Novodevichy, or "New Maidens Convent" in English, was founded by Vasily III in 1524 to commemorate the recapture of Smolensk from the Lithuanians in 1514. Novodevichy was Moscow's richest convents and many wives and widows of tsars and boyars entered the convent. The convent came under attack in 1812, when Napoleon ordered that the entire Novodevichy complex be destroyed as he and his French troops withdrew from Moscow after the long and grueling campaign of that year. The nuns of the convent discovered the lit candles scattered around the straw-filled Church of John the Baptist and the smoldering fuses leading to barrels of gunpowder stacked in the cellar of the Smolensky Cathedral just in time to extinguish them and save the Novodevushi Monastery and convent from destruction.
Among the famous buried in the charming overgrown cemetery adjacent are Nikolai Gogol, Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Bulgakov, the poet Maiakovskii, singer Chaliapin and composer Skriabin, plus Stalin's wife and last but not least, the black-and-white headstone devoted to former Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev. Its easy to spend an afternoon wandering the peaceful and interesting grounds of Novodevushi Monastery
RUSSIA TRAVEL PACKAGES
A selection of Russian tours to take as they are or adjust to your needs.
THE GOLDEN RING
Visit the heart of ancient Russia. What is the Golden Ring?
What you can see in Moscow.
MOSCOW DAY TRIPS
Get out of Moscow and take a relaxing trip to some of these places
Some of the sights to see in Petersburg
LAKE BAIKAL TOURS
Hiking and trekking around the world's deepest lake in the heart of Siberia
Come and work in the field on a Russian Archaeological dig. Full training given on site.
TRAVEL TIPS & SERVICES
Getting around in Russia