- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Andronik Monastery (Andronikov Monastyr)
Andronik Monastery (Andronikov Monastyr) Review
A stroll inside the heavy stone fortifications of this monastery, which is in far better condition than Novospassky Monastyr or Krutitskoye Podvorye, is an excursion into Moscow's past. The loud crowing of birds overhead drowns out the rumble of the city. Even the air seems purer here, perhaps because of the old birch trees growing on the monastery grounds and just outside its walls. The monastery was founded in 1360 by Metropolitan Alexei and named in honor of its first abbot, St. Andronik. The site was chosen not only for its strategic importance—on the steep banks of the Moskva River—but also because, according to legend, it was from this hill that Metropolitan Alexei got his first glimpse of the Kremlin.
The dominating structure on the monastery grounds is the Spassky Sobor (Cathedral of the Savior), Moscow's oldest stone structure. Erected in 1420-27 on the site of an earlier, wooden church, it rests on the mass grave of Russian soldiers who fought in the Battle of Kulikovo (1380), the decisive Russian victory that eventually led to the end of Mongol rule in Russia. Unfortunately, the original interiors, which were painted by Andrei Rublyov and another famous icon painter, Danil Chorny, were lost in a fire in 1812. Fragments of their frescoes have been restored, however. The cathedral is open for services at 5:30 pm on Saturday and 9 am on Sunday.
The building to your immediate left as you enter the monastery is the former abbot's residence. It now houses a permanent exhibit titled "Masterpieces of Ancient Russian Art," with works from the 13th through 16th centuries. The exhibit includes icons from the Novgorod, Tver, Rostov, and Moscow schools. A highlight of the collection is the early-16th-century St. George Smiting the Dragon, from the Novgorod School.
The next building, to the left and across the pathway from the Cathedral of the Savior, is the Refectory. Like the Novospassky Monastyr, it was built during the reign of Ivan the Great, between 1504 and 1506. Today it houses an exhibit of the monastery's newer acquisitions, primarily icons from the 19th to 20th centuries. Attached to the Refectory is the Tserkov Archangela Mikhaila (Church of St. Michael the Archangel), another example of the style known as Moscow baroque. It was commissioned by the Lopukhin family—relatives of Yevdokiya Lopukhina, the first, unloved wife of Peter the Great—as the family crypt in 1694. But there are no Lopukhins buried here, as Peter had Yevdokiya banished to a monastery in faraway Suzdal before the church was even finished, and her family was exiled to Siberia.
The last exhibit is in the former monks' residence, the redbrick building just beyond the Tserkov Archangela Mikhaila. The exhibit is devoted to 3rd-century saint Nikolai the Miracle Worker (270-343), better known in the West as St. Nicholas, the inspiration for Santa Claus. Icons here depict his life and work. From Ploshchad Ilyicha, follow Sergiya Radonezhskovo until you come out onto a square with tramlines. On your right you will find the monastery.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- From Russia With Love! Flights to Moscow From 477 R/T ASAPTickets.com
- Moscow Savings! Book at Peter 1 Fr $279+/Nt Save with Expedia, $124/night less
- Holiday Inn Moscow - Suschevsky in May: $144 & Up Expedia
- Save at 4-Star Brighton: $207 & Up in May — $207 Expedia
- Renaissance Moscow Olympic on Sale: Book 3 Nts in May Fr $295+/Nt — $295 Expedia
This is a series of Trip reports that I originally posted on Trip Advisor. Read more
Hello. Read more
What is a visa? Read more
· News & Features
Why not take that classic walking city tour to new heights with this new trend of rooftop tours? ... Read more
Feeling that Olympics fever?... Read more
From Arkansas to Nicaragua, we've got our ear to the ground when it comes to the hottest new hotels.... Read more