Upper Monastery of St. Peter (Высоко- Петровский монастырь) (Moscow)

Upper Monastery of St. Peter (Moscow)



Constructed: 1377

Ulitsa Petrovka 28

Tel. (495) 923 7580

Subway: Pushkinskaya, Chehovskaya

Open: 9:30am- 6pm daily


Description of the Upper Monastery of St. Peter

Upper Monastery of Saint Peters or Vysokopetrovsky monastery is an Orthodox monastery in the White city of Moscow on a hill where Petrovka street leads to the Kremlin. The monastery is believed to have been founded in the 1320s by Saint Peter of Moscow, the first Russian Metropolitan to move to Moscow. High kopylovsky monasterical the name of the next street Petrovsky, one of the streets running from the red square.

At the end of the 17th century, the Naryshkin boyars, relatives of Peter the Great (on their mother's side), turned the monastery into their family burial ground. They renovated it in the Naryshkin Baroque style. In the middle of the 18th century, several auxiliary buildings were added, possibly designed by Dmitry Ukhtomsky or Ivan Fyodorovich Michurin.

The Catholicon, dedicated to Saint Peter, has long been considered a typical monument of the Naryshkin style and dates back to 1692. In the 1970s, detailed studies of the sources and excavations of the site showed that the Catholicon was actually built in 1514-1517 by Alois the New.

In 1926, the Vysokopetrovsky monastery was closed by the new Soviet authorities. In 1992, several buildings of the monastery were returned to the Russian Orthodox Church. Since 2005, the building of the Vysokopetrovsky monastery has been shared by the Russian Orthodox Church and the Moscow Museum of literature.


History of the Vysoko-Petrovsky monastery
The ktitors of the Vysoko-Petrovsky monastery at various times were: princes Dmitry Donskoy, Ivan Kalita, Vasily III, Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov, and Emperor Peter I.

The first mention is in the Rogozhsky chronicle of the XV century, which States that in 1379, Archimandrite John of the Vysoko-Petrovsky monastery accompanied Archimandrite mityai to Constantinople for confirmation as Metropolitan of all Russia.

There are two main versions of the monastery's Foundation.

According to the first, the monastery was founded by Metropolitan Peter of Kiev and all Russia, who built a wooden Church in the name of the apostles Peter and Paul on the high wooded Bank of the Neglinnaya river near the Kremlin. This happened either in 1315-1317, when Metropolitan Peter became close to Ivan Kalita, or in 1326, when Metropolitan Peter moved the Metropolitan see from Vladimir to Moscow. And only at the beginning of the XVI century, the Church was re-consecrated in honor of St. Peter, Metropolitan of Moscow. From the original, ancient dedication of the monastery to the Holy apostles Peter and Paul, perhaps only the name of its gate Peter and Paul Church, built in the XVIII century, remains.

Another, more well-known version says that the Petrovsky monastery was founded by Ivan Kalita, and that its first, oldest Church was consecrated in the name of the Holy apostles Peter and Paul. According to the legend set forth in the Step book, Ivan Kalita had a vision in 1326, shortly before the death of Saint Peter. Hunting near the place where the Vysoko-Petrovsky monastery is now located, the Grand Duke saw a high mountain covered with snow. Before his eyes, the snow melted, and then the mountain itself disappeared. After telling Metropolitan Peter about this, he received the following interpretation: "The high mountain is you, Prince, and the snow is me, the humble one. I must pass away from this life before you do." In memory of the miraculous vision, according to supporters of this version, Ivan Kalita built the Peter and Paul Church in its place, around which a monastery soon grew.

However, there is a third version that attributes the Foundation of the monastery to Dmitry Donskoy. According to this version, Dmitry Donskoy founded the monastery on the site of the Kalita Church or resumed the existing monastery in 1380 after his return from the battle of Kulikovo, in memory of the victory of the Russian army.

According to other sources, the wooden buildings of the monastery, destroyed by the Tatars in 1382 during the ruinous RAID of Khan Tokhtamysh, were rebuilt under the care of Prince Dmitry Donskoy. By special order of the Grand Duke, a temple was erected in the monastery in honor of the Bogolyubsky icon Of the mother of God, which was revered among the Moscow Rurikovich.

XV-XVII century
In the middle ages in the history of Moscow, there were a large number of enemy invasions and fires that devastated the wooden city. Especially strong was the fire of 1493, when half of Moscow burned down, including the wooden buildings of the monastery. About two hundred people were killed in the fire — including some residents of the Petrovsky monastery.

Rebuilt by the decree of Grand Duke Vasily III, the monastery acquired the first stone Church-in the name of St. Peter the Metropolitan, which was built by the Italian architect Aleviz Fryazin in 1514-17 and consecrated on August 23, 1517. At the same time, a wooden Church was built in honor of the Intercession of the most Holy Theotokos. It was at this time that the monastery officially became known as Vysoko-Petrovsky, although the name "Peter and Paul" was used until the XVIII century.

Once again, the High Peter monastery was devastated in 1611 by Polish-Lithuanian invaders. In 1612, after the expulsion of the poles, the monastery was restored and surrounded by a stone wall. At this time, it had the status of a stavropegic and was ruled by archimandrites.

By the middle of the XVII century, the monastery was located in the Northern part of the modern territory and owned by 1682 — 519, and in 1700 — 612 peasant households. The monastery at that time had: Archimandrite, 4 priests, 2 deacons, deacon, Sexton and 6 elders.

Peter the great (XVII—XVIII century)
In 1671, on the birth of Peter I, his grandfather, Kirill Poluektovich Naryshkin, gave his son-in-law, Alexey Mikhailovich, his estate, located side by side with the Vysoko-Petrovskaya monastery. Alexey Mikhailovich, in turn, gave the estate as a gift to the monastery, and its territory, thus, increased almost twice.

During the Streltsy riot of 1682, Ivan and Afanasy Naryshkin were killed, and the elderly Kirill Poluektovich Naryshkin was forced to take the veil as a monk and go to the Kirillo-Belozersk monastery. The bodies of his tortured sons were given to the tsarina, Natalia Kirillovna Naryshkina, only a few days later, and she buried them in the Vysoko-Petrovsky monastery. Subsequently, Kirill Poluektovich Naryshkin and his wife Anna Leontievna were buried here.


After the Streltsy revolt of 1689, when Peter I became a full-fledged sovereign, he undertook extensive construction:

in 1690, the construction of the Bogolyubsky temple, which became the Naryshkin family tomb, was completed;
In 1690-93, a refectory Church was built in the name of St. Sergei of Radonezh (in gratitude for saving the young Tsar in the Sergius monastery);
In 1690-1694, the monastery received the Holy gate with the intercession Church and a 2-tier bell tower, as well as a long fraternal building that occupied the South-Western part of the monastery courtyard.
The layout of the monastery in the 80-90 years of the XVII century included the Northern (front) courtyard and the southern (economic) courtyard. In the center of the Northern courtyard was the Cathedral of St. Peter, on the North side of it is symmetrically located Bogolyubsky temple, and on the South — St. Sergius Church.

In 1735, 71 inhabitants lived in the monastery, and the monastery was owned by about 6000 peasants. In the 90 - ies of the XVII century, the monastery was granted land by the Royal family in Moscow, Zvenigorod, Borovsky, Nizhny Novgorod, Oryol and other counties. The monastery was assigned to: Saratov monastery in honor of the Kazan icon of the mother of God, Saransk Bogoroditsky monastery, lgovskaya Pustyn, Raeva nikandrova Pustyn. At the beginning of the XVIII century, the Vysoko-Petrovsky monastery ranked fifth among Moscow monasteries in terms of the number of courtyards.

In 1743-1745, the monastery was under the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Joseph of Moscow (Volchansky), and in 1745-1764 — under the jurisdiction of the Holy Synod.

Since 1764, after the secularization of monastic lands, it has been assigned to the second class and is a stavropegic, and since 1775 it has been part of the Moscow diocese with the right to serve as an Archimandrite with tablets.

XIX century
Serious damage was caused to the Vysoko-Petrovsky monastery in 1812. After the capture of Moscow by Napoleon's troops, it housed "a thousand French cavalrymen". Everything that remained in the monastery was destroyed and destroyed (including the richly decorated tombstones of the Naryshkin boyars), and the temples were desecrated. Archimandrite Ioannikiy managed to take the sacristy and relics to Yaroslavl. In the Bogolyubskaya Church, the French hung cattle carcasses on hooks driven directly into the iconostasis. Here, Marshal Mortier handed down death sentences to Muscovites on suspicion of arson. The accused were shot on the Boulevard, near the walls of the monastery, and buried near the bell tower.

After the end of the war, the Pakhomiev and Pokrov churches were abolished.

In the following decades, the monastery was gradually restored and began to play one of the most important roles in the spiritual life of Moscow. For him, a special, enlightening obedience was strengthened. Most of Peter's abbots at this time were somehow connected with education. In 1822, a religious school was transferred from the Zaikonospassky Moscow monastery to the Vysoko-Petrovsky monastery. The monastery was the meeting place of the Moscow diocesan library, and since 1863 it has been the meeting place of the" society of lovers of spiritual enlightenment", the Foundation of which was blessed by Archbishop Filaret (Drozdov).

XX century
At the beginning of the XX century, the future Saint-Martyr Makarii (Gnevushev) managed the Vysoko-Petrovsky monastery. There were 15 permanent residents of the monastery. In 1901, on the site of two wooden almshouses received by the monastery at the end of the XVII century, a three-story apartment building was built by the architect I. I. Boni, requisitioned in 1918 and not returned later.

In 1910, the monastery received a subsidy from the Treasury of 1,249 rubles a year, and in 1916, the total capital of the monastery was 116,194 rubles.

After the 1917 revolution
After the October revolution, the monastery was formally closed in 1918. All residential buildings were requisitioned and transferred to the housing Fund. Temples continued to operate.

In the autumn of 1923, one of the largest underground monastic communities in the USSR emerged here, headed by Bishop Bartholomew (Remov), who invited some of the brethren of the Smolensk-Zosimov desert, which was closed at the beginning of the same year, to serve in monastic churches. The former monastery remained the center of the community until June 1929, when the last — Bogolyubsky — Church of the monastery was closed.

The" underground period " of the monastery is associated with the names of nine monks and parishioners of the monastery, canonized Russian saints who died as martyrs for Christ or were persecuted after the October revolution of 1917.
Hieromartyr. Makariy (Gnevushev) - executed on September 4, 1918;
prmch. Ignatius (Lebedev) - died on September 11, 1938 in prison;
prmch. Herman (Polyansky) - shot in 1937;
prmch. Fyodor (Bogoyavlensky) - died on July 19, 1943 in exile;
prmch. Varlaam (Nikolsky) - shot on November 19, 1937;
prmch. Makariy (morzhov) - shot on June 10, 1931;
prmch. Kosma (Magda) - shot in 1937;
M. Nikolai Varzhansky, organizer of the Barnabas temperance society-shot on November 19, 1918;
M. Ioann Popov, theologian, Church historian, Professor of the Moscow theological Academy — shot in 1937.

In 1929, the last active Church on the territory of the monastery was closed-in honor of the Bogolyubsky icon of the mother of God. The stone tombstones of the Naryshkin boyars were destroyed,and a factory for repairing agricultural machinery was set up in the temple. The St. Sergius Church housed a library, and then a gym. In the Church of St. Peter — foundry. The other buildings — the Tolga Church, the Church of the Kazan icon Of the mother of God, the Abbot's building, the building of fraternal cells with Naryshkin chambers, and the Naryshkin tomb — had communal apartments. A kindergarten was organized on the site of the monastery garden. Domes with crosses were cut down from the Sergiev and Bogolyubsky churches. By 1950, the ensemble of the monastery was almost completely lost.

According to some sources, Moscow's urban development plan called for the demolition of the monastery to widen the road.

In 1959, the monastery was transferred to the Ministry of culture and received the status of an architectural monument. Communal apartments and factories were evicted from the monastery. A rehearsal area was opened in St. Sergius Church, a branch of the State literary Museum was located in the fraternal building, the rest of the buildings were occupied by Rosizopropaganda, the society for the protection of monuments and theater workshops.