Ferapontov Monastery (in Cyrillic Russian: Ферапонтов
монастырь), in the Óblast (region) of Vologda, is considered as one
of the most beautiful examples of Russian medieval art and
architecture, which is why it is on the Heritage list of Humanity of
Ferapontov Monastery founded in 1398 east of
Monastery, named after St. Cyril of Belozero.
The monastery began to be known under the disciple of Cyril, St.
Marciniano, who will become abbot of the monastery of the Trinity
and of Saint Sergey in 1447.
This Orthodox monastery was protected and favored by the members
of the family of Ivan III. The oldest building, the Cathedral of the
Nativity of the Virgin (1490) was built by the masters of Rostov.
This is the best preserved building of the three cathedrals built in
the 1490s in northern Russia. All the interior walls are covered
with frescoes painted by Dionisios.
In the 1530s a treasury,
a refectory, and the church of the Annunciation were added, topped
by a bell tower. At that time the monastery enjoyed the special
attention of Iván IV the Terrible, including also 60 towns of the
environs. The Tsar himself often visited the monastery as a simple
During the Tumultuous Period or Times of Trouble,
the Poles sacked the monastery in 1614. During its reconstruction
the churches of San Marcinian (1641), a barbican church in (1650)
and a bell tower in (1680) were also built. The bells of the bell
tower of the church, dating from 1638, are said to be the oldest in
Ferapontov monastery lost its religious importance
little by little, and became a place of retreat or, as in the case
of Patriarch Nikon, exile for the distinguished clergy. It was
closed by the Emperor Paul I of Russia in 1798, restored as a
convent in 1904. It was again closed by the Bolsheviks twenty years
later, and transformed into a museum in 1975 .
The museum is
part of the national park of northern Russia since 1991 .
1. Church of Birth of
Mother of God (1490)
2. Church of
Annunciation (1534) and Dining Hall
Treasury (17th century)
4. Bell Tower
5. Church of Saint Martinian (1640)
Holy Gate with Church of Epiphany and Saint Ferapon
Get in Ferapontovo is situated on R-5 highway about 115km to
north-west from Vologda - it's the easiest way to get there by car
or by hitchhike. You can also go there from Cherepovets via
Kirillov. Note, that buses from Vologda to Kirillov (several a day)
turn from R-5 to Kirillov about 4km before Ferapontovo, so you'll
need to not miss the turn (better ask driver beforehand), and then
either hitchhike or walk, as buses further are very seldom. There's
nothing at the turn to Kirillov except forest and a bus stop
(possibly not even mobile carrier), nearest shops and other
facilities are in Ferapontovo.
To reach Ferapontovo directly
you'll need buses, going to Lipin Bor and further - to Vytegra and
even further to Petrozavodsk from Vologda or Cherepovets (buses from
Cherepovets can be catched on in Kirillov or aforementioned turn).
The only daily buses of those are Vologda-Vytegra in the morning and
Cherepovets-Lipin Bor in the evening, also there's evening bus
Vologda-Lipin Bor with different schedule on Sunday, others are
going only on selected days of week (including 2 buses
Kirillov-Ferapontovo only on Tuesdays and Thursdays). Better check
timetable beforehand and note that further from their starting point
buses can be not only late, but ahead of schedule as well, as well
as get canceled, so it's better to check that the bus is on via a
call to departing bus station.
For hitchhiking from Vologda
you may want to reach first Molochnoe via a suburb bus (goes rather
often from central postoffice).