Tikhvin Monastery of the Mother of God

Around St Petersburg

Rising like a fairy tale across the Tabory pond, this complex is about a 1km walk from the train station straight along Sovetskaya ul. At its heart is the onion-domed Assumption Cathedral, established in 1510, and painted inside, and partially outside, with detailed frescoes. A famous icon of Mary and Jesus said to have been painted by the apostle Luke draws awed pilgrims from across Russia, particularly on 9 July, when a procession celebrates the return of the icon to Tikhvin.

The complex’s nunnery, crowned by a five-spired belfry, is where Ivan the Terrible sent his fourth wife to be confined. Within the walls you’ll also find several museums, including the Tikhvin Historical Memorial & Architectural Museum, which has interesting displays on the monastery’s history and examples of its religious art dating back to the 16th century.

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