Founded in the XIV Century, Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery is one the highlighs of Russian north.

Located in Vologda Oblast, the town of Kirillov is famous for Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. This is the biggest monastery in the north of Russia, an example of grandiose architectural ensembles.

History of Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery

Kirillov Monastery was founded in 1397 by the monk Kirill from Simonov monastery in Moscow. For a long time it was an outpost of the Grand Duchy of Moscow in the strategic region of Zavolochie - a historic Portage which connected trade routes of the Northern Dvina, Onega, Sheksna and Pechora rivers, Lake Onega and Lake Beloye. Monks from Kirillo-Belozersky and other monasteries spread Orthodox Christianity, Russian language and Moscow rule among tribes of Finno-Ugric people. The monastery has got a rich library, the biggest one in Russia in the 15th-17th centuries.

Agriculture and farming, fish trade and salt production in salterns and open salt pans were under control of the monastery. Moscow elite, including Ivan IV the Terrible made huge donations to Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery.

In the XVIII Century, when Russia obtained ports of the Baltic Sea, the trade route via Arkhangelsk and Vologda lost its importance and the wealth of the monastery went down.

After the revolution of 1917 the bolsheviks executed the hegumen and in 1924 turned the monastery into a museum.