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Vladimir Oblast , Suzdal

Savior-Euthymius Monastery

The largest Suzdal museum ensemble nowadays is the Savior-Euthymius Monastery. 1532 can be considered the date of its foundation by the Suzdal and Nizhny Novgorod princes Boris and Andrei Konstantinovich. Initially, the monastery of the Lord’s Transfiguration was called the Savior-Transfiguration one, but later it added the prefix Euthymius to its name, in honor of the first monastery abbot — Euphemia, who had served here for 52 years.

Savior-Euthymius Monastery is located on the northern outskirts of Suzdal, over the river Kamenka, its territory is bounded with walls of 1200 meters with twelve towers, battlements and loopholes.

The walls were built in 1670-1680 and made the monastery the strongest fortress of the Vladimir land. The walls of the fortress were built specifically for protection, that’s evidenced not only by loopholes and observation towers, but also by the degree of strengthening that was adjusted to the relief: the wall side, which faces the river is low, and the south wall, which rests on the spacious plain is essentially higher and thicker. Such fortress was essential for the government in that turbulent time full of national revolts.

The Entrance Tower stands out among the twelve fortress towers of Savior-Euthymius monastery: its might is really impressing, and its height is 22 meters. Its beauty has no equals in the whole Russia.

The tower is constructed from red brick and has two icon cases in the bottom. It shines brightly with white stone patterns of the upper tier. Initially, before the construction of the fortress wall, the Annunciation Church, built at the turn of the XVI-XVII centuries was the gate to the Savior-Euthymius monastery. After the construction of the wall, the church was enclosed into the fence of the monastery.

The earliest stone building in the monastery is the Savior Church, built over the tomb of St. Euthymius of Suzdal (1507-1511), which became the side chapel of the nearby Transfiguration Cathedral in 1564. Since the construction, the Savior-Transfiguration Cathedral has been the main church of the monastery, and is currently one of the main tourist attractions in Suzdal.

The white-stone cathedral was decorated with outdoor paintings in the XVI century, and in the end of XVII, the famous Kostroma masters Gury Nikitin and Sila Savin created a unique color painting of its interior walls. Plots of frescoes included portraits of the kings Mikhail Fedorovich and Alexei Mikhailovich, the Grand King of Vladimir Vsevolod the Big Nest. Scenes from the life of St. Euphemia of Suzdal are reflected in painting of the Euthymius chapel.

The monastery bell tower was built on the square in front of the Savior Transfiguration Cathedral in the beginning of the XVI century and had been repeatedly reconstructed with new parts until the end of the XVII century. The bell tower is a unique example of multiple buildings’ formation — the Nativity Church of St. John the Baptist, and three bays for bells. The whole construction is topped with a tent — belfry with a clock. The pride of the belfry were bells, the oldest of which was cast in 1560. Every day, five times per day, you are able to hear beautiful bells tolling.

The Assumption refectory church, one of the first works of the Russian tent stone architecture, was built around 1525. The construction is located on the square in front of Savior-Transfiguration Cathedral opposite to the belfry. The tent Assumption church is combined with an attached refectory tent, once decorated with frescoes. Painting, unfortunately, did not survive.

To the east of the Transfiguration Cathedral, you can find St. Nicholas Church with the hospital chambers and Fraternal privately building. St. Nicholas hospital Church is a one-domed church with a facade, decorated with corbel archs. The church was founded in 1969, the first floor of the building was a refectory, wards were on the second. Fraternal two-stroeyed building, constructed between 1628 and 1660, hosted monks cells.

The territory of the monastery complex is the burial place of famous princes; the Prince Ivan Striga-Obolensky, some of the Khovanskys princes, the whole family of Pozharsky Princes, including the national hero of Russia, the Prince Dmitry Pozharsky are buried here. In the XVIII century (during the reign of Catherine the II), the monastery was turned into a place of imprisonment of religious and political prisoners: disgraced clerics and dignitaries, sectarians and heretics, participants of revolts.

After 1917, the monastery hosted military units, a concentration camp, and a prison for political prisoners; during the Great Patriotic War, a war camp for captured Nazi officers and the Field Marshal Paulus was located here. In post-war years, it housed a colony for girls.

In 1967, the monastery started to restore and rebuild. Currently, the monastery ensemble is a part of the Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-Reserve. In 1991, the Savior-Euthymius monastery was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Due to the help of our small virtual tour you can walk through the monastery territory and admire its beauty and splendor.

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Address: Vladimir region, Suzdal, Lenina str., 135

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