Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery

The Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery (Саввино-Сторожевский монастырь, "the Storozhi monastery of St. Savva") is a Russian Orthodox monastery dedicated to the feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos. It is the preeminent landmark of Zvenigorod, a town 48 km west of Moscow.

In 1398, Prince Yuri of Zvenigorod asked Savva, or Sabbas, one of the first disciples of Sergius of Radonezh, to come to his capital city and set up a monastic abode on the Storozhi Holm (Watching Hill). St. Savva of Storozhi was interred in the white stone cathedral of the Virgin's Nativity in 1407. This diminutive, roughly hewn church still stands, although its present-day exquisite look is the result of a 1970s restoration campaign. The frescoes in the altar date back to the 1420s, but the rest of the interior was painted in 1656. A magnificent iconostasis in five tiers and the Stroganov School royal doors were installed in 1652.

In 1650, the pious Tsar Alexis selected the Zvenigorod monastery as his suburban residence... In May 1918, when the Bolsheviks tried to seize the relics of St. Savva, several persons were shot dead. The monastery was ransacked and pillaged, including the tomb of Saint Savva, made of gold plated silver, then the monks were chased out and finally the cathedral was left to ruin. In 1985, the compound was assigned to the Danilov Monastery in Moscow. St. Savva's relics were returned to the monastery in 1998.

Both major churches used to be entirely covered with frescoes and until the revolution had the old icon screens of five levels. Only a few fragments of the original frescoes have survived the Soviet period.

8 Ратехинское шоссе 143180 Zvenigorod Russia