Murals on biblical scenes in Transfiguration Cathedral, Spaso-Preobrazhensky Mirozhsky Zavelichsky monastery in Pskov.

© Sergei Afanasev/Shutterstock

Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour

Top choice in Western European Russia

The Unesco-protected, nonworking Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour is the highlight of the Mirozhsky Monastery. Its 12th-century frescos are considered to be one of the most complete representations of the biblical narrative to have survived the Mongols. The Byzantine-style frescos have been partially restored after centuries of damage from flooding, whitewashing and scrubbing; 80% of what you see today is original.

The cathedral was based on a 12th-century Greek model, formed around a symmetrical cross – you can still see traces of the original structure along exterior walls. The church closes often due to inclement weather – too hot, too cold or too wet – so it’s best to call in advance.