The central part of Russia is rich in cultural and historical places. One of them is in the city of Suzdal. There are dozens of museums and churches, many of which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. As, for example, the Spaso-Evfimiev monastery is an amazing example of Old Russian architecture and painting.
Sights of Russia
Oh, Russia-Mother is rich in historical odds! Our country has its own special destiny, somewhere dramatic, once victorious. During the last millennium Russian people live by Christianity, not formally, for the status - spirituality in the blood of people. We still see the heritage of distant ancestors.
The history of stone giants rises in any village, village and city of the country. Each church has its own face and special destiny, which is closely intertwined with the people and national spiritual values.
Tourist route "Golden Ring of Russia" covers dozens of cities and villages (in which much has not changed for centuries), rich in stunning architectural and historical buildings. So, in one of the oldest cultural centers of Russia - Suzdal - there is an amazingly beautiful Spaso-Evfimiev monastery.
This city is located in the Vladimir region, it was founded at the beginning of the first century of our era. In the "Tale of Bygone Years" is mentioned in 1024 in the 12th century it was the center of the principality. In the dark Middle Ages Suzdal survived and captures Lithuanians, and the defeat of the Tatars, and fatal fires, and even deadly diseases.
Since the 60s of the 19th century. the country's leadership has a special development policy - from that time Suzdal becomes primarily a city-museum. The emphasis on his tourist future with a new force began to do in 2000. Then this historical territory became part of the Golden Ring of Russia, hotels were being built all over the place, tourist ways were being organized.
One of the most beautiful buildings, famous for its unique painting and mosaic is the Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery. Every year it is visited by thousands of tourists.
History of the complex
In the XIV century, Prince Boris, ruler of the Suzdal-Nizhegorodsky lands, ordered to erect a defensive fortress. The ancient structure was built of wood, but frequent fires and raids by enemies destroyed it irretrievably. Red stone walls, enclosing the monastery now, were erected only in the XVII century. Their height and monumentality delight, the cost of construction for that time was more than fabulous. Funds for the restoration came from wealthy boyars and princes - it was believed that such generosity helps to save sins before God.
Hegumen of the new, then still wooden monastery was Evtimiy Suzdal. Later he was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church. And the monastery received a new name - Spaso-Evfimiev monastery.
Suzdal was often attacked at that time, and the defensive walls served as the city's only outpost. One of the most tragic clashes occurred in the XV century - then Prince Vasily II lost the battle with the Tatar Khans and even was taken prisoner.
Monastic prison in the XVIII century
The fate of this place during the reign of Empress Catherine II is interesting. In 1766, she ordered the establishment of a prison in the fortress for "insane pits." The metro walls, small rooms and a window overlooking the convict cemetery - that's the whole meager world for the people who came here for many years. And the terms here were sometimes very large - 25, 40, 45, perpetually. Referred mainly to religious criminals, disliked authorities or preached sectarian values. Many went crazy, their heartrending cries were heard both day and night. One of the prisoners, after twenty years spent here, went free, completely lost the ability to speak humanly.
Prisoner in times of Soviet power
The prison was closed only in 1905, but after 20 years the Bolsheviks resumed its work in order to send people unsuitable to the Soviet government, ironically, among them there were priests. In different years, the prisoners were serving the term of Metropolitan Peter and even the leading economists N. Kondratiev and L. Yurovsky.
Spaso-Evfimiev monastery was for the NKVD something like a filtration place. During the repressions of the 1930s, oppositionists came here, the fate of many of them is unknown until now. And during the Great Patriotic War, former Soviet prisoners of war were brought here to sift out possible enemies of the people. And in 1943, at the direction of Stalin, a camp for German prisoners with good conditions is created here, journalists are allowed and photos are printed on the whole world, how well they treat enemies in the USSR.
After the war, the fortress was redeployed to a colony for teenage boys, but they repeatedly made riots, and later the girls started serving their sentences. The prison ceased to exist only in 1967.
Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery today
Looking at the walls of this majestic structure, the beauty and grace of the ensemble, it is difficult to imagine that for hundreds of years there was a prison here. Now all the buildings of the complex are part of the Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-Reserve. The Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery itself no longer functions, the buildings are accessible for tourists, which are becoming more and more numerous.
The complex was constantly reconstructed and reconstructed, but even after hundreds of years it did not lose its pristine beauty. The walls and towers surrounding the monastery are in excellent condition, this place is well equipped for protection: on one side is a river, on the other - a ravine. The largest tower is 22 meters high, now it serves as a passageway to the monastery grounds. There is a ticket office and a bookshop.
The oldest of the buildings is the Cathedral of the Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery, earlier it bore the name of the Transfiguration, but after the wooden temple was burned in the 16th century, in its place was built a stunning architectural example of the skill of Russian architects.
The main temple
The whole huge ensemble of the Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery contains nine historically significant buildings. The main church is the Transfiguration Cathedral. It was built on the burial ground of the first hegumen, an Orthodox saint. More than once it was rebuilt, supplemented by new buildings and its final appearance was only at the end of the XVIII century. On the walls of the temple, the frescoes of the 17th century are almost completely preserved. depicting the deeds of Christ and his apostles. It is under his walls that the remains of Dmitry Pozharsky lie.
The Spaso-Evfimi monastery was once enclosed by wooden walls, and the gate of the Gateway of the Blessed Virgin Church served as an entrance gate. When building a stone fortress the cathedral was on the territory of the ensemble. Has one dome, and above the travel part is an icon. Today, a massive tower with a height of more than 20 m performs the throughput function.
Other constructions of the complex
In the Brotherhood Corps there used to be monks and novices, now there is an exposition of historical exhibits. In addition, nearby is the unique Uspensky Refectory Church, the Prison Castle and the Archimandrite's House.
Near the cathedral there is a belfry, in which there are seventeen bells, they are heard here five times a day.
The entire Spaso-Euphemia complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the territory of the museum-reserve archaeological excavations continue today, each year researchers make historically valuable discoveries.
Architecture of the Cathedral
Suzdal has always been interesting to people who are keen on studying Russian architecture. Above the construction of numerous temples, the most talented masters of that time worked. Some still come to this place not only to admire beautiful buildings, but also to learn the skills of ancient builders.
One of such unique structures is the Transfiguration Cathedral of the Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery. Suzdal already in the XVI century was rich in the finest examples of architectural art. Its central Kremlin - the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin - has been dating since 1222 and was founded by Yuri Dolgoruky.
When more than four hundred years ago the first Transfiguration church burnt down, the style of the oldest Suzdal Kremlin was taken as the basis for the construction. But later, repeatedly rebuilding, the cathedral became more and more ascetic. It is a white stone monumental building. On the perimeter there are windows decorated with arches with columns, and along the walls there is a gallery of the XVIII century.
Near the altar on the pillars are engraved images of representatives of the Romanov dynasty and Russian princes. Many frescos inside the building tell the story of the first hegumen of the monastery - St. Euthymius. In the Soviet era, the stone slabs under which Dmitry Pozharsky rested were dismantled, and only in 2008 the federal authorities financed the restoration of the chapel over his grave.
The Savior-Transfiguration Cathedral of the Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery on its walls has amazing paintings, examples of the work of famous artists at the time. In 1689, the masters of the city of Kostroma began painting the walls of the cathedral. The leader of the group was Guria Nikitin, who was awarded the title "Painter 1 of the article". Many of the churches in Moscow, Rostov, Yaroslavl were also decorated with their hands.
The paintings on the walls mostly represent episodes from the life of Christ, he is depicted here both as a man and as a son of God. For the artists of the Kostroma school, it was characterized by the use of bright, warm colors, amazing accuracy of the image of details of clothing, gestures, facial expressions. In addition to the scenes of the acts of Jesus Christ, St. Euthymius, the abbot of the monastery, is also at the center of the narrative. One of the features of the creations of the masters of Kostroma was the image of representatives of the royal family, their images are placed on the pillars of the hall.
The Savior-Euthymius Monastery is a story written not on paper, it is a legacy of Russian culture that makes people proud. As evidenced by the growing interest in this Christian shrine from Russian and foreign tourists.
Like all historical sites, the Spaso-Euthymius Monastery has its secrets and traditions. At various times many famous people visited this place: in the 19th century young Alexander II came here, and later his grandson Nikolai II with his daughters.
It is here that one of the rescuers of the Russian land from the Lithuanian invaders is buried - Dmitry Pozharsky. The monastery was part of the fiefdom of his family, they all found peace within these walls.
Many stories are connected with the prison corps. During the Great Patriotic War there was an exemplary camp for prisoners of war and officers of the Wehrmacht. He lived in himself, and Field Marshal Paulus himself. The conditions of stay were just resorts: people tired and hungry in war were washed and cured, concerts were held for them, prisoners made souvenirs. True, all this is not just charity, the camp is one of Josef Stalin's ideas.
Development of tourism
A long way passed the St. Euthymius Monastery from the day of its foundation. He changed his appearance, content, was a place of solitude, repentance and even imprisonment. And in the twentieth century found a well-deserved rest. Now here is a museum, guided tours. Anyone can visit the Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery. Suzdal has been a part of the famous tourist route "Golden Ring of Russia" for several years now. It unites 18 cities, recently they were visited by millions of people, including tourists from abroad. The project was launched in 2008, and not all is still as good as we would like. A full reconstruction requires a service sector, many hotels do not meet international standards, the delivery to tourist places is carried out by buses, in the project - the construction of high-speed rail connections with Moscow.
Still, the flow of those who want to see the beauty of the ancient places does not run out, hundreds of thousands of people visited the Spaso-Evfimi Monastery last year. Photos and videos after the trip, reviews visited there cause a burning desire to throw everything and go with an excursion through the cities and villages of Mother Russia.
Tips for tourists
Every Russian should see this place simply because the fortress and the temples inside are a part of the historical and spiritual heritage of our ancestors. And besides, it is amazingly beautiful here at any time of the year.
You can get to the Suzdal Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery as a member of the excursion, having previously purchased a tour you like at the travel agency, and by your own efforts. The city is located in the central part of Russia, good comfortable roads lead to it. You can arrive either by bus or by car. And when you visit on your own, it is recommended that you immediately buy a ticket for the right to inspect the entire complex of buildings.
Find in the Suzdal Spaso-Evfimiev monastery, whose address: st. Lenin, d. 138 k. 8, it will be much easier if you simply raise your head and look around thoroughly. The fortress is in the center of the city, so it's difficult to miss it. The facility is open from 10:00 to 18:00, except Monday and the last Thursday of the month. The cost of a single ticket: for an adult - 400 rubles. for children - 200 r. Several hotels and hostels are located nearby; with hunger, too, tourists will not die, prices in restaurants are slightly overstated, but acceptable.
Yes, in this place, probably, and not find comfortable conditions for living, as in Europe, there is not here both the sea and the beach. But this is a truly beautiful corner of the Russian land, where everything literally breathes an ancient history and allows you to get acquainted with our culture.