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Donskoy monastery in Moscow photo

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.

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Photo Gallery
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The Big Cathedral of the Don Icon of Our Lady (1684) in the center of the Donskoy monastery
The marble high relief (1847), «The Meeting of David who won Goliath», from the Cathedral of Christ the Savior
The Small Cathedral of the Don Icon of Our Lady (1591) at the Donskoy monastery
The interior of the Big Cathedral of the Don Icon of Our Lady 
The iconostasis of the Big Cathedral of the Don Icon of Our Lady 
The graves of the 19 century at the cemetery (necropolis) of the Donskoy monastery
The original marble high relief (1847), Melchisedec meeting Abraham with the captured tsars, from the Cathedral of Christ the Savior
The marble high relief (1847), Sergius of Radonezh blessing Dmitry Donskoy before the Battle of Kulokovo, from the Cathedral of Christ the Savior
A fragment of the marble high relief with the warriors of Dmitry Donskoy taken off from the ruined Cathedral of Christ the Savior and installed at the wall of the Donskoy monastery
A fragment of the marble high relief with David taken off from the ruined Cathedral of Christ the Savior
Three big and several small marble high reliefs, which were taken off from the Cathedral of Christ the Savior during his destruction in 1931
The graves of the 19 century around the Big Cathedral of the Don Icon of Our Lady at the Donskoy monastery
The Gate Church of the Icon of Our Lady of Tikhvin – the main entrance to the Donskoy monastery
Necropolis of the 19 century at the Donskoy monastery
The graves of the 19 century at the cemetery (necropolis) of the Donskoy monastery
The grave of Princess Saltykova at the necropolis of the Donskoy monastery 
A grave of the 19 century at the necropolis of the Donskoy monastery 
The Small Donskoy cathedral with a bell tower at the Donskoy monastery
A graveyard near the southern tower of the Donskoy monastery
The tower of the western wall of the Donskoy monastery
The graves of the 19 century at the cemetery (necropolis) of the Donskoy monastery
An alley at the necropolis of the 19 century at the Donskoy monastery
The graves of the 19 century at the cemetery (necropolis) of the Donskoy monastery
The Big Cathedral of the Don Icon of Our Lady at the Donskoy monastery
The small Church of St. John of the Ladder at the Donskoy monastery
The Hegumen’s House of the 19 century at the Donskoy monastery
Zubov’s rotunda vault temple (18 century) within the Church of St. Venerable Alexander Svirsky at the Donskoy monastery