Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Goritsky & Kirilov - 31 July 2008

Kirillo-Belozersky monasteryOur next stop was not scheduled until mid afternoon so we were entertained by part two of a very informative History Channel series Russia - the Land of the Tsars and then a tour of the bridge of the ship which, the Captain told us, was built in 1985.

The Russia – the Land of the Tsars series was played over 4 days and was an extremely interesting and informative program that gave a good grounding in the history of Russia and which, most of us acknowledged, filled in the lamentable gaps in our education.

Goritsky village houseAt 2 p.m. the ship berthed at Goritsy a very small village, with a Nunnery, built on the shore of the White Lake, but that was not the purpose of our stop. We boarded a shuttle bus that took us to a nearby town that is built around the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery, the largest in Europe. The complex covers more than 10 hectares with its longest wall over 2 km. Monastery wallsIn 1397 Kirill the monk, then aged 60, walked the 500 km from Moscow to found this monastery at a place that that been revealed to him in a vision and although the thousands of hectares that once belonged to the monastery were confiscated by Catherine the Great the central buildings still stand as part museum, part monastery - now home to just three monks.

Amazingly the iconostasis survived the Soviet regime and while the main church is undergoing restoration a number of the icons from the iconostasis are displayed in the museum on site alongside others from different parts of Russia.
Goritsky Nunnery

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