Goritsy is a small village on the banks of a Volga tributary with a little river port that serves as the access point to Kirillov, home of the Kirillo-Belozersk Monastery. This is one of the oldest monasteries in Russia, dominating the lake from the heights of its impressive fortress. On your way to the monastery you will admire the magnificent landscapes of Northern Russia with its hills, forests, and lakes. The monastery was founded by St. Cyril of Belozersk at the end of the 15th century as one of the main religious, economic, and cultural centers of Northern Russia and became rich thanks to the tsars and Russian princes donating to the handcraft and trade industries. It is divided into three parts: the oldest is the Monastery of the Dormition, the location of the Cathedral of the Dormition and most of its churches; the second is named after St. John the Baptist; and the third is called the New City, having been built during the fortification of the monastery along with its impressive walls and towers during the second half of the 17th century. The reforms of Peter I and Catherine II ended the monastery’s economic boom and in 1924 it was closed by the Soviets and became a museum.
Visit to the Museum of Icons. It is located within the monastery, occupying several of its ancient rooms. The museum features one of the world’s best collections of icons, as well as graphic arts, stone exhibits, documents, manuscripts, and books.