Pechersky Ascension Monastery is a seat of Bishop of Nizhny Novgorod and
Arzamas. It was constructed in 1328- 1330 by Saint
Dionysius and two fellow monks who came here from Kiev Pechersk Lavra.
They named their new monastery after home abbey. Initially Pechersky Ascension Monastery was
nothing more than a cave dug in the side of the hill, overtime they
become famous and people started to come here. With the help of
volunteers they constructed a cathedral of Lord Ascension. However it
was destroyed in 1597 after a land slide that undermined its base.
Fortunately no one was killed since it happened at night, but it became
clear this unstable ground will not support growing number of people.
New monastery was established higher on the hill. Most of the churches
and walls were constructed in the middle of the 17th century.
Pechersky Ascension Monastery Archimandrite Feodosius became famous for
his role in convincing Count Pozharsky to lead army gathered by
Minin against Polish armies that were in Moscow at the time.
Monks of the monastery later helped Peter the Great in his
struggle against the Swedish Empire. They melted monastery bells
and turned them into cannons that were so necessary for the
modernized Russian Army.
The monastery was an important center for humanitarian cause. It
contained hospital, hospice and many living quarters intended
for life of elderly and sick. The trouble for the monks came
when Russian Revolution of 1917 overthrew monarchy in the
country. The monastery influence and positive image became too
much of the threat for the newly established Bolshevik
government. Pechersky Monastery was closed in 1924 by NKVD
(secret police) and its possessions were stolen by the
government. It was reopened in 1994 and returned to the Russian