Monastery of St Ipaty
- 4942 312 589
- admission R85
Lonely Planet review for Monastery of St Ipaty
Legend has it that a Tatar prince named Chet (who later founded the house of Godunov) was returning to Moscow in 1330 and fell ill. At this time he had a vision of the Virgin Mary and the martyr Ipaty of the Ganges, which aided his recovery. When he returned to Moscow he was baptised and founded the Monastery of St Ipaty to mark the occasion. In 1590, the Godunovs built the monastery’s Trinity Cathedral (Troitsky sobor), which contains over 80 old frescoes by a school of 17th-century Kostroma painters, headed by Gury Nikitin (plus some 20th-century additions). The monastery’s more recent history is closely tied to the Godunov and Romanov families, fierce rivals in high-level power games before the Romanovs established their dynasty. In 1600 Boris Godunov exiled the head of the Romanov family, Fyodor, and his son Mikhail to this monastery. Mikhail Romanov was here in 1613, when the All-Russia Council came to insist that he accept his position as tsar, thus ending the Time of Troubles. In honour of the event, all successive Romanov rulers came here to visit the monastery’s red Romanov Chambers (Palaty Romanova), opposite the cathedral. Behind the monastery is an attractive outdoor Museum of Wooden Architecture. The monastery is 2.5km west of the town centre. Take bus 14 from the central Susaninskaya pl and get off once you cross the river.