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Vologda Oblast , Ferapontovo

Museum of Dionisius Fresco Paintings in St. Therapontus Monastery

Музей фресок Дионисия в Ферапонтовом монастыре
Музей фресок Дионисия в Ферапонтовом монастыре
Музей фресок Дионисия в Ферапонтовом монастыре
Музей фресок Дионисия в Ферапонтовом монастыре

The monuments in the St. Therapontus Monastery, painted by Dionisius, are a rare example of a perfectly preserved monastery of the Russian North from the 15th-17th centuries. The Belozersk St. Therapontus Monastery of the Nativity of the Virgin was founded at the turn of the 14th-15th centuries,during the period of expansion of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. For about 400 years, the monastery was one of the centers for cultural and religious education of the Belozerye region. At one point the elders of the monastery had a serious influence on Moscow politics. Vasiliy II, Elena Glinskaya, and Ivan IV came here on pilgrimages.

The first stone church of the Belozerye was the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin in the St. Therapontus Monastery, erected in 1490 by craftsmen from Rostov. In 1502, the famous iconographer Dionisius, known for his icons and fresco paintings in Moscow and the Moscow Duchy, was invited with his crew to decorate the monastery. As denotes the inscription on the surface of the arch at the Cathedral North entrance, the work took them 34 days. It must be noted that this miraculously preserved work of Dionisius remained unknown until 1898.

The museum of Dionisius fresco paintings was established in the early 20th century. All through the 1930-1960s, the monuments were protected by a single guard.  However, during the Second World War, when the Novgorod churches of the 12th-15th centuries were destroyed, the paintings of Dionisius became among the few remaining fresco painting ensembles from Ancient Russia. The organization of the modern museum began in 1975. Eventually, it became a major center of scientific research and education. At the end of the year 2000, the complex of the St. Therapontus Monastery with its fresco paintings by Dionisius was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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Website: (81757) 4-92-61
Address: Vologodskaya Oblast, Kirillovskiy District, Ferapontovo Village, Kargopolskaya Street, 8.

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