Today I feature a beautiful picture of the Donskoy Monastery in Moscow taken by Marianna Dimova from the Irma Naan World Blog.
Marianna Dimova is a part-time traveller from Moldova, a former Soviet republic and one of the smallest countries in Europe.
She loves to travel, she is particularly interested in architecture, history, nature and all things green like parks and gardens.
Photo Story: Donskoy Monastery in Moscow
Russian churches are absolutely beautiful! And I saw the proof of this statement every day I spent in Moscow.
Unlike the churches in Europe that are mostly of dark colour and of similar shape (don’t get me wrong, I love European cathedrals, especially those in Spain’s Andalusia), the Russian ones are so different with their onion domes and so cheerful.
Yellow, pink, orange, red, white, blue, name a colour, and there will be a church in Russia. Just think of the famous St Basil’s Cathedral in the Red Square. I am telling this just to explain why Russian churches get me so excited :)
When I was planning my trip to Moscow, I allocated time for going to the most famous churches. The Donskoy Monastery, one of the oldest in Moscow, is well known probably to everyone who has ever studied the history of Russia.
A fortified indented wall that served to defend everyone inside during wars or rebellions surrounds the inner buildings. Basically, the Donskoy Monastery was a fortress built to defend the Kremlin, and it looks like a fortress even today.
Naturally, I could not miss it. Well, I almost missed it because it started raining right when I was heading there, and I never take an umbrella with me. Eventually, the sky cleared and I did not have to call off my plan.
The church in the picture is a part of the Donskoy Monastery. During its more than three hundred years of existence, the church and the monastery went through some really hard times, especially in 1812 when the French took Moscow and kept cows inside the altar and under the Soviet rule when they opened an Antireligious Museum of Arts here.
What is curious here is that everyone is allowed to go into the church or walk around the buildings for free, but they can’t take pictures. This pleasure was against a price of 100 rubles, and I even got a receipt. This is how I have this photo now :)
But, frankly, I was probably the only one who paid, the rest just took pictures with their phones.
The majority of monasteries and churches in Moscow are hidden treasures, they are not promoted by tourism boards, so one will not see tourists wandering around. But they are places where everyone can see the history of Russia.
Donskoy Monastery is a major monastery in Moscow, founded in 1591 in commemoration of Moscow’s deliverance from the threat of an invasion by the Crimean Khan Kazy-Girey. Commanding a highway to the Crimea, the monastery was intended to defend southern approaches to the Moscow Kremlin.
When the monastery was established, Boris Godunov personally laid the foundation stone of its cathedral, consecrated in 1593 to the holy image of Our Lady of the Don. This diminutive structure, quite typical for Godunov’s reign, has a single dome crowning three tiers of zakomara.
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