New Jerusalem Monastery or Voskresensky Monastery

New Jerusalem Monastery

  Location: 60 km (38 mi) West of Moscow  Map

Established: 1656 by Patriarch Nikon

Open: 10am- 5pm Tue- Sun

Admission: free



Description of New Jerusalem Monastery

New Jerusalem Monastery or Voskresensky Monastery (Resurrection Monastery) is located 60 km (38 mi) West of Moscow in Russia. New Jerusalem Monastery was established in 1656 by Patriarch Nikon on the outskirts of Istria. While Christianity has a concept of a New Jerusalem as a heavenly paradise reserved for the righteous, Nikon has more practical use of its name. New Jerusalem Monastery was designed to mimic the greatest Christian shrine, Church of Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, Israel. Furthermore surrounding hills and rivers were given Jewish names to further support similarities between the sites. Local springs is said to have miraculous healing abilities. Traveling was hard and dangerous at these turbulent times. So this monastery was a second best option to visit actual Jerusalem and its surroundings. Many of the features in the New Jerusalem Monastery indicate that at least some similarity was achieved in the appearance and a layout of the buildings as they are constructed in Jerusalem.


New Jerusalem Monastery Interior  New Jerusalem Monastery Interior 


New Jerusalem Monastery is dominated by a Cathedral Complex. It included a Resurrection Cathedral with underground church of Constantine and Helen. Late Roman Empress Helen and her son Emperor Constantine became famous as the first open Christian rulers of the Roman Empire. Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity by the Edict of Milan in 313 AD and Helen, his mother, became famous for first archeological digs all around Jerusalem. It was her expedition to the Holy Land that helped established the true location of Golgotha, tomb of Jesus Christ and other sacred Christian locations.


New Jerusalem Monastery has a shape of an irregular hexagon with a perimeter of more than a kilometer (2/3 mile). It has eight towers that are named after the gates of Jerusalem: Damascus, Gethsemane and Zion. Each tower was separated into several levels. Lower levels were used for household needs, while upper levels were used as monks' cells. Religious processions were held on the upper galleries on twelfth major religious holidays (Easter, Christmas, Annunciation and others).



Cathedral Complex of New Jerusalem Monastery was completed in 1685, but just thirty years later the central dome collapsed and until 1761 the construction of the new ceiling was undertaken. Architects that overlooked its construction involved several architects including Rastrelli and K.I. Blank. New dome of the main cathedral of New Jerusalem Monastery acquired features of the Western European Baroque architecture instead of original medieval Russian design.
Stone walls along with the Gate Church of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem were constructed in 1690's under supervision and design of architect Jacob Bukhvostov. They were built in a Moscow Baroque architecture. The construction works lasted until 1697. In 1686-1692 the monastery refectory along with the Church of the Nativity were built using the funds donated by a Princess Tatiana Mikhailovna. In 1698 a hospital wards were added along with a small church of the Three Hierarchs. Later a royal palace was added on top of the refectory to house the royal imperial family who came to New Jerusalem Monastery for a pilgrimage.
Monastery refectory and hospital wards stand next to much older building that dates back to the 1650s. In different periods of New Jerusalem Monastery history it was used as stone storage, orphanage and a warehouse. In the late 17th century it was transformed into abbot's living quarters. Around the same time personal palace of princess Tatyana were erected near by. It is a modest single storey brick building created in Moscow Baroque style. Since New Jerusalem was a common destination for pilgrimages by a royal family it was usually reserved for the high guests.
Not far from the walls of the New Jerusalem Monastery a Garden of Gethsemane was reserved as a protected nature park. Here in 1658 Patriarch Nikon established his "skit" or a hermitage, a small hut for personal prayer and solitude away from pilgrims and brothers of the abbey. In 1661 his small house was rebuild turning it into a three storey house with a house church at the third floor. It is crowned by an octagonal dome light drum. The hermitage was decorated with polychrome tiles, some of which were lost, looted or destroyed.
A small architectural and ethnographic museum stands at the walls of the New Jerusalem monastery. It holds a collection of wooden buildings gathered from the surrounding villages including a small chapel, peasant houses and a mill.
New Jerusalem Monastery was one of the first religious complexes to be closed by the newly established Soviet rule in 1919. Since it was a site of pilgrimage of the Royal Family the abbey held large amount of funds. The monks used it for construction of new buildings as well as distributed it as a charity for local homeless, orphanages and widows. Obviously it couldn't compete with a new government and new philosophy. Furthermore parts of the New Jerusalem Monastery was destroyed in 1941 by German SS Reich division engineers.
Today New Jerusalem Monastery is undergoing reconstruction that are intended for completion in 2016. Most of destroyed buildings were rebuilt in its original appearance and bells were returned.


List of abbots of New Jerusalem Monastery

Archimandrite Stefan (1656-1658)
Archimandrite Gerasim (1658-1665)
Archimandrite Akakios (1665-1669)
Archimandrite Isaiah (1669-1671)
Archimandrite Feodosiy (1671-1673)
Archimandrite Tikhon (XVII century.)
Archimandrite Filofey (1673-1680)
Archimandrite Varsonofiy (1680)
Archimandrite German I (1681-1682)
Archimandrite Nikifor (1683-1685)
Archimandrite Nikanor (1686-1698)
Archimandrite German II (1698-1699)
Archimandrite Arseny I (1699-1703)
Archimandrite Ignatius (1703-1709 or 1710)
Archimandrite Anthony I (Bautin) (1709 or 1710-1722)
Archimandrite Lawrence (Gorka) (1722-1723)
Archimandrite Cyprian (Skripitsыn) (1723-1727)
Archimandrite Melchizedek I (Borschiv) (1727-1736)
Archimandrite Carrion (Golubovskiy) (1737-1742)
Archbishop Peter (Smelich) (1742-1744)
Archimandrite Hilarion (Grigorovich) (1744-1748)
Archimandrite Ambrose (Zertis-Kamenskikh) (1748-1765)
Archimandrite Nikon (Zertis-Kamenskikh) (1765-1771)
Bishop Silyvestr (Stragorodskiy) (1771-1785)
Archimandrite Paul (Ponomarёv) (1785-1786)
Archimandrite Apollos I (Baybakov) (1786-1788)
Archimandrite Plato (Lyubarskiy) (1788-1792)
Archimandrite Nektarios (Chernyavskiy) (1792)
Archimandrite Barlaam (Golovin) (1792-1799)
Archimandrite Gideon (Ilyin-Zamatskiy) (1802-1805)
Archimandrite Melchizedek II (Minervino) (1805-1813)
Archimandrite Jonah (Pavinskiy) (1813-1817)
Archimandrite Filaret (Amfiteatrov) (1817-1819)
Archimandrite Afanasy (Telyatev) (1819-1821)
Archimandrite Apollos (Alekseevskiy) (1821-1837)
Archimandrite Arseny (Nagibin) (1837-1843)
Bishop Agapito (Voznesenskij) (1843-1851)
Archimandrite Melchizedek III (Sokolynikov) (1851-1853)
Archimandrite Clement (Mazharov) (1853-1856)
Archimandrite Amfilohije (Kazanskiy-Sergievskiy) (1856-1860)
Archimandrite Dionysios (1860-1862)
Bishop Anthony (Radonezhskiy) (1862-1866)
Bishop Peter (Ekaterinovskiy) (1867-1869)
Archimandrite Leonid (Kavelin) (1869-1877)
Archimandrite Benjamin (Pozdnyakov) (1877-1890)
Bishop Christopher (Smirnov) (1890-1892)
Archimandrite Andrei (Sadovskiy) (1893-1898)
Archimandrite Vladimir (Filantropov) (1898-1903)
Archimandrite Seraphim (Chichagov) (1904-1905)
Archbishop Justin (Ohotin) (1905-1907)
Bishop Tikhon (Nikanorov) (1907-1911)
Archimandrite Jonah (Lazarev) (1911-1912)
Bishop Alexander (Golovin) (1912-1916)
Bishop Trifon (Turkestanov) (1916-1918)
Archbishop Joachim (Levitsky) (1918-1919)
Bishop Palladiy (Dobronravov) (June - November 1919)
Archimandrite Nikita (Latushko) (18 July 1994-23 June 2008)
Archimandrite Feofilakt (Bezukladnikov) (23 June 2008)