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Tver Oblast , Svetlitsa

Nilova Hermitage

Nilo-Stolbensky Hermitage (Nilova Hermitage) is a Russian Orthodox male monastery, located on Stolbny Island on Seliger Lake, 10 km to the north of the town of Ostashkovo. In its time, the cloister has been a POW camp, juvenile criminal colony, hospital, nursing home, and holiday camp.. Now though it has been returned to the Russian Orthodox Church.

The monastery's history dates back to 1528 when a hermit monk, the Venerable Nil, moved from near Rzhev to Stolbny Island. During the first year, he lived in a dug-out, later building himself a cell and a chapel for prayer. His trials were many: fires and floods, outlaw and animal attacks. However, Nil never moved away, and overcame the adversity with prayer and faith.

There is a legend that the Venerable Nil made a vow to never lie down. He even slept by keeping himself upright using ropes or hooks driven into a wall. All in all, the Venerable Nil spent 27 years on the island and, before his death (1555), he wished that a monastery be built in that spot, and his will was fulfilled.

The construction of the Epiphany Cathedral of the monastery commenced in 1767, with finishing works completed in 1833. The monastery flourished in the 17th-19th centuries. In the early 20th century, the number of permanently residing brethren stood at 1,000. After the Revolution of 1917, the cloister was sacked, even though the monastery continued its existence until 1927. It was returned to the church only in 1990.

There are two ways to reach Nilova Hermitage: by tourist boat across the Seliger Lake from Ostashkov, or by car. The sights of Stolbny Island are open to visitors every day. After viewing the cloister, you can climb the bell tower of the Epiphany Cathedral to see breathtaking sights of the Seliger.

The Tourist Portal of Tver Oblast /

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Phone number: (8-48235) 5-08-04
Address: Tver region, Ostashkov district, p/o Svetlitsa

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