Novodevichy Convent

Novodevichy Convent

Novodevichy Convent (or New Maiden's Convent) is one of the most famous and beautiful monasteries in Russia.

The Convent is located on the curve of the Moskva River at the end of Prechistinka Street. It was founded by the Tsar Vasily III in 1524 in honour of the to commemorate the retrieval of the town of Smolensk.

According to the legend, when the French army was leaving Moscow in 1812 Napoleon ordered to blow up the Convent, but one of the nuns managed to pour the water on the fuses and saved it.

Novodevichy is known for the fact that many ladies from the royal family and nobility became nuns there, some by force and some willingly.

Novodevichy Convent was closed in 1922 and the territory of the monastery was turned into the “Museum of Women's Emancipation”.

Later in 1926 it became the museum of art and history and since 1934 it had been a part of the State Historical Museum.

Most of the buildings were transformed into apartments and this fact saved many structures from destruction.

In 1943 Joseph Stalin sanctioned the opening of so called Theological courses in the Convent and one year later the Moscow Theological Institute was opened inside of the monastery.

In 1994 Novodevichy Convent was returned to the church, though some buildings are still the property of the State Historical Museum. The services were revived in 1995.

The convent is also famous for its cemetery, which is located near its southern wall, where many Russian celebrities and politicians are buried.

In 2004 the monastery was added to the UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Opening hours:

From 10:00 till 17:30. The ticket office closes at 16:45.

Closed: on Tuesday, and on first Monday of each month.

Timetable is subject to change without prior notice.

Please, feel free to submit your feedback using this Form.