Pafnutiev Borovsky Monastery is the oldest monastery in the Kaluga region. It is located on the banks of the Protva River, 5 km from the city of Borovsk and 20 km from the larger Obninsk. 10 kilometers from the monastery is the largest in Russia Ethnographic park-museum Ethnomir. It is convenient to visit the monastery and Ethnomir within one excursion. 

There are no old monasteries in the Kaluga region, since until the 15th century these lands were owned in turn by the Moscow and Lithuanian principalities. In addition, nomadic tribes often raided here. The wooden buildings of the Kaluga Kremlin have not survived to this day. In those days, the Pafnutev Borovsky Monastery with stone churches and stone fortress walls was one of the most powerful fortresses in the vicinity of Kaluga. 

The monastery was founded by Saint Pafnutiy Borovsky. He was born in 1394 in the village of Kudinovo, Serpukhov-Borovsk principality. Later it became part of the Moscow principality. In 1414, Pafnuty became a monk and became a disciple of Nikita Kostromsky, who was a disciple of St. Sergius of Radonezh. Later, Pafnutiy Borovsky became the teacher of Joseph Volotsky. All three: Nikita Kostromsky, Pafnuty Borovsky and Joseph Volotsky were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church as saints. Saint Paphnutius was canonized in 1547. 

Pafnuty Borovsky founded the Pafnuty Borovsky Monastery in 1444. Then in these places there were impenetrable forests. The first stone Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin was erected in the monastery in 1467 during the life of Paphnutius. The icon painter Dionysius was invited to paint the cathedral. He later became one of the greatest icon painters in Russia, and the frescoes in the Pafnutiev Borovsky Monastery were among his first works. 

After the death of Pafnuty Borovsky, his disciple Joseph Volotsky became the abbot of the monastery. However, the monks did not accept his charter. He left the monastery and founded his own Joseph-Volotsky monastery near the city of Volokolamsk in the Moscow region. 

In 1586, the old Nativity Cathedral was dismantled, and in 1589 a new Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin was built, which has survived to this day. The frescoes of Dionysius of the old Nativity Cathedral in the monastery have not been preserved. Several blocks with fragments of Dionysius`s frescoes were transferred to Moscow and are now in the Andrey Rublev Museum in the Andronikov Monastery. 

Opposite the main Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin in the Pafnutiev Borovsky Monastery is the refectory Church of the Nativity of Christ. It was built in 1511. This is the oldest stone temple not only of the monastery, but of the entire Kaluga region. The Museum of the Pafnutiev Borovsky Monastery was created in this church. Both temples of the 16th century have been preserved, despite the significant destruction that the monastery underwent during the Time of Turmoil. 

In 1690, a bell tower was added to the Church of the Nativity of Christ. In the 17-18 centuries, several more churches were built in the monastery. According to one version, the fortress walls of the Pafnutiev Borovsky Monastery were erected by Fedor Kon, who built the White Walls of the Moscow Kremlin and the Fortress Walls of Smolensk. The walls in Moscow were later rebuilt, but in Smolensk they have been preserved to this day in good condition.