Annunciation Church

St Petersburg

Between the cemeteries and the main church, you'll pass a ticket kiosk with a separate admission to the old Annunciation church, aka the Blagoveshchenskaya Burial Vault. This was actually the sight of St Petersburg's first stone temple, completed in 1725, though it's been modified over the years. Intended as a burial chamber for the royal family, the ground floor today houses the remains of various minor royals, statesmen and tsarist generals.

One of the most the impressive tombs belongs to Alexander Golitsyn, who served as a governor of St Petersburg from 1780 to 1783. You'll also find the oldest tombstones in the monastery here – Ivan and Darya Ryevsky, who died in the early 1700s.

Upstairs, the former church today contains a collection of sculptures (dedicated to sorrow, early death and other uplifting topics). There are also a few documents related to the monastery's founding – note also the intriguing early map of St Petersburg dating from 1753.

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