Ensemble of the Novodevichy Convent (2004)

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The Novodevichy Convent, in south western Moscow, built in the 16th and 17th centuries, was part of a chain of monastic ensembles that were integrated into the defence system of the city. 

Russia 2003. Novodevichy Convent.

The Convent was directly associated with the political, cultural and religious history of Russia, and closely linked to the Moscow Kremlin. It was used by women of the Tsar’s family and of the aristocracy. 

Members of the Tsar’s family and entourage were also buried in its cemetery. The Convent provides an example of the highest accomplishments of Russian architecture with rich interiors and an important collection of paintings and artefacts. 

  • Russia 2003. The Novodevichy Convent. 

The Novodevichy Convent is the most outstanding example of the so-called "Moscow Baroque" style in the architecture of the late 17th century, which became a fashionable style in the region of Moscow. Apart form its fine architecture and decorative details, the site is characterised by its town-planning values. The Convent ensemble integrates the political and cultural nature of the existing World Heritage site of Moscow Kremlin. It is itself closely related to Russian Orthodoxy, as well as with the Russian history especially in the 16th and 17th centuries. 

It was built by the Grand Duke Vassili III of Moscow, who made a solemn promise to found a convent on a bend in the Moscow River if he were to recapture toe old Russian city of Smolensk from Lithuania. He did, and Smolensk was placed once again under the sceptre of Moscow. Three thousand roubles in silver were contributed from the ducal purse to the construction of the Novodevichy Convent. Sensibly, it was constructed on the south-western approaches to Moscow, on the Smolensk Road, to honour the re-integratin of the city into the Russian state. Immediately it became a kind of court convent, for its nuns came from the families of Moscow boyars, princes and czars. 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Russia (on this web site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Russia-section, for further information on such sites. 

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Revised 21 jul 2006  
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