Located on the Moscow River, Novodevichiy Monastyr(New Maiden’s Convent) is a peaceful retreat from the bustling city of Moscow. Novodevichy Convent, Moscow church
The Novodevihcy Convent was founded in 1524 by Tsar Vasily III (1479-1533) to commemoratethe capture of Smolensk from Lithuania. That it was intended to serve not only as a religious institution. But also as a fortress is evident from its strategic location and strong wall with 12 battle towers. Until the 20 th century, the convent marked Moscow’s southern edge. Novodevichy Convent, Moscow church
Having been founded by the tsar, it enjoyed an elevated position among the many monasteries and convents of Moscow and became a convent primarily for ladies of noble birth. It was also used as a prison for rebellious royals, including Peter the Great’s half-sister and his first wife.
Little remains of the original structure. Most of the current building dates from the 1680s, when the convent was significantly rebuilt and enhanced after the Time of Troubles by the Regent Sofia. Sofia was later confined here by Peter the Great along with his unwanted first wife.
After the Revolution, Novodevichy’s churches were closed and in 1922 it was turned into a museum. This spared it from a worse fate until the cathedral was return to the Russian Orthodox Church as a reward for backing the war effort in 1945.
Restoration of the convent began in the 1960s and in 1988 an episcopal see was once again established here. It is still officially a museum, but is used as a convent by nuns who keep a low profile.