The Mirozhsky monastery, one of the oldest ones in Russia, is on the left bank of the Velikaya, at the place where the Mirozha river joins the Velikaya river.
There is no exact date of the founding of the monastery, but it is considered that it was founded in the middle of the 12 century by Nyfont, Bishop of Novgorod. The Pskov Chronicles were kept at this monastery. It had also a well-known icon-painting workshop.
St. Stephan Church and a bell tower are in the northern part of the monastery. The first church was built on this site as far back as the 14 century, but it didn’t survive. The today single complex of St. Stephan Church, a bell tower and brethren`s cells dates back only to the period of 1789-1805.
One can enter the monastery either by the southern (main gate) or northern gate (at the bell tower of St. Stephan Church). One can have a beautiful view on the Mirozhsky monastery and St. Stephan Church from the opposite bank of the Mirozha.
The Christ`s Transfiguration Cathedral is in the center of the monastery. The cathedral built in 1156 is one of the most significant examples of the pre-Mongol Russian architecture. It has the shape of the Greek (byzantine) cross.
The main historical value of the church is its wall paintings or frescoes dating back to the 12 century. In the 17 century these ancient frescoes were whitened and this helped to preserve them almost intact. After their discovery in the end of the 19 century at first they wanted to completely restore them, but the clergy of the monastery insisted on the more substantial «renovation», which was undertook in 1900-1901. During the entire 20 century the restoration of the frescoes of the 12 century continued, but by now only half of them were restored.