Tolga convent in Yaroslavl photo

Tolga Convent of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary is in the northern outskirt of Yaroslavl on the bank of the Volga. At the convent you can see the holy miracle-making Icon of the Mother of God of Tolga, as well as a grove of Siberian stone pines, which are rare in the Central Russia.

Tolga monastery was laid down in 1314 by the Rostov archbishop Prochorus on the site of the Finding of the miracle-Making icon of the Mother of God. This happened near the Tolga river, so the icon, as well as the monastery, was called after the river.

It was an important event for the monastery when in 1553 it was visited by Ivan (John) the Terrible who returned from a pilgrimage to the Cyril of White Lake Monastery. Из-за болезни ног он остановился в Толгском монастыре, и после молитвы перед Толгской иконой  почувствовал облегчение. After that he gave money for stone church buildings.

The monastery buildings of the 16 century didn’t survive, and most of today churches were built already in 17 century. Presentation of the Virgin Mary Cathedral – the main church of the monastery – was built only in 1681. The Gate Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker, as well as the Holy, Gate were built in 1672, and the Church of the Transfiguration of Christ with a hospital building – in 1625. Strong stone walls were also erected in the 17 century.

The Finding of the Miracle-Making Icon of the Mother of God of Tolga is celebrated on August, 8. And it is on this day that the cedar grove of the monastery is open to the public. At the other days it is closed and you can enter it only with pilgrimage groups which are admitted to the grove.

Before 1923 the Tolga Monastery of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary was a male monastery, but after the closure of the Kazan Convent some of its nuns were also settled there. When the Tolga monastery was returned to the Church in 1998 it became a convent.