Visit to Novodevichy Convent. Novodevichy Monastery, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, is one of the most beautiful monasteries in all of Russia and is situated in the southwest of the capital on a meadow next to the Moskva River. It was founded as a fortified monastery by Vasili III in 1524 to commemorate a victory over the Polish and Lithuanian armies and the seizure of Smolensk. During the 16th and 17th centuries the great boyar families and even the tsar’s family sent their daughters there. The monastery is situated next to a small lake which served as the inspiration for Tchaikovsky’s famous Swan Lake ballet, the exteriors of its five-domed cathedral and bell tower being stunningly beautiful. In Novodevichy Cemetery, situated on the Monastery’s grounds, numerous outstanding and famous Russian personalities from the worlds of art, science, and even politics are buried: Boris Yeltsin, Khrushchev, Kropotkin, and Molotov rest here, along with Chekhov, Gogol, Mayakovski, Bulgakov, and also Rostropovich, Shostakovich, Stanislavsky, Rubinstein, Shalyapin, and Eisenstein.
Visit to Novodevichy Cathedral and Museum. The five-domed cathedral dedicated to Our Lady of Smolensk is the oldest building inside the monastery, as it was built in the first half of the 16th century by Italian architects. Its interior is decorated with frescoes of an extraordinary beauty and majestic golden icons. In Novodevichy Museum we will find valuable collections of icons, jewellery, embroideries, and ancient books.