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Savvino-Storozhevskiy Monastery and Right Reverend Savva Skete

The monastery was founded in 1398 near Zvenigorod (50 km distance from Moscow) on the high bank of the Moskva river, at Storozh mountain which served as a fortification for Moscow principality. It was founded by the right reverend Savva, a Wondermaker from Zvenigorod, one of the first apprentices of the right reverend Sergiy Radonezhskiy, at request of Yuriy Dmitrievich, the prince of Zvenigorod, the second son of the Great Moscow prince Dmitriy Donskoy.

The first monastery stone building is the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1405) – one of the four earliest churches preserved at the Moscow land. In the XVI century upon canonization of Savva, the aisle was built at its southern wall. The cathedral interior was decorated by frescoes painted in the XV-XX centuries.

The golden age of the cathedral was in the middle of the XVII century. In 1650, according to the Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich’s special order, the great construction works began under the supervision of the noble Nikita Bobarykin, architects Andrei Shakhov and Ivan Sharutin at the place of the ancient Savvinskaya dwelling.

In six years they built a magnificent architectural ensemble including Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich’s palace, Tsarina’s Halls, Belfry, Trinity church, Canteen room, Fraternity buildings, Treasury building, walls and towers. Under the Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich the monastery was granted the status of Lavra.

In the XVIII-XIX centuries its ensemble was supplemented by the church of Transfiguration, Small Cell complex, Trinity gate church aisle.

Beginning from 1800 г. the Religious school was located there.

In 1919 the monastery was closed and its property was nationalized.

Beginning from 1920 the museum exposition was located at some monastery buildings. Its collections have been gathered during the whole Soviet period up to this day.

In 1995 the monastery was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church and restored as a stavropegial one. Nowadays reconstruction works are held there. The original view of many ancient dwelling buildings is under reconstruction.

August 22, 1998 Savvino-Storozhevskiy monastery celebrated its 600th jubilee. His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Aleksiy II, upon the Liturgy in Moscow St. Danila monastery solemnly brought the right reverend Savva – the dwelling founder’s relics to Zvenigorod. In 2007 the monument to the right reverend Savva was opened.

The legendary kvas (a traditional Russian beverage) with raisins (adding additional wine fermentation) and monastery pastry are done in the monastery.

Starting from 2007 the famous Savvinskaya Fair of folk arts and crafts has been restored. In the pre-revolutionary time it was the most famous one. The fair is held at Savvino-Storozhevskiy monastery walls at the end of August.

The Jingling Zvenigorod festival is held within the Savvinskaya Fair. Lots of folklore ensembles and Russian pop music stars take part in it.

1. Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
2. Aleksei Mikhailovich palace, 1650s, 1687
3. Small cell complex, XVII, XIX centuries
4. Big fraternity complex, XVII-XIX centuries
5. Tsarina’s halls, 1650s
6. Trinity church, 1652
7. Kazan Mother of God Icon Reflectory church, 1807
8. Belfry, 1650s
9. Transfiguration church, 1650s – 1693
10. Canteen, 1652-1654, XIX century
11. Treasury building, XVI-XIX centuries
12. Shooters’ halls, XVII- XVIII centuries

Right Reverend Savva Skete

Founded in 1398.

The right reverend Savva used to go from his cell to a gut located a verst (a Russian unit of distance equal to 1.067 kilometers) to the North of the monastery; to perform his praying exploits and communicate with God by means of prays. At the mountain slope in the shadow of thick woods he dug a cave for himself where he cried and prayed as well as contemplated the highest heaven dwellings on the Earth. The memory of his praying exploits has been cherished for ages.

In the 1860s — beginning of 1870s a church in the name of the right reverend Savva Storoshevskiy was erected above the cave. The monastery Skete ensemble was built near it. Originally it was named “the hostel department” and was represented as a whole monastery with two churches, cells and household buildings surrounded by stone walls with towers.

Starting from 1859 at the time of bishop Leonid (Krasnopevkov) there was established an annual tradition to arrange a sacred procession walking from the monastery to cave on the holyday of July 17 (30) in honour of the Right Reverend‘s shrine restoration and construction of a new canopy above it. Nowadays the tradition of arrangement of the sacred procession walking from the monastery to Skete is restored.

In the honour of 600th anniversary of Zvenigorod Wondermaker’s decsent his cave has been rebuilt, the preserved buildings – restored, Skete’s life – revived, Right Reverend Savva source - renovated, bath was constructed. On the Skete territory there is a monastery of the hostel type which conducts household activities: monastery kitchen garden, cattle yard and other services.

Skete churches: (1) Right Reverend Savva Storozhevskiy church; (2) Home church of St. Nikolai the Wondermaker in the cell complex; (3) bath-chapel above the spring
Other Skete buildings:
(4) Walls and towers of the fence (the 1860-s; (5) Cells (the 1860-s; (6) Gatehouse (the 1860-s); (7) Gate (the 1860-s).

Monastery address: Russia, 143185, Moscow region, Odintsovskiy district, Zvenigorod, 5 Gorodok Str.
(Right Reverend Savva Skete is 700 meters away from the monastery)

Tel.: (495) 597–11–77, 592–94–18


Monastery and Skete working hours:

The monastery is open from 6:00 am the end of evening service 7 days/week.

The Skete bath is open 7 days/week. From 7.00 am till 22.00 pm in summer. From 7:00 am till 21:00 pm in spring and autumn. From 7:00 am till 20:00 pm. On Monday the bathing place closes one hour earlier.


Address, phones

  • Address: 143116, Moscow region, Ruzsky rayon, Potapovo 61/1
  • Tel: +7(926) 523-37-20
  • Fax: +7(495) 721-25-21
  • Email: fermapotapovo@gmail.com
  • GPS: N55° 49' 636"  E36° 02' 131"
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