The Donskoy monastery is located to the south of Zamoskvorechie, near the today Lenin Avenue. But several centuries ago it was the old Kaluga road, far beyond the limits of Moscow.
It was there that the the troops of Russian Tsar Feodor I Ioannovich fought with the troops of Crimean Khan Gaz? II Giray in 1591. Although the Battle of Kulikovo was 1380, and the Mongol-Tatar rule ended in 1480 after the Great Standoff on the Ugra river, the Tatars continued to raid the southern regions of Russia for over a century.
And one of such raids took place in 1591. However, the troops of the khan were routed. Before the battle Tsar Feodor I Ioannovich ordered the crucession with the Don Icon of Our Lady. As is known, it was with this icon that Sergius of Radonezh blessed Dmitry Donskoy. And since that time it has been venerated as the protectrix of Rus.
In memory of this victory Tsar Feodor I Ioannovich had the monastery built on the place of the battle (1591), which was given the appropriate name – the Donskoy monastery. In 1591-93 the Small Donskoy cathedral was built, where at first the Don Icon of Our Lady was kept. But later the icon was replaced by its copy and the original was moved to the Annunciation Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin.
The Big Donskoy cathedral was built a century later during 1686-98. These two cathedrals together with several smaller churches, as well as the residential buildings and outhouses formed the appearance of the Donskoy monastery, which became one of the wealthiest (or the wealthiest, according to some sources) monasteries in Russia by the beginning of the 19 century.
The Donskoy monastery is also worth visiting for the huge marble high reliefs, which were removed from the Cathedral of Christ the Savior before its destruction in 1931. For it was there that high reliefs including the one with Sergius of Radonezh blessing Dmitry Donskoy were brought.
The famous necropolis (cemetery) of the Donskoy monastery where the outstanding people of that time were buried has been formed since the 18 century. In 1930 the remains of the artist Perov were moved to the cemetery. Already in our day there were reinterred the writer Shmelev, the philosopher Ilyin, and the general Denikin. Solzhenitsyn was buried at the cemetery in 2008.
In 1991 in the Small Donskoy cathedral there were found the remains of the St. Tychon, the patriarch of all Russia, who was put in the Donskoy monastery as a prisoner in 1922. There he got sick and died in 1925.