The central part of Russia is rich in cultural and historical sites. 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. Like, for example, the Savior-Euthymius Monastery is an amazing example of ancient Russian architecture and painting.
Sights of Russia
Oh, Mother Russia is rich in historical wonders! Our country has its own special fate, somewhere dramatic, once victorious. During the last millennium, the Russian people lived by Christianity, not formally, for status - spirituality in the blood of people. We still see the legacy 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 a special destiny, which is closely intertwined with the people and national spiritual values.
The 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, was founded at the beginning of the first century of our era. In “The Tale of Bygone Years” is mentioned in 1024 in the XII century it was the center of a principality. In the dark Middle Ages, Suzdal survived and captures by the Lithuanians, and the defeat of the Tatars, and devastating fires, and even deadly diseases.
Since the 60s of the 19th century The country's leadership is pursuing a special development policy - from this time Suzdal becomes primarily a city-museum. The emphasis on his tourist future with a new force began to do in the 2000s. Then this historical territory became part of the Golden Ring of Russia, hotels began to be built everywhere, tourist routes were organized.
One of the most beautiful buildings, famous for its unique paintings and mosaics - Savior Euthymius Monastery. Thousands of tourists visit it every year.
The history of the complex
In the XIV century, Prince Boris, the ruler of the Suzdal-Nizhny Novgorod lands, ordered to build a protective fortress. The ancient structure was built of wood, but the frequent fires and forays of the enemies destroyed it irrevocably. The red stone walls that now enclose the monastery were erected only in the 17th century. Their height and monumentality are admired, the construction costs at that time were more than fabulous. Funds for the restoration came from the rich boyars and princes - it was believed that such generosity helps to atone for sins before God.
Hegumen of the new, then still wooden monastery became Euthymius of Suzdal. Later he was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church. And the monastery received a new name - Savior Euthymius monastery.
Suzdal was often attacked at that time, and the defensive walls served as the only outpost of the city. One of the most tragic clashes occurred in the XV century - then Prince Vasily II lost the battle with the Tatar khans and was even taken into captivity.
Monastery prison in the XVIII century
Interesting is the fate of this place during the reign of Empress Catherine II. In 1766, she orders to establish a prison in the fortress for the “crazy man of soldiers”. Meter walls, small rooms and a window overlooking the prisoner cemetery are the whole scanty world for people who have fallen here for many years. And the dates here were sometimes very large - 25, 40, 45, indefinitely. Predominantly religious criminals, unwanted authorities or preaching sectarian values were referred here. Many went crazy, their heart-rending screams were heard both day and night. One of the prisoners after twenty years spent here, having been released, has completely lost the ability to speak like a human being.
Prisoner during the Soviet era
The prison was closed only in 1905. However, 20 years later, the Bolsheviks resumed its work in order to exile people disagreeable with the Soviet government, ironically, among them were priests. Over the years, the prisoners here were serving time Metropolitan Peter, and even leading economists N. Kondratiev and L. Yurovsky.
Spaso-Evfimiev monastery was for the NKVD something of a filtration place. During the repression of the 30s, oppositionists got here, the fate of many of them is still unknown. And during the Great Patriotic War, former Soviet prisoners of war were brought here in order to sift out possible enemies of the people. And in 1943, under the orders of Stalin, a camp for German prisoners with good conditions is created here, journalists are allowed and pictures are published all over the world, how well they treat enemies in the USSR.
After the war, the fortress was transformed into a colony for teenage boys, but they repeatedly rioted, and later the girls began to serve their sentences here. The prison ceased to exist only in 1967.
Savior-Evfimiev monastery today
Looking at the walls of this magnificent structure, at the beauty and elegance of the ensemble, it is difficult to imagine that a prison existed here for hundreds of years. Now all the buildings of the complex are part of the Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-Reserve. The Savior-Euthymius monastery itself is no longer functioning, buildings are available for inspection by more and more tourists.
The complex was constantly rebuilt and reconstructed, but even after hundreds of years did not lose its pristine beauty. The walls and towers surrounding the monastery are in excellent condition, this place itself is well equipped to protect: on the one side - the river, on the other - the ravine. The largest tower is 22 meters high, now it serves as a passage to the monastery. It is located ticket office and bookshop.
The oldest of the buildings is the Cathedral of the Savior Euthymius monastery, previously it bore the name of the Transfiguration, but after the wooden church burned down in the 16th century, a stunning architectural example of Russian architects' skill was built in its place.
The whole huge ensemble of the Savior-Euthymius monastery contains nine historically significant buildings. The main church is the Transfiguration Cathedral. It was built on the burial site of the first hegumen, an Orthodox saint. More than once it was rebuilt, supplemented with new buildings and its final form was acquired only at the end of the XVIII century. The walls of the temple are almost completely preserved frescoes of the XVII century. depicting the acts of Christ and his apostles. It is under its walls that lie the remains of Dmitry Pozharsky.
The Savior-Euthymius Monastery used to be fenced with wooden walls, and the Gate Gate of the Blagovshchensky Church served as the entrance gate. When building a stone fortress, the cathedral was on the territory of the ensemble. It has one dome, and an icon is located above the passage. Today, a massive tower with a height of more than 20 m performs the throughput function.
Other buildings of the complex
Monks and novices used to live in the Bratsk Corps; now there is an exhibition of historical exhibits here. In addition, the unique Assumption refectory church, the Prison castle and the house of the archimandrite are located nearby.
Next to the cathedral is the belfry, which now has seventeen bells, they are heard here five times a day.
The whole Spaso-Evfimiev complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the territory of the museum-reserve even today archaeological excavations do not stop, every year researchers make historically valuable discoveries.
Suzdal has always been interesting to people keen on studying Russian architecture. The most talented masters of that time worked on the construction of numerous temples. Some still come to this place not only to admire the beautiful buildings, but also to learn the skill of the ancient builders.
One of these unique structures is the Transfiguration Cathedral of the Savior Euthymius 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 - dates back to 1222 and was founded by Yury Dolgoruky.
When more than four hundred years ago, the first Preobrazhensky church burned down, it was the style of the oldest Suzdal Kremlin that was taken as the basis for the building. But later, repeatedly rearranging, the cathedral increasingly acquired an ascetic look. It is a white-stone monumental building. Along the perimeter there are windows decorated with arches with columns, and along the walls - the gallery of the XVIII century.
Near the altar on the pillars are engraved images of representatives of the Romanov dynasty and Russian princes. Many frescoes inside the building tell the story of the first hegumen of the monastery, Saint Euthymius. In Soviet times, 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 Savior Euthymius monastery has amazing paintings on its walls, examples of works by famous artists at that time. In 1689 the masters of Kostroma began to paint the walls of the cathedral. The group leader was Guria Nikitin, who was awarded the title “Painter of 1 Article”. Many temples of Moscow, Rostov, Yaroslavl were decorated with their hands.
The paintings on the walls mainly represent episodes from the life of Christ, he is here depicted both as a man and as a son of God. For the artists of the Kostroma school was characterized by the use of bright, warm colors, amazing accuracy of the image of the 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 in the center of the narrative. One of the features of the works of Kostroma masters was the image of representatives of the royal family, their images are placed on the pillars of the hall.
Savior-Euthymius Monastery is a story not written on paper, it is a legacy of Russian culture that makes you proud of your people. This is confirmed by the growing interest in this Christian shrine from Russian and foreign tourists.
Like all historical places, the Savior-Euthymius monastery has its own secrets and traditions. At various times, many famous personalities visited here - in the XIX century young Alexander II came here, and later his grandson Nicholas II with his daughters.
It is here that one of the rescuers of the Russian land from the Lithuanian invaders, Dmitry Pozharsky, was buried. The monastery was a patrimony of his family, they all found peace in these walls.
A lot of stories related to the prison building. During the Great Patriotic War, there was a model camp for prisoners of war of officers and top leaders of the Wehrmacht. Lived in it and the Field Marshal Paulus himself. The conditions of stay were simply resort: people who were tired and starving at 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 the ideas of Joseph Stalin.
The Holy Euthymius Monastery has passed a long way since its foundation. Changed its appearance, content, was a place of solitude, repentance and even imprisonment. And in the twentieth century, he gained a well-deserved rest. Now here is a museum, guided tours. Anyone can visit the Savior Euthymius monastery. Suzdal has been a part of the famous Golden Ring of Russia tourist route for several years. It brings together 18 cities, recently they have been visited by millions of people, including tourists from abroad. The project started in 2008, and far from everything is as good as we would like. A complete restructuring is required by the services sector, many hotels do not meet international standards, delivery to tourist places is carried out by buses, in the project - the construction of a high-speed rail link with Moscow.
And yet the stream of people who want to see the beauty of the ancient places does not dry up, hundreds of thousands of people visited the Savior-Euthymius monastery last year. Photos and videos after the trip, reviews have visited there cause a burning desire to drop everything and go on a tour of the cities and villages of Mother Russia.
Every Russian should see this place simply because the fortress and the temples inside are part of the historical and spiritual heritage of our ancestors. And besides, it is amazingly beautiful at any time of the year.
You can get to the Suzdal Savior-Euthymius monastery as one of the members of the excursion, having previously purchased the tour you like from a travel agency, or on your own. The city is located in the central part of Russia; good, well-maintained roads lead to it. You can arrive both by bus and by car. Moreover, when visiting independently it is recommended to immediately buy a ticket for the right to inspect the entire complex of buildings.
Find in the Suzdal Savior-Euthymius monastery, whose address is: st. Lenin, d. 138 K. 8, it will be much easier if you just lift your head and look around carefully. The fortress is located in the city center, so it is difficult to miss. The object 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 p. children - 200 p. Nearby are several hotels and hostels; from starvation, too, tourists will not die, prices in restaurants are a bit overpriced, but acceptable.
Yes, in this place, it is possible, and not to find comfortable conditions for living, as in Europe, there is no sea and beach here either. But this is a truly beautiful corner of the Russian land, where everything literally breathes ancient history and allows you to get a closer look at our culture.