The Holy Trinity Ipatievsky Monastery is the oldest of the preserved architectural ensembles in Kostroma. One of the most famous monasteries in Russia, its complex of buildings dating fr om the 17th century to the 1850s are remarkably well preserved. It is situated on the right bank of the Kostroma river, not far from where it joins with the Volga. The outstanding silhouette of the monastery, with its dominating cathedral, plays an important role in forming the view from the western part of the town situated on the left bank of the river.
The first mention of the monastery can be found only in 1435, but according to researchers, it was completed by 1250s, when the prince of Vladimir and Suzdal Vladimir Kvashnya was governor. The wooden Church of the Life-giving Trinity was the first church in the monastery. Before 1558, the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity was founded. Around 1564 the second stone church of the Nativity of the Holy Mother was finished.
Many representatives of the Godunov family, who patronized the Ipatievsky monastery, were buried here. Starting from the 1550s, numerous stone buildings were erected here. Surrounded by walls and towers, the Ipatievsky Monastery turned into a real fortress. In 1609, the troops of Lzhedmitry II (the thief of Tushino) hid here after they were defeated by the militia of the northern towns.
On March 14, 1613, an event that was symbolic for Russian history took place in the Ipatievsky Monastery: the ambassadors of the Zemsky Sobor (Assembly of the Land) elected the young Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov to the Russian throne. They arrived to greet him and his mother Marfa, who was a nun. A religious procession carrying the miraculous Feodorovskaya icon of the Holy Mother arrived together with the ambassadors. In front of the relic of Kostroma, Mikhail Fedorovich accepted his designation. That was when Kostroma received the name of the Cradle of the Romanov family and the Feodorovskaya icon of the Holy Mother became the family relic of all governors of Russia.
In 1649, the Holy Trinity Cathedral was destroyed when a storage of gunpowder exploded in its annex. The Holy Trinity cathedral was rebuilt by 1652. The church was painted by Kostroma icon-painters led by Guriy Nikitin and Sila Savin. The paintings cover the arches, the cupolas, the frames of doors and windows, and the walls. The beauty and perfection of the composition, the harmony of color, and the elegance of the ornaments make the interiors of the church looks festive and solemn. Here is wh ere the famous Feodorovskaya icon of the Holy Mother was kept.
Until the 18th century a unique manuscript was stored in the library. It was later named the Ipatievskaya manuscript, and it is one of the oldest versions of the Tales of Bygone Years.
In 1919, the Ipatievsky Monastery was closed, and its residents were exiled from their home. The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Holy Mother was completely ruind in the 1930s. In 1958, the former monastery was turned into a museum of history and archaeology.
The Holy Trinity Ipatievsky monastery was revived on February 18, 1992. In May 1993, the Kostroma Diocese and the museum reserve signed a treaty of mutual use of the monastery ensemble. The first brethren came to the monastery in 1994. In December 2004, the entire ensemble of the Ipatievsky monastery was donated to the diocese of Kostroma.
At the moment the Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Lazarevsky Church and the Church of St. Martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria all operate in the monastery. The church's museum of history and archeology is open for visitors.
The relics of the monastery include the miraculous Tikhvinskaya-Ipatievskaya icon of the Holy Mother; part of the Christ's robe; relics of St. Martyr Ipatiy, the bishop of Gangr.
The Diocese of Kostroma / www.kostromaeparhia.ru
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