Religious sites in Russia

Saint Sampson's Cathedral

St Sampson"s Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in St. Petersburg. Rumor has it that it was in St. Sampson"s Cathedral that Catherine II of Russia secretly married Grigory Potemkin in 1774. The original wooden church was built in 1710 to honor Sampson the Hospitable. It was on the feast day of that saint that Peter the Great defeated Charles XII of Sweden in the Battle of Poltava. The existing church was b ...
Founded: 1740 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Joseph-Volokolamsk Monastery

Joseph Volokolamsk Monastery was the most authoritative and wealthy monastery in Russia in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was founded in 1479 by Joseph Volotsky. Over the next several decades, the monastery played a key role in the political and ecclesiastic life of the 16th-century Russia. It was also a stronghold of struggle against the opponents of church landownership and heretics. Its vaults were used as a prison ...
Founded: 1479 | Location: Teryaevo, Russia

Kizhi Pogost

Kizhi Pogost is a historical site dating from the 17th century on Kizhi island. The pogost is the area inside a fence which includes two large wooden churches (the 22-dome Transfiguration Church and the 9-dome Intercession Church) and a bell-tower. The pogost is famous for its beauty and longevity, despite that it is built exclusively of wood. In 1990, it was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites and in 1993 ...
Founded: 1714 | Location: Kizhi, Russia

Kreuzkirche

The Kreuzkirche was designed by architect Arthur Kickton and built between 1930 and 1933 for the evangelical community of Königsberg. Between the two towers a monumental cross from Kadyny maiolica is situated. The church was only lightly damaged in World War II and became a garage and a factory for fishing equipment thereafter. After a fire it was decided in 1988 to use the building as a church again, now for the Kalinin ...
Founded: 1930-1933 | Location: Kaliningrad, Russia

Ivanovsky Monastery

The Convent of Nativity of Saint John the Baptist is a former Russian Orthodox nunnery in Pskov. It is notable for the katholikon, one of Russia's oldest churches, dating from the first half of the 12th century. The church is located at the city center, on the left bank of the Velikaya River, in the Zavelichye quarter. It currently belongs to Krypetsky Monastery. It is the second oldest building in Pskov after the katholi ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Pskov, Russia

Theophany Convent

Bogoyavlensky Convent is one of the most populous Russian Orthodox convents. It is situated in Kostroma and is known as the location of the ancient Feodorovskaya Icon of God"s Mother. The convent was founded in the 15th century by Nikita, a disciple and a relative of St Sergius of Radonezh. The five-domed katholikon of traditional Byzantine design was constructed under Ivan the Terrible, starting in 1559. The Tsar accuse ...
Founded: 1559-1565 | Location: Kostroma, Russia

Peryn Chapel

Peryn Chapel or the Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos on Peryn is one of the oldest churches of the region, dating from the 1220s. The church is a part of the complex of the Peryn Skete, a former monastery abolished in the 18th century, and is the only acting church in the monastery. It is built of plinthite and of stone and has a foundation in the shape of a square. The church is built on four pillars and has one d ...
Founded: 1220s | Location: Veliky Novgorod, Russia

Fyodorovskaya Church

The Fyodorovskaya Church is a penticupolar parish Russian Orthodox church built by ordinary parishioners on the right bank of the Kotorosl River in Yaroslavl between 1682 and 1687. It is dedicated to Theotokos Feodorovskaya, a miraculous icon from nearby Kostroma. The building is notable as the first church in the region to be returned by the Soviets to the Russian Orthodox Church (in 1987). It served as the cathedral ch ...
Founded: 1682-1687 | Location: Yaroslavl, Russia

Vyazhishchsky Monastery

The Nikolo-Vyazhishchskii Stavropegial Women's Monastery was founded in by the monks Efrosiny, Ignaty, and Galaktion and the hieromonk Pimen at the end of the 14th century (a charter from 1391 mentions it), with Pimen becoming the first hegumen of the monastery. It was first mentioned in the chronicle under the year 1411. The monastery was patronized by Archbishop Evfimy II (r. 1429-1458), who was hegumen of the monastery ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Novgorodskaya oblast, Russia

Allenburg Church

The Allenburg Church is a Brick Gothic building established near Allenburg Castle by Konrad von Jungingen, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, in 1405. Seriously damaged during the First World War, the medieval building was restored and slightly expanded in 1925. After the Second World War, Allenburg was renamed Druzhba. It is now part of Pravdinsky District of Kaliningrad Oblast. The church was used by local farmer ...
Founded: 1405 | Location: Shevchenko, Russia

Arnau Church

The Arnau Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria is a Brick Gothic church built in the 14th century. It contains more than 200 medieval frescoes. The Soviets used the church for grain storage. It was not until 2003 that a restoration campaign was launched. The building belongs to the Kaliningrad History Museum and is used for exhibitions and orthodox liturgy.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Rodniki, Russia

Antoniev Monastery

The Antoniev Monastery rivalled the Yuriev Monastery as the most important monastery of medieval Novgorod the Great. It stands along the right bank of the Volkhov River north of the city centre and forms part of the Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings, a World Heritage Site. The monastery was founded in 1117 by St. Anthony of Rome (Antony Rimlyanin), who, according to legend, flew to Novgorod from Rome on a r ...
Founded: 1117 | Location: Veliky Novgorod, Russia

Juditten Church

Juditten Church is an originally Roman Catholic, later Protestant, and currently Russian Orthodox church in the Mendeleyevo district of Kaliningrad. Juditten was the name of Mendeleyevo when it was a quarter of Königsberg, Germany. One of the oldest churches of Sambia, the fortified church of was built in the Catholic state of the Teutonic Order between 1276 and 1294-1298 or c. 1287-1288. In 1402 it was mentioned in ...
Founded: 1276-1298 | Location: Kaliningrad, Russia

Khutyn Monastery

Khutyn Monastery of Saviour's Transfiguration and of St. Varlaam used to be the holiest monastery of the medieval Novgorod Republic. The cloister was founded in 1192 by the monastery's first hegumen, the former Novgorodian boyar Oleksa Mikhailovich, whose monastic name was Varlaam. The main church of the monastery was consecrated by Archbishop Gavril of Novgorod the following year, the same year Varlaam died. He is buried ...
Founded: 1192 | Location: Velikiy Novgorod, Russia

Zverin Monastery

The Zverin Monastery is one of the oldest Russian monasteries, founded not later than the 12th century. It was first mentioned in the chronicles as a female monastery in 1148. By that time, the monastery already existed, and the wooden Intercession Church was destroyed by lightning. The name of the monastery, which derives from the Russian wordзверь - a mammal - originates from Zverinets, a wooden area where the mona ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Veliky Novgorod, Russia

Krypetsky Monastery

Krypetsky Monastery is a Russian Orthodox monastery founded in 1485 by St. Savva Krypetsky, a Serbian monk from Mount Athos. Two years later, the Pskov veche supported his establishment by granting a large plot of land to the monks. Prince Obolensky had a road for pilgrims built through the mire to the monastery. St. Savva died on 28 August 1495 and was interred in the then timber cathedral, which was rebuilt in stone in ...
Founded: 1485 | Location: Pskov, Russia

Nereditsa Saviour Church

The Saviour Church on Nereditsa is one of Russia"s oldest Orthodox churches. It is on the World Heritage list as a part of Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings. The church was founded in 1198 by Prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovich and decorated with frescoes in 1199. The church was located outside the city of Novgorod but close to the residence of the prince, and the church was regarded by the prince as the plac ...
Founded: 1198 | Location: Veliky Novgorod, Russia

Kamenny Monastery

Kamenny Monastery is situated on a small eponymous island in the very centre of the Kubensky Lake. It is distinguished as the first stone monastery of the Russian North. Kamenny Island (literally, 'Stony Island') is very small, measuring just 120 metres by 70 metres. It is so named after stony ramparts set up by the monks around the island"s perimeter in order to preclude its erosion. The lake is known for ...
Founded: c. 1260 | Location: Vologodskaya oblast, Russia

Volotovo Church

The Volotovo Church was built in 1352 by Moisey, the archbishop of Novgorod. The church survived the Time of Troubles, when many Novgorod churches were destroyed or damaged by the Swedes. During the World War II, the church was basically at the front line between the Soviet and the German armies for three years and was destroyed. In 1955, Leonid Krasnorechyev performed conservation of the monument. The church was standing ...
Founded: 1352 | Location: Veliky Novgorod, Russia

Pechenga Monastery

The Pechenga (Petsamo) Monastery was for many centuries the northernmost monastery in the world. It was founded in 1533 at the influx of the Pechenga River into the Barents Sea, 135 km west of modern Murmansk, by St. Tryphon, a monk from Novgorod. Inspired by the model of the Solovki Monastery, Tryphon wished to convert the local Skolts to Christianity and to demonstrate how faith could flourish in the most inhospitable ...
Founded: 1533 | Location: Pechenga, Russia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Caerleon Roman Amphitheatre

Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.

Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.

Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.