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River cruises through Goritsy

The company "Valaam" offers a wide range of river and sea cruises in 2012: this river cruises on the rivers and lakes of our country in such famous places as Valaam, Kizhi, Mandrogi, Petrozavodsk, Solovki. The beauty of the northern nature will leave no one indifferent. unique creations and the heroic labor of the ancient artists deserve to see them.

View a list of river cruises: Cruises on the Volga River from St. Petersburg


Close to the town of Kirillov, on the bank of the Sheksna River at the foot of Maura Mountain, there is Goritsy monastery. It is situated in a picturesque area among forests and fields and impresses with its beauty and organic relevance within the landscape. The white buildings of the monastery look especially gorgeous from the river.
Goritsy Resurrection Monastery was founded in 1544 by Princess Efrosinya, the wife of the last prince Antrew Staritsky (the younger son of Ivan III). Later the monastery became the place of imprisonment and death of the princess who did not disguise her wish to see her son, prince Vladimir Andreyevich Staritsky, the Russian Tsar after the death of Ivan IV (the Terrible), which brought on the hatred of the latter.
Many times Vladimir Andreyevich Staritsky was forced to give sworn account of his loyalty: If my mother, princess Efrosinya, starts egg against your son, tsarevitch Ivan, I wont listen to her If I know that my mother, without telling me, starts conspiring against your son, tsarevitch Ivan, I should inform your son about that
Still, in 1563 the tsar put his anger on princess Efrosinya and her son and, by order of Ivan the Terrible, she was forced to take the veil named Evdokia and settle at Beloozero (White Lake) in the Resurrection nunnery where she had put her vow and of which had taken part in the construction.
In 1569 Vladimir Andreyevich and his family were brutally murdered, the mother-princess (nun Evdokia) and her daughter-in-law (wife of Vladimir Andreyevich) were drowned beside the nunnery walls in the Sheksna by the tsar order. This sad beginning influenced the whole history of the Goritsy nunnery. Remote and secluded, it became the place of exile for wives and female relatives of disgraced persons. In 1609 it became the place of imprisonment and vows for Ksenya Godunova, in XVII for princesses Elena Masalskaya and Anna Hilkova. In XVIII the nunnery was still the exile place.
The oldest preserved construction is the cathedral church of Resurrection built in 1544 under princess Efvosinya. This both simple and majestic four-pillar cathedral must have been built by local builders. In 1611 Maria Nagaya (the last wife of Ivan the Terrible) had a small aisle built thereto in memory of murdered tsarevitch Dmitry. At the same time a belfry was erected (in XVIII it was rebuilt). In the first half of the XIXth century the construction was accomplished: the St. Trinity cathedral and a small fence with towers appeared.
After the revolution, the Resurrection nunnery existed until 1932, and then it was used as residential premises and for local purposes: The St. Trinity cathedral still houses the House of Culture. The monastery started its new life in 1999, sister building was restored, subsistence farming created.
In 2001 there were 8 nuns and the prioress (mother Eufalya). The villagers are rather reluctantly leaving the monastery buildings. The serving Vvedenskaya church is situated beyond the monastery territory. Due to this Goritsy monastery looks somewhat desolate, though a part of it is well-conditioned and restored. We visited this place several years ago in 1997 (unofficial revival of monastery life started in 1995). We hope the impression of Goritsy is going to be bright and cheery.

Kirillo-Belozersky monastery

At the distance of 7 kilometers from Goritsy, there is an old town of Kirillov. Here the Russian famous Kirillo-Belozersky monastery is situated. The monastery was founded in 1397 by St. Cyril, a monk and chronicler. In XV the monastery became widely famous all over Rus. Along with Ferapontov monastery, it was rendered all possible support on behalf of Moscow princes and it soon became the center of Christian culture and economic life of the Russian North, one of the centers of iconography. The monastery library was the richest one among Russian monasteries.
Since 1998 the ensemble including Kirillo-Belozersky, Assumption and Ivanovsky monasteries has been making up a majestic reserve, where each building testifies to the highest skill of
ancient architects, and is included in the registry of especially valuable objects of cultural legacy of the peoples of Russia. Ferapontov Convent situated nearby is a branch of Kirillo-Belozersky reserve.
Kirillov Convent was founded in Belozerye as one of the first monasteries in the course of Moscow monastery colonization of the area. The struggle of Moscow and Novgorod for development of rich northern territories induced the utmost interest of Moscow Principality in this area. Its location almost in the center of Novgorod lands made it a convenient base for further propagation of Moscow in these lands. Building of numerous monasteries in this area is far from being accidental. Moscow governors quite understood that monasteries founded with princely help would going to be a solid support in the further attack on Novgorod. On the other hand, this support induced creation of one after another similar cloisters in Belozerye.
1397 is the year of foundation of Kirillov Convent, 1398 Ferapontov Convent, at the turn of XIV-XV centuries Resurrection Cherepovets monastery, in the first half of the XVth century Nikolayevsky Kovzhensko-Kuryezhsky monastery. The town of Beloozero was first mentioned in the Initial Chronicle in the middle of the IXthe century, however it appeared much earlier. A large lake which hid untold wealth attracted men of trade and boyars, as well as runaway servants.
According to extant information, it is known that Arab merchants going up the Volga and Sheksna had traded with the residents of Beloozero in the VIIIth century. Old trade routes passed through Beloozero along Sheksna and Mologa to Upper Volga, and along Slovenian dies to the Sukhona watershed and farther to the east. Gradually it turned into a large trade and industrial center in the North. Thats why this rich town surrounded by vast territories of Beloye (White) Lake watershed was severely struggled for in the XII century.
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