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Pokrov Convent Provides a Special Stay in Suzdal

The charming town of Suzdal, situated north-east of Moscow, dates back to the year 1024, and forms part of Russia’s Golden Ring. Historically, the town was a prominent religious center, with numerous monasteries and churches. These days Suzdal is a popular tourist destination featuring superb examples of ancient Russian architecture. The Pokrov Convent, also known as the “Convent of the Intercession”, situated just outside the town is a working convent that was established in 1364. The convent includes tourist accommodation and welcomes visitors to gain insight into the history and culture of this fascinating part of Russia.

Although the convent was established in 1364, most of the buildings date back to the 1500s. In the early days of its history the Pokrov Convent served as home to a number of noblewomen who had been banished from society for a number of reasons, including not producing an heir, or no longer serving a purpose in the scheming of various dynasties. Among these discarded noblewomen was Evdokia, Peter the Great’s first wife.

The tourist accommodation in individual wooden chalets within the convent walls, give guests the ambience of medieval Russia, while at the same time being equipped with modern conveniences. The convent grounds are extensive and very tranquil and the on-site restaurant serves up traditional Russian cuisine as well as some non-traditional fare at reasonable prices. Menus are available in Russian and English and guests have found the staff and management to be friendly and helpful.

The cathedral at the convent has three gold topped domed towers, a large one in the middle flanked by two shorter, narrower towers and all three with ornamental gold or brass crosses on top. The belfry, which is octagonal with a tall pointed roof topped with a spire, is joined to the cathedral by a two-arched building. The large green cathedral doors are set in an intricately decorated door frame rising to a pointed arch and flanked by four ornate pillars. The huge arched Holy Gates of the Intercession Convent has the church of the Annunciation above it which is richly decorated with paintings and icons.

The town of Suzdal is nestled in a beautiful rural setting of streams and meadows, with livestock roaming unchecked. Artists are a common sight in and around Suzdal as they try to capture the picturesque charm of the town and surroundings. Certainly a visit to Suzdal is worthwhile for tourists traveling through Russia, and staying at the Pokrov Convent will make that visit extra special.


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