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The St. George's (Yuriev) Monastery (russian: Юрьев монастырь) is usually cited as
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
's oldest monastery. It stands in 5 kilometers south of
Novgorod Veliky Novgorod ( rus, links=yes, Великий Новгород, p=vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj ˈnovɡərət), also known as just Novgorod (russian: Новгород, lit=newtown, links=yes), is the largest city and administrative center of Novgorod O ...

Novgorod
on the left bank of the
Volkhov River The Volkhov (russian: Во́лхов) is a river in Novgorodsky District, Novgorodsky and Chudovsky Districts of Novgorod Oblast and Kirishsky District, Kirishsky and Volkhovsky Districts of Leningrad Oblast in northwestern Russia. It connects L ...
near where it flows out of
Lake Ilmen Lake Ilmen ( rus, И́льмень, p=ˈilʲmʲɪnʲ) is a large lake in the Novgorod Oblast of Russia. A historically important lake, it formed a vital part of the medieval trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks. The city of Veliky Novgor ...
. The monastery used to be the most important in the medieval
Novgorod Republic The Novgorod Republic (russian: Новгородская республика, Novgorodskaya respublika, ; orv, Новгородскаѧ землѧ, Novgorodskaę zemlę, lit=Novgorodian Land; la, Novogardia or russian: Новгородская ...
. It is part of the
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
named ''
Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings is a composite World Heritage Site which includes a number of medieval monuments in and around Veliky Novgorod, Russia. The site was inscribed in 1992. History Novgorod between the 9th and the 15th c ...
''.


History

According to legend, the monastery of wood was founded in 1030 by
Yaroslav the Wise Yaroslav the Wise or Yaroslav I; russian: Ярослав Мудрый, ; uk, Ярослав Мудрий; non, Jarizleifr Valdamarsson; la, Iaroslaus Sapiens. (c. 978 – 20 February 1054) was the Grand Prince of Kiev from 1019 until his death. ...

Yaroslav the Wise
(whose Christian name was George); the first historically reliable reference to it is from the early 12th century when the stone building of the main church (the Church of St. George, Georgieveskii Church) was started in 1119 by Prince
Vsevolod Mstislavich of Novgorod and Pskov Vsevolod Mstislavich (russian: Всеволод Мстиславич), the patron saint of the city of Pskov, ruled as Prince of Novgorod in 1117–32, Prince of Pereslavl (1132) and Prince of Pskov in 1137–38. Early life The eldest son of ...

Vsevolod Mstislavich of Novgorod and Pskov
and Hegumen (roughly equivalent to a western prior) Kyuriak (Kirik) and built by the master Peter. By the first third of the 13th century the hegumen had been raised to the status of an archimandrite (roughly equivalent to an abbot, i.e., the head of an important monastery, although the comparison with western abbots is imprecise); Archimandrite Savatii is mentioned asking the Novgorodians to bless his successor just before his death in 1226.Michell and Forbes, ed., ''The Chronicle of Novgorod''. This has led some scholars to argue that the archimandrites of the Yuriev Monastery were elected by the veche, although there is very little evidence of this; in 1226 it appears that the Novgorodian elite approved the election of Savatii's successor although whether the
veche Veche (russian: вече, pl, wiec, uk, віче ''viche'', be, веча ''vecha'', cu, вѣштє ''věšte'') was a popular assembly A popular assembly (or people's assembly) is a gathering called to address issues of importance to par ...
took part is unclear. A later veche (more a mob than a governmental assembly in this case) held the Archimandrite Esif (Iosif - Joseph) overnight in the Church of St. Nicholas on the Marketplace in 1337. The chronicle does not say how the crisis was resolved, but the next year Esif was elevated to the Archimandrite of St. George after the death of Lavrenti. In 1342 he was sent to
KoporyeKoporye (russian: Копорье; Finnish: ''Kaprio''; sv, Koporje) is a historic village A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet (place), hamlet but smaller than a town (although the word is often us ...

Koporye
on a mission to secure
Posadnik Posadnik (Cyrillic: ''посадник'', (literally: ''по-садник'' - ''pre-sident'') was the mayor in some East Slavic peoples, East Slavic cities or towns. Most notably, the posadnik (equivalent to a stadtholder, Burgomaster, burgomeist ...
(burgomaster) Fedor Danilovich who was detained there. Russian monasteries at various times became guard-houses for prisoners of state. Also, in 1345, the church of St. George was renovated and new lead added to the roof under the direction of Archimandrite Esif. The archimandrites of the Yuriev Monastery were often called Archimandrite of Novgorod, as in 1270, when Varlaam "Hegumen of St. George's he Yuriev Monasteryand Archimandtire of Novgorod" died. A listing of the "Archimandrites of Novgorod," is included in the back of the Novgorodian First Chronicle. In fact, the archimandrites of the Yuriev Monastery were, for several centuries, the only archimandrites in the Novgorodian Land, and thus they were, in a manner of speaking, the Archimandrites of Novgorod. Some scholars argue theirole in the Novgorodian church administration was more formal than that though, and they were the deputy to the archbishops of Novgorod or else they headed all the monasteries in the Novgorodian Land, this, however, remains uncertain. Archimandrite Sava was buried in the
Antoniev Monastery The Antoniev Monastery ("St Anthony's Monastery", russian: Антониев монастырь) rivalled the Yuriev Monastery as the most important monastery of medieval Velikiy Novgorod, Novgorod the Great. It stands along the right bank of the V ...
, and several archimandrites built churches in other monasteries, perhaps indicating their power or influence over all the city-state's monasteries. Archbishop Spiridon (1229–1249) was a monk and deacon at the monastery before he was elected archbishop of Novgorod. Archbishop Moisei (1325–1330, 1352–1359) was archimandrite of the Yuriev Monastery before being elected archbishop, and Archbishop Feoktist was, according to some sources, buried at the Yuriev monastery (explaining the large fresco of him and a smaller icon in the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross), but other sources give another monastery, the Monastery of the Annunciation, as his place of burial. Prince
Dmitry Shemyaka Dmitriy Yurievich Shemyaka (Дмитрий Юрьевич Шемяка in Russian language, Russian) (died 1453) was the second son of Yury of Zvenigorod by Anastasia of Smolensk and grandson of Dmitri Donskoi. His hereditary patrimony was the r ...
was also allegedly buried there. The monastery played the role of Novgorodian princes burial place. In 1198 two sons of
Yaroslav the Wise Yaroslav the Wise or Yaroslav I; russian: Ярослав Мудрый, ; uk, Ярослав Мудрий; non, Jarizleifr Valdamarsson; la, Iaroslaus Sapiens. (c. 978 – 20 February 1054) was the Grand Prince of Kiev from 1019 until his death. ...

Yaroslav the Wise
, Izyaslav of Luki and Rostislav, are buried in the Church of Saint George. In 1233 the elder brother of Great Prince
Alexander Nevsky Alexander Yaroslavich Nevsky (russian: link=no, Александр Ярославич Невский; ; 13 May 1221 – 14 November 1263), or Alexander Nevskii, served as Prince of Novgorod (1236–40, 1241–56 and 1258-1259), Grand Prin ...

Alexander Nevsky
called Фёдор (Theodor), and in 11 years, in 1244, their mother called Феодосия (Theodosia) found the last resting in the church. Almost 200 years afterwards, when Swedish intervents had unearthed graves looking for lucre while invading the monastery during the
Ingrian War The Ingrian War ( sv, Ingermanländska kriget) between the Swedish Empire The Swedish Empire was a European great power that exercised territorial control over much of the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries ...
(1610 - 1617), the remains of prince Theodor were found imperishable. They "put him out of grave and stand him leaned at wall, he was like alive". As the result, the great prince Theodor was canonized in Novgorod and is the local saint. The monastery was an important source for historical information on medieval Novgorod, as part of the
Novgorod First Chronicle The Novgorod First Chronicle (russian: Новгородская первая летопись) or The Chronicle of Novgorod, 1016–1471 is the most ancient extant Old East Slavic, Old Russian chronicle of the Novgorod Republic, Novgorodian Rus'. I ...
(the Synodal text) was compiled in the monastery.V. M. Kloss, "Letopis' Novgorodskaia pervaia," ''Slovar' Knizhnikov i knizniosti Drevnei Rusi'', vol. 1 (11th–First half of the 14th Centuries) (Leningrad: Akademia Nauk SSSR 1987) 245-247. The Church of St. George is one of the largest in Novgorod and its immediate environs. It is a tall (105 feet tall) white-stone church 85 feet long by 75 feet wide with three silver domes, which is somewhat unusual for Russian churches which usually have five (the main dome representing Christ, the four smaller ones representing the evangelists). Some remnants of the medieval frescoes remain, but most of the church was refrescoed in 1902. Among the frescoes is a large Christ Pantokrator in the main dome, a full-length portrait of Novgorodian Archbishop Feoktist, and another full-length (although smaller) portrait of Prince Vsevolod Mstislavich on the southwestern pier. The monastery also has the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross in the northeastern corner of the monastery, with five blue domes and gold stars on it, built in the 18th century. The gateway into the monastery is crowned by a tall gold-domed tower which is visible from the city centre, including the
Novgorod Kremlin The Novgorod Detinets (russian: Новгородский детинец, Novgorodskiy detinets), also known as the Novgorod Kremlin (, ''Novgorodskiy kreml' ''), is a fortified complex (detinets) in Veliky Novgorod, Russia. It stands on the le ...

Novgorod Kremlin
two miles to the north. The monastery owes its resurgence to the efforts of its powerful and energetic
hegumen Hegumen, hegumenos, or igumen ( el, ἡγούμενος, trans Trans- is a Latin prefix meaning "across", "beyond", or "on the other side of". Used alone, trans may refer to: Media * ''Trans'' (film), US film * Trans (Festival), a former festi ...
Archimandrite Photius Archimandrite Photius ( rus, Архимандрит Фотий), born Petr Nikitich Spassky (Julian calendar: 4 June 1792, Novgorod Oblast – 26 February 1838, Novgorod), was an influential and reactionary Russian priest and mystic, appointed 182 ...
(1792-1838) who persuaded Countess
Anna Orlova Anna Orlova (born 23 August 1972 in Riga) is a retired Latvian luger who competed at six Winter Olympics between 1992 and 2010. She won the silver medal in the mixed team event at the FIL World Luge Championships 2003, 2003 FIL World Luge Champio ...
, a wealthy spinster, to donate her immense funds to the
eparchy ''Eparchy'' is an anglicize Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or understand ...

eparchy
. Both are buried in the penticupolar Church of the Transfiguration which they had built. After the 1917 revolution, the monastery was ravaged. Five of its six churches were either destroyed or badly damaged by 1928; the monastery was closed in 1929. During the
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the buildings were occupied by the German and Spanish armed forces, and were seriously damaged. In 1991 the monastery was returned to the
Russian Orthodox Church , native_name_lang = ru , image = Moscow July 2011-7a.jpg , imagewidth = , alt = , caption = Cathedral of Christ the Saviour The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour ( rus, Храм Хр ...

Russian Orthodox Church
, and parts of it have been renovated since then. However the western part, including a church there, are still in ruins. Ivan the Terrible Ivan IV Vasilyevich (russian: Ива́н Васильевич; 25 August 1530 – ), commonly known in English language, English as Ivan the Terrible (from , Romanization of Russian, romanized: , Literal translation, lit. "Ivan the Formidable ...
"> File:George Uspenskiy.jpg,
''Saint George'', one of the oldest icons in Russia
File:Annunciation ystuj.jpg,
''
Ustyug Annunciation ''Annunciation of Ustyug'' (russian: Устюжское Благовещение) is a Russian Annunciation icon, created in Veliky Novgorod, Novgorod in the 12th century, and one of the few icons which survived the Mongol invasion of Rus'. The ''A ...
'' became the main icon of the
Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow The Cathedral of the Annunciation (russian: Благовещенский собор, or ''Blagoveschensky sobor'') is a Russian Orthodox church (building), church dedicated to the Annunciation of the Theotokos. It is located on the southwest side ...

Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow
File:Novgorod George.jpg,
The main icon of the katholikon dates from ca. 1130


References


External links

* {{coord, 58, 29, 15, N, 31, 17, 07, E, display=title 12th-century Eastern Orthodox church buildings Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings Russian Orthodox monasteries in Russia