South of the city center are some of Moscow's most notable holy sites. The New Maiden's Convent, southwest of the city center, is one of Moscow's finest and best-preserved ensembles of 16th- and 17th-century Russian architecture. It's interesting not only for its impressive cathedral and charming churches but also for the dramatic chapters of Russian history that have been played out within its walls. It stands in a wooded section bordering a small pond, making this a particularly pleasant place for an afternoon stroll. Attached to the convent is a fascinating cemetery where some of Russia's greatest literary, military, and political figures are buried. A few metro stops away is another fabled religious institution, Donskoy Monastery, founded in the 16th century by Boris Godunov, with a cathedral commissioned a century later by the regent Sophia, Peter the Great's half-sister.
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