Monastery of St. Cyrl

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Priest’s bicycle in front of his room

“Goritsy:  of the White Lake, Kirillov – 4 kilometers from the berth at Goritsy, was founded in 1337. The monastery grew from a small population of 50 chaste monks to become one of the largest and best endowed religious and military centers in the Russian Empire by the end of the 17th century. The fortress-like stone walls enclosing the monastery were built at this time and protected the monastery from enemy attacks. In addition 23 towers stand on the grounds. Rooms within the towers provide lodging for overnight travelers as well as for distinguished guests. Many Tsars, high ranking church officials and members of the aristocracy spent time here. At one point the monastery was also used as a prison.

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Scan of a postcard purchased at the museum

At the beginning of the 20th century the monastery was privately owned by an aristocratic consortium. In 1917, it became state property and turned into a preserved and protected museum, housing a valuable collection of Russian embroidery and decorative arts.

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Walking up to the main entrance

Upon arrival in Goritsy, the first sighting of traditional church architecture will be of buildings belonging to the Goritsy Resurrection Convent, which has a rather colourful history of its own. It was founded by Princess Efrosiniya, wife of Ivan III’s son, Prince Andrey Staritsky. The Princess and her son were imprisoned here in 1563 by Ivan and subsequently six years later, her son and his family were murdered and the Princess was drowned in the Sheksna River, by Tsar’s order. Thereafter the convent was used to imprison women of disgraced noble families.

Today the convent is quite dilapidated, with future restoration uncertain. Villagers now use its grounds to grow vegetables and raise a few animals.”

(excerpt from Daily Cruiser, August 1)

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