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Monastery of Saint Boris and Gleb (Борисоглебский монастырь) (Rostov)

 Monastery of Saint Boris and Gleb (Борисоглебский монастырь) (Rostov)

Monastery of Saint Boris and Gleb was found in the late 14th century. It started when hermit monk Feodor or Fyodor moved to live in isolated wooden area and spend his time in fast and prayer. Three years later he was joined by his brother Paul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Description of Monastery of Saint Boris and Gleb

In 1363 Rostov was visited by a famous Russian saint and a monk Sergius of Radonezh (founder of Sergiev Posad). He was invited to Rostov to participate in reconciliation of princes. Brothers came to see him and asked for a permission to find a monastery. Sergius of Radonezh asked Rostov Prince Constantine to help hermit monks.

 

Shortly thereafter the main church of the convent, monks' cells and defensive walls were erected. Boris and Gleb Covent needed military fortifications due to its vulnerable location on the North- Eastern outskirts of Moscow Principality. It was one of the first obstacles on the way of Tatar hordes and later Polish- Lithuanian army.

 

Boris and Gleb Monastery quickly gained fame in Rostov and other Russian lands. It was visited by Saint Sergius of Radonezh. Also local legends claim that Peresvet became a monk here. Unlike Catholic Church, Russian Orthodox Church never viewed wars as accepted evil and never had any military monastic orders similar to the Western Europe, however Peresvet is a rare exception to this rule Sergius of Radonezh allowed him to join the ranks of the Russian army as it marched to Kulikovo Pole where it defeated Tatar army in 1380. Peresvet was killed in the battle, but became famous for his bravery on a battle field.

 

Basil Dark ("dark" after he was blinded by his enemies) hid in Boris and Gleb Convent from Yuri of Zvenigorod. Ivan the Terrible also frequented in the monastery praying for the people he killed. In the Time of Troubles in the early 17th century Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky stopped in the monastery and got help in foot soldiers as well as treasures from the monastery. Russian volunteer army of Minin and Pozharsky later re- captured Moscow from Polish occupation and freed Russia from intervention.

 

The first stone Cathedral of Boris and Gleb was built in 1522- 24 on resources provided by Russian Prince Vasily III and under supervision of the master Grigory Borisov. Original wooden church was torn down in the process. Over course of subsequent centuries the church was reconstructed and its appearance have changed several times. Original church had five domes and layout of secondary rooms have changed. However the tombs of monastery founders Fyodor and Paul remained in the North part of the church.

 

Defensive walls of Boris and Gleb Monastery were erected in the late 16th century by orders of Ivan the Terrible. In the early 17th century during Time of Trouble Polish- Lithuanian forces attacked the convent and laid a siege to its walls, however it is unclear whether they were successful in taking of this Rostov monastery.

 

In the end of the 17th century Empress Catherine the Great seized most of treasures from a monastery and presented them to Count Orlov for his help. Dark times for the monastery came in 1924 shortly after Russian Revolution of 1917. Atheist Bolshevik government closed Boris and Gleb Monastery along with other religious buildings in Rostov. Most of items were either sold, taken to a museum or simply destroyed. Several buildings of the convent were used for various purposes. Only in 1961 monastery was turned into a Historic Museum. Later buildings and additions were demolished and Boris and Gleb got its original pre- Revolutionary medieval appearance. In 1994 parts of the Rostov monasteries including Boris and Gleb Monastery is divided between Russian Orthodox Church and Historical Museum.

 

 


 

Transportation

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

Interesting information and useful tips