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The Krutitsy Monastery – An Architectural Wonder

The Krutitsy Monastery is located near the Kremlin in Moscow and is one of the important religious attractions in Russia today. Constructed on the banks of the Moskva River, its name is derived from the Russian word “krutoy”, which means steep. It is said that the Krutitsy Monastery dates back to the thirteenth century and the buildings on the estate are originals from the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Although a little neglected, this magnificent collection of buildings has remained a monument to Russian architecture.

After the Second World War, Petr Baranovsky began restoration work to the buildings on the Krutitsy Monastery estate, which had been closed and used as military warehouses and a prison since the 1700s. Through his dedication to preserve these architectural masterpieces, the public is still able to enjoy the beauty of the monastery and its red brick structures. Visiting the Krutitsy Monastery is almost like taking a trip back in time into the history of Russia and the city of Moscow.

The buildings are exquisite and one can see that much detail and design work went into each structure. The Holy Gate barbican, dating from the 1690’s, is a dominating structure in the monastery. The stunning walkways, beautiful ornamental tiles, elaborate decorations and special features found in and around the buildings are simply breathtaking. The chapel, Dormition Cathedral, Metropolitans’ Gallery, Riverside Dormitory and burial vaults are other structures of interest at the monastery, but it is their architecture that is of importance, as the buildings represent the styles of the era.

A few famous Russians are also connected to the Krutitsy Monastery, including Alexander Hertzen, Catherine the Great and the Bishops of the Tsars and the Don. The buildings have survived wars and desertion, and the dedication of a few has ensured that they will be round for future generations to marvel at. Even though the buildings have been restored, they are still made entirely of the original materials, which makes them some of the most genuine historic buildings of Russia. When in Moscow, ensure that you don’t miss out on this wonderful historical attraction.


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