About the monastery

The Establishment of the Intercession Monastery

The royal Pokrovsky on the Wretched Houses monastery was founded in honor of this feast of the Mother of God. It has replaced wooden Velikoknyazheskiy monastery in the Sadeh Beliy Gorod, at the Semenovskaya outpost. The original founder of the Bozhedsky Pokrovsky Monastery was Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich.

The Establishment of the Intercession Monastery

Pokrovsky Wretched monastery. It was founded in 1635 by Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich

The royal Pokrovsky on the Wretched Houses monastery was founded in honor of this feast of the Mother of God. It has replaced wooden Velikoknyazheskiy monastery in the Sadeh Beliy Gorod, at the Semenovskaya outpost. The original founder of the Bozhedsky Pokrovsky Monastery was Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich.


The founder of the Bozhedomsky Intercession Monastery, Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov (1596-1645). The son of the boyar Fedor Nikitich Romanov (later - Patriarch of Moscow Filaret)

In 1635 he granted land for the construction of the monastery. He granted 17 quarters of land near by the Zemlianoy Val. It is unknown, whether the constructing has started at the times of Tsar Michael Feodorovich. It is known that the monastery was equipped with church utensils and other needs according to the decree of Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich. Monastery was ranked in the Moscow diocese. Tsar Stefan granted the Pokrovsky Monastery 6 tithes of lands for sowing near by the Simonov Monastery between the Krutitsa Metropolitan and the meadows of the Simonov Monastery in 1655, on the request of the Blagoveshchensky Protopop. There should have been a certain reason for the foundation of this new monastery in honor of the Intercession of the Mother of God. The first reason was the existence there from the earliest times the Wretched House. The second reason was the commemoration of the repose of the father of Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich, Grandfather Alexy Mikhailovich - Patriarch Filaret Nikitich, who has died on the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God. The ancient abode was restored too. This abode belonged to Zaikonospassky monastery from 1680 to 1731.


Alexey Mikhailovich Tishaishy (March 19, 1629 - February 8, 1676). In 1655, the Bozhedomsky Pokrovsky Monastery under the decree of Alexei Mikhailovich was ranked among the Moscow diocese

At first it belonged to the Moscow diocese, and since 1744, was added to the Krutitsa diocese.  Seminary was firstly transferred from Vyazemsky Predtechevo monastery to the Bishop's Krutitsa House, and then to the Pokrovsky Monastery (1751). The presence of this seminary meant that this monastery had the character of the Bojedom school. In 1776, the Pokrovskiy Monastery was brought to the Moscow diocese, and the seminary was dismissed, and all seminarians were sent out to their dioceses. The first known hegumen of the Intercession Monastery was Stephen, former archpriest of the Cathedral of the Annunciation. He was mentioned in the inscription of the altar cross of 7189 (1679) and in the letter of Tsar Alexy Mikhailovich.

We can see how the monastery looked like 100 years ago, thanks to the letters of Lieutenant Piotr Svinin, Life Guard of Semenovskiy regiment and letters of warrant officer Feodor Pavlov, Life Guard of Izmailovskiy regiment.


Pokrovsky Wretched Monastery

1) Stone five-domed Church, in the name of All Saints, with one throne, with a porch and two tents. Its roof was covered with batten, and the heads with painted tin. Holy picture were decorated with  silver crowns and silver icon platings,some of them were decorated with pearls and precious stones.

2) The stone church of the Intercession of the Mother of God, one-domed, with a side-chapel of St. John of Damascus.

A stone bell tower, with a tent, with 8 bells and with German military clock.

According to the inventory of 1763, in the sacristy of the churches, there were 45 robe or felony alone; including parchevs, velvet, carnation, gold, bouquet Chinese brocade. They were supplemented with wine store, damask, satin, grisette. There were also albs, orarion, hypogonations, brocade half sleeves, sticharions, aers etc. Some of them were Tsar's contribution.

There were wooden, one-story, veritable cells, 6 fathoms long and 3 fathoms wide, covered with grass, with their cell cold and kitchen on the right side, against the Church of the Intercession of the Mother of God.

Brotherly cells against St. the gate was stone, one-story, length 20, width 4 fathoms, covered with lath; in addition, two fraternal cells of the Old Man and still wooden cells with senes on 81/2 fathoms long and 51/2 wide. There were different belongings.

The seminary was housed in a two-storey stone building with a kitchen and a cellar. This building, built according to the decree of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, was 11 fathoms long, a width of 6 fathoms. The seminary was occupied by a refectory, monastic and other services.


Elizabeth Petrovna (1709-1761 / 62). The daughter of Peter I and Catherine the I-st

A stone fence, covered with wooden crossbars, surrounded the monastery; at the corners of the fence, there were five four-cornered towers.

You can see how it used to look like at the beginning of the XVIII century on the drawing enclosed here.

At the establishment of the Spiritual States, the abbot Varlaam governed the monastery. He was appointed by the decree of the consistory of the Krutitsky bishop on August 16, 1763. At that time there were only three hieromonks and three hierodeacons; later there were 50 people (monks and novices have).

109 rubles and 42 kopecks were given to the monastery as an allowance. And 44 quarters and 6 quads of the bread, rye and oats, only 27 rubles 77 kopecks per year. The two retired soldiers who were placed, the participated in a monastic meal; they worked here as guards, they got salary of 336 kopecks per year. Now, as a supernumerary, this monastery is on its livelihood.

Four chapels belonged to this monastery;

1) A chapel with a stone tent, 2) one in Kitay-gorod near the Moskvoretsky gate, with a stone structure, 3) wooden one in Taganskaya Street. All of them are 1 verst away from the monastery. Benevolent people gave apx.50 rubles per year. 4) The Pokrovskaya chapel situated On the left side of 1st Meshanskay Street, near by the Cross, between the tracts of Seredinka and the Krestovsky Outpost. It is made of stone, built in a new style, with a cell for a watchmaker. Since ancient times it belongs to Pokrovsky monastery. There are seven ancient icons with the inscription of troparions:: Crucifiction with Bystanders, The Savior and the Mother of God, Pokrov, Saint Nicholay and Philip, Coronation of Our Lady, Holy Trinity.

Diligent pilgrims, on their way to the Trotskaya Lavra, prayed there in the Chapels of Predtechevskaya and Krestnoy, or Filippovskaya, stopped at Pokrovskaya chapel to beg the Mother of God to help, to cover the veins with her veil.


Peter I The Great (Peter Alekseevich; May 30 (June 9), 1672 - January 28 (on February8),1725

By decree of Peter I, the sub-monasterial land was given to the monastery abode on December 13, 1720.With the length of 420 fathom, (the old Russian measure of distance) width 550 fathom of the first place and 191/2 tithe in another. This land was then leased for 80 rubles/year.

With such limited means, this abode was depleted; its buildings were dilapidated and required repairs, only its cemetery and pious investors supported it.

The Fence sank  in many places. In 1783, it was dismantled and not earlier than 16 years later, restored by the Moscow merchant Meschaninov. In 1799 he arranged a stone goddess for 12 males in the north-west corner of the monastery. And in 1810 Mrs. Khlebnikova arranged a stone goddess for a female on Semenovskaya Street.


Pokrovsky missionary monastery. The view to the almshouse for elderly people, 1904

Therefore, at place where was the last abode for the miserable dead people, there was organized an abode for the wretched people.

The dilapidated Church of All Saints and the Protection of the Mother of God were dismantled, in 1792, and in 1806. In the middle of the monastery, merchant Diomid Mešchaninov built one-domed stone church in honor of All Saints. Metropolitan Platon of Moscow blessed it.  Church Chapels (named by the Church of the Resurrection of Christ and Tikhvin Mother of God) were consecrated in 1772

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The Iconostasis of the Throne The Holy Virgin Tikhvinskaya Resurrection Church. It was consecrated in 1772. Photo of 1882. The Iconostasis of the Throne of Resurrection Christ's Resurrection Church. It was consecrated in 1772-185Pokrovsky Monastery

The two-storeyed stone cross-shaped one-domed Church of the Intercession of the Mother of God, was laid in 1806, was completed in 1810, by the support of the benevolent givers and the diligence of the builder Jonah.


Two- floor stone church of the Intercession of the Mother of God (in the center), was completed in 1810, to the right the Church of the Resurrection of the Blessed is consecrated in 1772. Pokrovsky Monastery in Moscow. 1882

In the upper tier on the sides of the Intercession Church, there is a throne in the name of St. The Apostle Peter and Paul, arranged by the Moscow merchant Alexeyev, and on the left, in honor of St Nicholas; in the lower: St. Iona Metropolitan, St.. Hilarion of the great and Reverend Nil Stolobensky. Shortly before 1812, the builder Jonah began to manage the monastery. He was an old kind and pious man. His ingenuousness and mercy attracted pious investors. He started decorating and fixing his the abode, as the years of hardship started in Moscow, as well as in the Pokrocskiy Monastery. It was the year 1812.

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The iconostasis of the right side-altar Pokrovsky temple in honor of the Apostles Peter and Paul
The Intercession Church. The Royal Gates of the left side-altar in honor of Saint Nikolay. 1850

Iona returned to Moscow from Vologda on November 23, 1812. He found the deserted monastery and nine brothers there. Authorities asked the abbot to present a report how much money they needed to resume the burned buildings and to assist the brethren. It was submitted in 13,700 rubles. Nine brothers claimed, they "do not require help." With the vigilant care of Jonah, the half-ruined monastery was rebuild; in 1814 and 1815, Archbishop Augustine blessed the restored churches in memory of All Saints, which is now the Glorifying Resurrection and the Tikhvin Mother of God.

The Moscow Archbishop Filaret consecrated the newly ordained and decorated Ion’s throne in the upper Church of the Intercession in 1825.

Worships started in this monastery in 1812. Pious investors helped the abbot by donating money to the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos. These donations helped to pour out a bell. In 1833, he raised the monastery about the death of his good shepherd Iona.

Amvrosiy inherited the monastery. He cared not only about the improvement of the past, but also about bringing the church services to a better order. He did a lot of good things for the monastery. He built a new monastery fence, two-storied abbot house and brotherly corps, 14 cells, yard with stables, sheds and pantry, with accommodation for workers.


The Brothers’ Corps. Photo 1904 The Intercession Monastery


He started to construct the Church of Resurrection, which was completed by his successor Ioanathan. Amvrosiy prevailed over his illness for six years.

The council church turned out to be very cramped. Skillful architect Belkovsky built the most extensive of the five domes, which contained part of the old one (which was disassembled later).


The paintings of the Resurrection Church. 1850's. Pokrovsky Monastery

This slender and majestic building was designed in Romanesque style. Ornaments of its outer walls, windows, doors and domes referred to the Greek style. The inner and outer designs of the Cathedral matched. Light arches on the pillars of two throne quarters separated the tribune from the main temple. There was the throne in honor of the Resurrection of Christ in the middle part of the Cathedral, the throne in the name of the Tikhvin Mother of God was in the northern part, the throne in memory of St. Martyr Alexandra (celebrated on November 6) was in the southern part of the Cathedral. The three parts of the temple, its three divisions, three thrones and three entrances express its symbolic threefold. The brightness of temple, its vastness and the variety of its different parts symbolize its idea of harmonious unity. Rich gilding and skillful rifle decorated the three-step salt-altar iconostasis of the main and prival thrones. Some images were made in ancient Greek style from the former iconostasis, others were written in the Fryazhsky style.

The ancient icon the Tikhvin Mother of God is a venerable luxuriously decorated icon and is especially captivating. The main altar, although not that big, but it is outstanding and magnificence, and it has iconostasis has five tiers. The repository over the throne rests on six marble pillars, which separate southern and northern altar part of the temple. Artars of Myagkova and Tiveyskogo depicted personified deeds of the Savior's earthly life and faces of the Saints on the walls, arches, on the altar part of the temple, in the refectory. The Church Slavonic calligrapher Leonti Lepeshkin inscribed sayings in appropriate places. To the spacious and light dining table adjoins the temple porch.

Another two-tiered one-headed church with semicircular projections is situated to the east, behind the first church. It stands on the site of the former Pokrovskaya Church, which was built on royal reign. The construction was started in 1806 and finished in 1814. Here are the thrones: at the top – of the Intercession of the Mother of God, on the right side - of St. The Apostles Peter and Paul, on the left - of St. Nicholas, at the foot - of St. Jonah, on both sides - in the name of the Monks Hilarion the Great and Neil Stolobensky.  In this way the churches of this monastery has nine thrones, for each of the angelic ranks of the throne.

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The iconostasis of the upper church in honor of the Intercession of the Mother of God. 1850 The bell tower of the monastery. Photo 1905. Blown up in 1926.

In 1799 it was rebuilt in a three-tiered tower of 15 yards high in German style. The ancient bells were rather, cast by artisan Slizov. You can see it from the following captions: «April 12, 1747 this bell was cast for the Intercession monastery, which is near the poor house, by the efforts of hieromonk Sila; contributor Danila Yakovlev and other religious donators, its weight is 66 poods. Cast by Konstantin Michailovich Slizov»

On the right side of the entrance to the monastery, there are two-story stone chambers for the abbots, and to the left there are brotherly cell. Funeral meals for the dead people buried in the monastery cemetery are provided in the chambers. The first floor is decorated with a collection of engraved and lithographed species of Russian monasteries. The second floor collection is decorated with a collection of engraved and lithographed portraits of Russian bishops.

The churches and the bell tower, built in the same style, present this ancient monastery to us in a completely new and beautiful way.

Read further

Necropolis of the Intercession Monastery

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