Russia Religion Monasticism Monastery Convent of the Ascension

Convent of the Ascension

The Convent of the Ascension was one of the oldest in Moscow. The cloister stood inside the Kremlin, next to the Saviour (Spassky) Gates, beside the Monastery of the Miracle.

The convent is believed to have been founded in 1393, although several sources suggest that it already existed in 1386. The cloister was established by Eudoxia Dmitryevna, the widow of Dmitry Donskoi, who took the veil as Sister Euphrosyne.

Not long before the death of Mother Superior Euphrosyne in 1407, the foundations of the catholicon were laid. The Cathedral of the Ascension took a long time to build. At one point, it collapsed and had to be reconstructed. It was rebuilt between 1517 and 1521 by Aloisio the New.

The convent was headed in the middle of the seventeenth century by Alexandra Golitsyna, who died in 1654. During her tenure, many works of applied art were embroidered and presented to other cloisters.

The Convent of the Ascension was used as a burial place of grand duchesses and tsarinas. Besides the cloister’s founder, Sophia of Lithuania (wife of Basil I), Sophia Palaiologina (wife of Ivan III) and Natalia Naryshkina (mother of Peter the Great) were interred there. The convent was pulled down in 1929.

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