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      Today I would like to tell about one very special place in the central Russia. Indeed it’s enough far from the civilization but it’s very central Russia, not so far from Moscow.



  Spassko-Kostomarovsky convent is one of the most ancient monasteries of Russia,  it is situated 3 hours of car ride form the town of Voronezh. There is a legend, that the convent was established by one of the most famous Russian saints- Andrey Pervozvanny (St. Andrew the First-Called).
      The scenery around the monastery is called New Jerusalem, because it is very similar to the real one. There is own Golgotha and  own garden of Gefsimane.


      Everybody who has visited this place tells about fantastic sense of easiness, bliss, divine grace.
      This place, according to people, can cure wounds of soul, help to take a right decision and to be cleansed of the sins.


       Long history of the convent brings a lot of events, during all it’s history it was reconstructed many time, in the XX century and construction of the cave’s church was started, it was finished in the XXI century already and named after the Russian orthodox Saint Serafim Sarovsky.
      8 caves which belongs to the convent are in the cretaceous mountains, the most big of all is an underground cathedral, which long time was the base of this saint place.


        The arch is made on the 20 columns and cathedral can accommodate 2000 people. The beginning of it construction dates form XII century, the end of the reconstruction was made in XIX century.
        The convent and monk’s cells were built to be well defended from the enemies,   and even to stand the long siege.


        There are also cells for the monks-hermits, there’s relations with the other world can be made through the small window. There was one hermit who spent all his life, standing, and chaining himself to the wall. Can you imagine it?
        In the pre-revolutionary time this place was very popular for the cleaning of the sins, there is a big cave which is named Cave of repentance. The entrance to the cave is narrow and come more and more lower to give to the person time and atmosphere to remember his sins.


        History of the convent has very sad pages…during the communist time it was closed, monks kicked out and the last hermit-Father Pyotr-  impossible to imagine!- was shoot there…
        Bit the place was so well-known,  that in secret people came there to pray..


     In 1943 Metropolitan Sergy met Stalin and since 1946 small services in the convent started again. But in 1960 Nikita Khrushev gave an order to close the cathedral because pf it dangerous condition for the people.   And caves were  flooded… Since that time there aee 6 halls of bullets on the Saint Image of the Our Lady Of Valaam, disappeared for ever the Shroud with an image of the Assumption of the Virgine.
       But even in this situation secret services and masses were made there.


       Killed Father Pyotr  forestalled 2 rebirths of the monastery. He was right- the first official service was made in 1993 and then in 1997 the first nuns appeared there.
       Then the convent got his official juridical status,  roads were reconstructed as well as the big reconstruction works were made in the convent.


      Still people tell about wonders that happen there. Flashes of light appear form the image of the Savior,  special fragrance for the place where was the Shroud in the past, and columns of light that appears from time to time during the masses. In 2001 the Image of the Virgin with  bullet halls start to bleed.


      It’s not so simple to arrive to the convent. There are 2 ways- by train from Moscow to Voronezh and then to the Kamenka railway station. Or by Pullamn Voronezh-Rossosh, but in any case you have to take a taxi then. With the car it’s simple, the convent is 350 km to the North from the town of Voronezh.
      But in spite of it there are a lot of pilgrims and tourists there.  


      Photos from  Internet. Information from various sources, it’s a pity, there is not any information in English about this place.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 8th, 2012 01:31 pm (UTC)
Very interesting story about this convent. The pictures are excellent. I get a great sense of life in Russia from your stories.
Aug. 8th, 2012 02:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! Especially from you, because of your Russian roots, I appreciate it a lot.
Aug. 9th, 2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this. My knowledge of Russia is being enriched from your entries. Very interesting.
Aug. 9th, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC)
I am glad you could find something new and interesting!
Sep. 5th, 2012 03:26 pm (UTC)
You describe it well, Julia. I would love to see that place should I get back to Russia.
Be well!
Sep. 5th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Spassko-Kostomarovsky
It's really fantastic and unusual place
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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