Holy Trinity Ipatiev Monastery located at the confluence of the rivers Volga and Kostroma is the «cradle of the House of Romanov». It was just here that in 1613 Mikhail Romanov was declared tsar and that event determined the further development of Russia for several centuries ahead.
Ipatiev Monastery was founded in 14 century by a Tatar convert, Prince Chet. During his journey to Ivan Kalita (the Moneybag) he fell ill and halted on the site of today monastery. At night he had the vision of the Virgin Mary, the Apostle Philip and the St. Hypatius of Gangra. After that Prince Chet converted to Christianity and founded here the cathedral of Holy Trinity with chapels of Philip and Hypatius.
Prince Chet took the name of Zacharias and was buried in the cathedral. From him the famous boyar family of Godunov descended, and one of its members, Boris Godunov, was even a Russian tsar. The Godunov took active part in the building of the monastery, which was called the Holy Trinity Ipatiev Monastery. During the reign of Boris Godunov the Ipatiev Monastery was given expansive lands and became one of the richest monasteries in Russia.
An important event took place at the monastery at the end of the Time of Troubles that Russia plunged into at the start of 17 century. After Moscow was liberated from Polish troops there arose the question of electing a new tsar, as the dynasty of Ryurik was interrupted. On February, 21, 1613 the Assembly of the Land was held in Moscow. And under pressure from Cossacks boyars had to elect the sixteen-year-old Mikhail Romanov a tsar.
At the Time of Troubles Mikhail Romanov and his mother, a nun Martha, were exiled by Boris Godunov to Ipatiev Monastery in Kostroma. And it was there that the «boyar embassy» came to ask Mikhail to become a tsar. He received the boyars on the porch of his chambers and on some reflection accepted their proposition. On the spot he was officially elected a tsar and was blessed by his mother with the Fyodorovskaya Icon of Our Lady.
Today the icon is kept at the Epiphany Cathedral of St. Anastasia located in the center of Kostroma, and since that time the monastery itself and the city are considered the «cradle of the dynasty of Romanov». Since that time each tsar of the dynasty that ruled over Russia for over 300 years, to 1918, had been to Ipatiev Monastery and made large donations to it.
In our days the Ipatiev Monastery was returned to the Church, although there remained several museums. The main temple of the monastery – the Cathedral of Holy Trinity (1650-1652) has well-preserved paintings of 17 century. Also on the territory of the monastery there located the Church of Chrysanthus and Daria (1860) and Bell Tower (1432). At the chambers of the Romanov boyars you can see where Mikhail and his mother Martha lived in before he was declared tsar.
At the walls of the Ipatiev Monastery the wooden architecture museum called Kostroma Sloboda is located that you should visit. At the center of Kostroma you can see some other attractions of the city such as the Susanin Square and the trading rows, as well as the Volga River Embankment.