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MUSEUMS. Novodevichy Convent 

  • 1, Novodevichy proezd
  • Metro station - Sportivnaya
  • Open Wednesday through Monday, from 10.00 am to 05.30 pm.
  • Closed on Tuesday.

One of six defensive monasteries protecting Moscow from the south and east it was founded in 1524 by Grand Prince Vasily III in honor of his 1514 recapture of Smolensk from the Lithuanians who controlled it for more than a hundred years. In 1517 this fortress withstood a Tatar attack. The huge brick wall with its 12 towers surrounds the Cathedral of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God (Sobor Smolenskoy Bogomatery), four other churches, numerous convent buildings and a cemetery. Then the convent lost its military and defensive importance and became the second most important religious center after the Kremlin. It's one of the finest sacred buildings of Moscow. Novodevichy was long associated with the royal family and witnessed historical events. Boris Godunov was chosen here as the new tsar in 1598 during his visit to his sister Irina Godunova; the sister of Peter the Great, Sofia Alexeevna, was banished here in 1679 after her refusal to give the power back to Peter and her participation in the soldiers' mutiny against him; the first wife of Peter the Great, Lopuhina Yevdokia, was here. Over the centuries Novodevichy received presents of land and other valuables together with exiled noble women. It accumulated paintings, gold and silverware, old books and other art objects of the 16th and 17th centuries. It boasted more than 15 000 serfs at the height of its prosperity. 

The remains of many cultural, literary and political figures are buried in Novodevichy Cemetery: Tolstoy, Skriabin, Rubinstein, Shostakovich, Shalyapin (brought from France in 1985), Saharov and so on.

You are welcome to visit other museums in Moscow!

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