells taken away and later smelted, shrines desecrated. The monks were dispersed, many were martyred in Soviet Gulags. The buildings of the monastery served as a hospital, school, post office, police, cannery, while the churches were built warehouses and storage. Restoration of the shrine began in 1994, when the monastery was transferred back to renewed Bogolyubovo Monastery that originally consisted of 60 sisters. Today Bogolyubovo Monastery numbers more than 170 nuns

Bogolyubovo Monastery is currently involved in a project reconstructing church of Transfiguration not far from the abbey. It was constructed in the 16th century by the orders of tsar Ivan the Terrible. According to legend Ivan went to a swim at the confluence of Klyazma and Sudogda rivers. He almost drowned, but was saved by his servants. To honor God and thank his providence he ordered construction of the church.

 

Today Bogolyubovo Monastery is open to the public. It again risen from the ashes and the spiritual center of Russia. It was designated as part of the Golden Ring of Russia. Bogolyubovo Monastery is visited daily by large groups of tourists as well as thousands of pilgrims come here to worship the ancient shrines.

 

 


 

Transportation

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

Interesting information and useful tips

 

 

 

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