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Novodevichy Convent

The Novodevichy Convent was founded in 1524 by Grand Prince Vasili III in commemoration of the conquest of Smolensk in 1514. It was built as a fortress at a curve of the Moskva River and became an important part of the southern defensive belt of the capital, which had already included a number of other monasteries. Upon its founding, the Novodevichy Convent was granted 3,000 rubles and the villages of Akhabinevo and Troparevo. Ivan the Terrible would later grant a number of other villages to the convent.



The Novodevichy Convent was known to have sheltered many ladies from the Russian royal families and boyar clans, who had been forced to take the veil, such as Feodor I's wife Irina Godunova (she was there with her brother Boris Godunov until he became a ruler himself), Sophia Alekseyevna (Peter the Great's sister), Eudoxia Lopukhina (Peter the Great's first wife), and others. In 1610–1611, the Novodevichy Convent was captured by a Polish unit under the command of Aleksander Gosiewski. Once the convent was retaken by Russian forces, the tsar supplied it with permanent guards (100 Streltsy in 1616, 350 soldiers in 1618). By the end of the 17th century, the Novodevichy Convent possessed 36 villages (164,215 desyatinas of land) in 27 uyezds of Russia. In 1744, it owned 14,489 peasants.


  • Address: Novodevichy Passage, 1.




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