The monastery was founded in the 12th century beyond the walls of Rubleny Gorod near the Kotorosl river crossing and was an important component in the system of the town's defensive constructions.
In 1216-18 the building of the monastery was occupied by the first religious school in the northeastern part of Russia (the school later moved to Rostov). Over the centuries, the monastery has collected a wonderful library. Its most famous item — the only existing copy of “The Tale of Igor’s Campaign” — was found in 1788.
The Holy Transfiguration Cathedral was constructed here in 1216-1224 and the minute Church of the Entry into Jerusalem, which has not survived, was constructed in the southeastern corner in 1218 in the honor the establishment of Yaroslavl principality.
The monastery buildings were severely damaged by fire in 1501 and in 1516 the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral was rebuilt after the fashion of the Cathedral of the Annunciation and Arkhangelsk cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin. It currently exists in this form. It is the most ancient building in Yaroslavl and the cathedral frescoes painted in 1563-1564 are the most ancient memorials of fresco painting surviving since the times of Ivan the Terrible. For the new cathedral, local artists and the artists from Moscow created a large iconostasis, from which 13 icons have survived.
The bell tower and Refectory with the Cross (Christmas) church were built in the 16th century. The monastery became the most fortified part of the city. Ivan the Terrible liked to visit it. By the end of the 1560s, the tsar had provided 55 grant charters for six large villages, and provided over 200 small villages, fisheries, and salt works an exception from the general tax in the Yaroslavl trading quarter, as well as with immunity from prosecution.
In 1609, during the Times of Trouble, the Holy Transfiguration monastery was held siege for a month by Pan Budzilo and Commander Naumov, while the rest of Yaroslavl was captured. Minin and Pozharsky started their way to Moscow in 1612 from the walls of this monastery. Future tsar Mikhail Romanov stayed at the monastery in from March 21 to April 16, 1613, on his way from the Monastery of St. Ipaty to Moscow. From here he sent his first letter with the consent to take the throne.
The monastery was closed in Soviet times. The Yaroslavl Historical and Architectural Reserve Museum was placed in the monastery in the 1950s, after a restoration. Currently the reserve museum remains the owner of the territory of the monastery.
The Official Tourist Portal of Yaroslavl Region / tourism.yarregion.ru
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