New Jerusalem Monastery, considered to be one of the most beautiful in Russia, is located in the Moscow-area town of Istra. If you have half a day or a day to spare it is a good place to visit to briefly leave Moscow.
New Jerusalem appeared on the map in the end of the 17thcentury, when its founder, Patriarch Nikon decided to create on the river Istra something similar to the Holy Land in Jerusalem. Several thousands of peasants and the best craftsmen were involved in construction of it.
All the neighborhood places around the monastery were given biblical names. For example, the Istra River was called Jordan, and the hill where the monastery is located–Simeon.
Voskresensky (Resurrection) Cathedral
In the center of the monastery there is Voskresensky Cathedral. It was built in the mid-17th century, based on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The cathedral was rebuilt many times. On the inside it is decorated with frescoes and stucco.
Church of Constantine and Elena
This unusual church is located underground. It was dedicated to the Emperor Constantine and his mother Elena. There are 33 steps leading to it from the Resurrection Cathedral. The church’s walls are made of white stone, and the interior is strikingly beauty.
In the museum you can find peasant costumes, handicrafts and olden Russian art pieces, as well as the collections of Russian and foreign paintings, porcelain, weapons, furniture, manuscripts and rare printed book editions (altogether 180 thousand exhibits).
Particular attention should be given to such amazing museum exhibits as the Icon of Christ Pantocrator, which depicts Metropolitan Philip and Patriarch Nikon (1657), as well as the movable Model of the Holy Sepulchre Church, which was brought over in 1649 by the Jerusalem Patriarch of Paissy as a gift for Archimandrite Nikon. To this day there are no more than 4 remaining models of the Holy Sepulcher Church made by the Franciscans in Jerusalem.
New Jerusalem Monastery is a unique landmark not far from Moscow.
To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev