Resurrection Novodevichy Convent in St. Petersburg
Among the major churches in the northern capital, the Resurrection Novodevichy is particularly prominent every year, receives thousands of tourists who come to see its sights. And all of them are amazed by the amazing architecture of the temple, attracting not only city residents, but also guests to the festive divine services.
History of creation
The Resurrection Novodevichy Convent (St. Petersburg), founded back in 1748 during the reign of Elizaveta Petrovna, was originally located where Smolny stands, but for various reasons it was not possible to create a community, therefore by 1797 the church was is closed.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, in spite of the fact that the spread of female monasticism was observed in Russia, St. Petersburg did not have any such monastery. Therefore, at the request of Princess Olga Nicholas I, a report was presented on the feasibility of creating a monastery in the then Russian capital.The sovereign supported the proposal.
Originally, the Novodevichy Convent (St. Petersburg) was placed on Vasilyevsky Island on the territory of the Church of the Annunciation, but already in 1848, the emperor was presented with extensive land located at the Moscow outpost. And after the completion of the construction of new buildings, the monastic community moved there.
The first abbess of the monastery was Feofania, who was the former personal pensioner Queen Maria Feodorovna during her studies at the Catherine Institute. The nun was known in St. Petersburg for her piety and rather active activity that she displayed in the Goritsky church.
The cells of this holy cloister were made in the pseudo-Russian style. They are arranged in the shape of the letter "P".Directly in the center is the Resurrection Novodevichy Monastery, and on the sides are the now functioning Athos Church and the currently closed for restoration Church of the Three Saints. All buildings are painted in delicate yellow-pink colors. The windows of the complex have a lancet arched shape, characteristic of this Russian architectural direction.In 1854, they also consecrated a small Athos church in the name of the icon of the Mother of God. Here the list was established, which was sent by Seraphim Svyatogorsk from the miraculous image located on Mount Athos. A year later, three churches in honor of the three Saints were consecrated in the monastery at once.
Against the background of cells, the two-storied building of the Resurrection Cathedral, built in the Russian-Byzantine architectural style, stands out. The entrance to it is made in the form of an arched high portal. He goes to the Moscow Avenue. The Resurrection Novodevichy Convent (St. Petersburg) is crowned with five-domes with gold, and in its domes, of which there are only four, belfries are arranged. Inside the cathedral, respectively, are five thrones.
On small churches
The Novodevichy Convent, the photo of which indicates that this holy monastery is not quite typical of the classical architecture of the Northern capital, is located near the Moscow Gate metro station.This cathedral complex has two seemingly identical small churches - Athos and the Three Saints. They are located on two sides of the Resurrection Cathedral. They were built by architects Efimov and Sychev.Athos Church is also called Vatopeda or “Joy and Consolation”. The second, in the name of the Three Saints, was built at the expense of the peasant Chizhov and was originally intended to serve the hospital of the monastery.
In St. Petersburg, there are several attractions that do not fit into the single architecture of the city. They are closer to the Moscow style. One of them is the Novodevichy Convent. The photo of its golden domes and green towers is so unusual for the northern capital that it seems as if this is a picture of a completely different city.
Before the revolution
All subsequent monasteries after Theophany also contributed to the creation of this monastery. Abbess Evstolia achieved that the dome of the cathedral was gilded and the burial was put in order. She also organized a shelter for girls, at which an eight-year school functioned.
Abbess Valentina (1888-1904) became the prioress under whom they established a parish Prince-Vladimir school with a home church and hermitages. When Anthony (1904-1916) erected a bell tower, designed by Zeyler and Benoit.Shortly before the revolution, the stone church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God was built. It was built according to the project of architect V. Kosyakov in the style of Byzantine architecture.
By 1917, the Novodevichy Convent (Petersburg) already had more than 400 nuns, of whom seventy-five were nuns and the rest were full-time novices and sisters "on probation." At the monastery there was a good-quality farm - a stable with a barn, a poultry yard, a pigsty, a beekeeper and a farm. Here functioned the famous icon painting, as well as gold embroidery, brewery and carpet workshops. The monastery spent a significant part of the monastic capital on charitable activities - on the maintenance of an orphanage, a hospital, and a poorhouse.
After the revolution
This holy cloister befell the same fate as many churches and cathedrals, which St. Petersburg was famous for. The Resurrection Novodevichy Monastery also took upon itself blows from the godless gods. The whole burden of persecution fell on the Abbess of Feofania (1918-1935), who in those years became not only a caring mother for the nuns, but also an ardent defender of her monastery.
In 1929, three churches were closed at once, the first of which was the subsequently destroyed wooden church in the name of the icon of Our Lady of Kazan. By the autumn of the same year, this fate befell the chapels, which were dismantled brick by brick. The Church of the Three Hierarchs and the cemetery chapels were also destroyed.
In April 1932, virtually all the nuns and sisters were arrested in the Novodevichy Convent, leaving only the elderly and sick novices, who were no longer able to move. And in May of the same year, the Lenoblispolkom adopted a decree by which the Novodevichy Convent in St. Petersburg was liquidated. The building of the Resurrection Cathedral began to be rebuilt under the department store.
A few months later the high fence was dismantled, the domes and tents were demolished, the belfry and the interior were destroyed. In some buildings located Research Institute of Electrical Engineering.
Restoration of the complex began in 1996 with the arrival of the sister community. She settled in a two-story building nearby, in a building where there were no amenities.Gradually, the authorities began to return to the community monastic temples and buildings, as well as icons of the Novodevichy Monastery. However, all the buildings were in a destroyed state.First, in the eponymous temple, the renewed and shining icon of the Kazan Mother of God was again installed. Over the years, the darkened image was decided to be restored, but a real miracle happened. On the feast of the icon - the day “Joy of All Who Sorrow” - she herself miraculously refreshed. Another miraculous discovery - the list of the “Joy and Consolation” icon - happened immediately after the Uspensky Monastery was put up in 2014 for the worship of the Gifts of the Magi.
Novodevichy Convent in St. Petersburg received a new life. At present, the temples have already been restored - Kazan and Athos, a chapel has been rebuilt, and the Resurrection Cathedral is being revived.
Today, there is a children's shelter at the monastery, a poorhouse, the St. Vladimir School successfully functions, a charity center has recently been opened for diagnosing oncology for women, there are sewing workshops and a shop. Numerous pilgrims find shelter in the monastery.
Nowadays the Novodevichy Convent in St. Petersburg is again gradually getting its former purpose. Restoration work was begun with the efforts of Abbess Sophia, and monastic life is slowly getting better.In general, the cloister spiritually blooms today.
Behind the monastery is located one of the most privileged cemeteries of the northern capital - Novodevichy. Here, despite the fact that most of it was demolished, there are still many interesting tombstones and monuments. Many famous people are buried here: doctor S. Botkin, Rear Admiral Vorozheikin, artist Vrubel, poets such as A. Maikov and F. I. Tyutchev, and N. Nekrasov. The chess player MI Chigorin and many other celebrities rest in the Novodevichy cemetery.
The working hours of the monastery, as well as most Orthodox churches in the city, are as follows: from eight in the morning to five thirty in the evening. On weekdays, the daily morning service begins at half-past nine, and the evening service at seventeen. On Saturdays, the Divine Liturgy can be heard from nine, and the All-Night Vigil - at 17.00.
It will be interesting to visit the Novodevichy Convent in St. Petersburg not only to the faithful citizens, but also to those who are interested in architecture and history. Amazingly beautiful Kazan Church impresses with its architectural solutions. Tourists can see ancient crypts and monuments, admire the products of masters, sold in the shop, as well as taste homemade cakes in the refectory cafe.