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Goritsky Assumption Monastery in Pereslavl-Zalessky

On the southern side of Lake Pleshcheevo is a hill rising above the city. It was always called «goritsa». At the beginning of the 14 century, in the reign of Ivan Kalita, on the hill the Assumption Monastery was founded, which was always called Goritsky. Later the monastery was officially renamed the Goritsky Assumption Monastery.

At first the monastery had only small wooden buildings until Grand Duchess Eudokia, the wife of Dmitri Donskoy, came there to pilgrimage in 1382. It was then that the town was attacked by Tokhtamysh. There remained almost nothing of the monastery and the town but Eudokia with several attendants could escape sailing to the middle of Lake Pleshcheevo and hiding in the mist.

After that Eudokia gave money for the restoration of the monastery. And since that time each year on the sixth Sunday after Easter a boat cross procession to the middle of the lake was held at the Goritsky Monastery. 

St. Daniil, the founder of the nearby Holy Trinity Danilov Monastery, was ordained at the Goritsky Assumption Monastery. He had resided at the Goritsky Monastery from 1495 through 1525. Grand Duke Vasily III asked Daniil to be a godfather of his son Ivan – the future tsar Ivan the Terrible. The monastery itself was often visited by the members of the tsar’s family.

In 16-17 centuries the monastery was at the peak of its prosperity. The following beautiful stone churches were built there: the Assumption Cathedral with a detached bell tower, the All Saints Church with a refectory and the Gateway Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker. 

The Pereslavl eparchy was created in 1744. The Assumption Cathedral was given the rank of a metropolitan church and the monastery itself was abolished and made the residence of Pereslavl bishop. In 1788 the Pereslavl eparchy was also abolished but the monastic life wasn’t resumed at Goritsky Assumption Monastery.

It`s a funny thing, but the monastery was saved from the complete destruction by the Soviet power. In 1919 it was decided to create a Pereslavl museum reserve on the territory of the monastery and as a result all its churches and buildings were restored. Now you can see there the icons of 15-19 centuries, the specimens of wood carving and wooden sculpture, the collection of the portraits of 17-19 centuries and the pictures of the famous Russian painters.