The Novodevichy monastery was originally a convent, built in 1524 by Vasily III to commemorate the liberation of Smolensk. Located in the southwest of Moscow in a bend in the Moskva River, the building impresses as much as it seduces with its red walls and towers crowned with white stones. Visit the monastery's Church of the Transfiguration porch and bell tower, masterpieces of Naryshkin or Muscovite Baroque; the Lopoukhine palace; Our Lady of Smolensk cathedral and its refined frescoes; the tombs of Princess Sophia and the first wife of Peter the Great; and finally the Church of the Assumption.
The restful park makes a perfect end to the visit. Also mandatory is winter skating with a literary theme in the Field of the Virgin (a meadow in front of the convent): this is where Constantine Levin, one of the protagonists of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, met his future wife Kitty, who was twirling on the ice. Many figures are buried here, including Gogol, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Scriabin, and Khrushchev, alongside numerous important members of the Russian nobility.
Novodevichi Passage, 1
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