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Eletsky Monastery (Chernihiv)

Eletsky Monastery (Chernihiv)








Eletsky Monastery of Chernihiv is one of the oldest Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Ukraine. It was erected in the middle of the 11th century during reign of prince Svyatoslav Yaroslavich.




The Eletsky Assumption Monastery is located on the right, high bank of the Desna River, between the territory of the former Chernigov detinets and the nearby Trinity-Ilyinsky Monastery. Yelets Monastery is one of the historical and architectural sights of Chernihiv. The architectural ensemble of the monastery includes:

The Assumption Cathedral was built at the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries (the exact date is unknown) on the model of the eponymous temple of the Caves Monastery in Kiev. This is one of the first temples in Russia, during the construction of which equal-layer masonry was used. To compensate for the loss of decorative facades, the architects grouted them, followed by breaking the surface in the manner of white-stone quadras. The difference from the Kiev temple is that on three sides there were small vestibules, and in the southwestern corner a chapel with an apse was arranged - similar to those that are known from the monuments of Old Ryazan. The 12th-century fresco painting is highly artistic, but has been preserved very fragmentarily. In the XVII century, the cathedral was renovated in the Baroque style, the domes were shifted.
The side church of St. Apostle Jacob - the tomb of Jacob Kondratievich Lizogub, built in 1689 (consecrated September 14, 1701). Located on the south side of the cathedral
Gate bell tower 36 meters high (1670-75 years). Built on the site of an earlier, wooden bell tower
The refectory and the Peter and Paul Church of the 18th century, built over the Eletsky Caves (1069) and cells of the same period (the earliest brick residential building in Left-Bank Ukraine)
Stone protective walls
The ruins of the abbot of the 18th century


The wooden house of St. Theodosius of Chernigov (1688) is the oldest wooden building on the Left Bank of Ukraine.
The mountain on which the Eletsky Assumption Monastery stands is torn and riddled with many underground passages, caves and catacombs. So, an underground gallery 70 meters long connects the Assumption Cathedral and the Peter and Paul Church. Outstanding figures of Russian and Ukrainian history and culture, A. S. Miloradovich, Leonty Polubotok, Yakov Lizogub, are buried in the monastery. Near the monastery complex is an archaeological site of the mid-10th century, the Black Grave mound.




According to the legend stated in the annals, the Eletsky Assumption Monastery was founded on the site of the wonderfully found 1060 icon of the Most Holy Theotokos on one of the fir trees (Eletsky means "fir tree") on February 3 (or November 3). From these firs received the name and icon and the cloister. The founder of the monastery is considered to be Prince of Kiev Svyatoslav Yaroslavich. In 1069, the “father of Russian monasticism”, Rev. Anthony Pechersky, lived in this monastery. In the middle of the XII century, at the place where the holy icon was found, the 25-meter Assumption Cathedral is being built.




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