Savior Transfiguration Monastery, Staraya Russa: history

One of the city monuments of antiquity -The Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery in Staraya Russa - today is an object of cultural heritage of the Russian Federation, belonging to the Novgorod diocese and located not far from the river Polisti. Once upon a time, this famous monastery became a refuge for a large number of different monastic, peasant and vagrant people.

Old Transfiguration Monastery

Old Russa: Savior Transfiguration Monastery, history

The first mention of the monastery in Novgorodchronicles are found already in 1192 and go back to the reign of Yaroslav the Wise. In difficult times, the monastery and the town of Staraya Russa have suffered a lot. The Savior-Transfiguration Monastery was founded by Hegumen Martyr Rushanin, who appeared before the Lord in 1199. So he was called because he was from Rousse. First under his leadership was built a wooden one-story church of the Transfiguration of the Lord, but there was a strong fire, which almost destroyed it.

In 1193, when he was already in the rank of archbishop, hegumen Martiri decided to build a stone church on this place and consecrate it in honor of the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin.

By the XV century, the monastery was dismantled and rebuilt,the same fate was overtaken by her in the 17th and 19th centuries. From the side of the Swedes, Poles and Lithuanians constantly suffered plunder and fires of Old Russ. The Transfiguration Monastery of the XVII century consisted of one wooden and two stone churches. Inside was a rich decoration and precious church utensils. Then the bell tower was built.

old russian salvation preobrazhensky monastery

Savior Transfiguration Monastery, Staraya Russa: further events

After the attack on the city of the Swedes, the monastery wasrobbed. But from 1628 to 1630 it was rebuilt again, the main church was rebuilt, and three more stone buildings were completed for those temples that were before. The monastery acquired a pantry, a kitchen, a refectory, a bell tower, fraternal and hospital cells and other various farm buildings. A fence appeared around the monastery. Later, several monasteries were added to the monastery as an elder: Leokhnovsky, Kozmodemyansky, Krichev-Nikolaevsky. Thus, he received the Archimandrite (the rank of a major paramount) the Transfiguration Monastery. Old Russa acquired its present name from the beginning of the 20th century. Previously, her name was only one letter "c" (Staraya Rusa).

New constructions and the return of the icon

Since 1892, in the monastery,a spiritual school is formed, and that is why the Christmas Church is transferred to him. Then there are a few more buildings and a powerful stone fence with turrets. The main entrance of the monastery was on Alexandrovskaya Street, where the southern gate was located and above them - the Church of All Saints.

From 1880 to 1890, another church was built inthe honor of the Old Russian Icon of the Mother of God. By this time, finally, I was able to return my main icon of the Transfiguration Monastery. Old Russ lost it once. Since 1570, the icon was kept in the city of Tikhvin. When the frosty weather began, the Rushans, at the request of Tikhvin residents, gave them their shrine, and those who followed the procession with her around the city, and only then the moor stopped. Then the Tikhvin people put it in their temple and did not want to give it away for a long time. Petitions for the rush about the return of the icon began in 1805. And only in 1888 it was returned to the city. The final decision on this matter was approved by Alexander III himself. It became the largest portable icon, its width is 202 cm, and height - 278 cm. The days of its veneration - May 4 and September 18.

old russian salvation transfiguration monastery history

With each year the monastery expanded with newthe building of stone buildings, eventually a garden and a cemetery appeared, on which only prominent and famous people of the city and the district were buried for a fee.

Revolution and War

After the October Revolution in the 1920sThe monastery was abolished, but at first the Bolsheviks did not touch the building, but already in later years, somewhere in the 30s, the spire from the bell tower was removed, and behind it the bells.

During the Great Patriotic War, from 1941 to 1944,The city was in occupation, and then was subjected to severe destruction due to bombing, since it was not far from the firing position of the front line. In the monastery for some time there was an enemy military commandant's office.

After the war, closer to the 60th years, it was decidedto restore the Transfiguration Monastery. Old Russ got a new breath. True, divine services were banned, the local history museum and sports school were opened there.


Today the monastery is a museum and the main onea pearl of the city of valor and military glory. His ensemble includes four white-stone churches and two buildings of the XIX century. Once in the temple were the relics of 50 saints, rich utensils, ancient crosses, icons and the Gospels. Unfortunately, today their whereabouts are unknown.

the Transfiguration Monastery in Old Rus

And in the end it is impossible not to mention that inthe city of Staraya Russa in 1909 the museum of FM Dostoevsky was established. This small town was famous for its mineral waters, so a diverse society of Petersburg and Moscow gathered here. In the house-dacha along Valadarski Street, the writer spent his best summer months together with the whole family. Here he had a third child. In this provincial silence, he worked on such famous works as The Brothers Karamazov and The Possessed. Some of the old Russian realities and impressions he included in his novels.

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