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 lands. His example was eagerly followed by other Russian monks. By 1572, the Pechenga Monastery counted about 50 brethren and 200 lay followers.
Six years after St. Tryphon's death in 1583, the wooden monastery was raided and burnt down by the Swedes. It is said that the raid claimed the lives of 51 monks and 65 lay brothers, bringing the history of Tryphon's establishment to an end. This revenge raid was carried out by a Finnish peasant chief Pekka Antinpoika Vesainen on December 25, 1589, and was part of the Russo-Swedish War of 1590 - 1595.
In 1591 Tsar Fyodor I ordered to revive the monastery in the vicinity of Kola, but the new hermitage fell in flames in 1619. Although the New Pechenga Monastery was eventually moved to the town itself, it was so sparsely settled that the Holy Synod deemed it wise to disband it in 1764. As the Russian colonization of the Kola Peninsula accelerated in the late 19th century, the Pechenga Monastery was restored at its original location in 1886. Prior to the Russian Revolution, it consisted of the Upper Monastery, commemorating the graves of Tryphon and 116 martyrs of the 1589 raid, and the new Lower Monastery, overlooking the Pechenga Bay.
The stauropegic monastery continued to flourish when Pechenga became part of Finland in 1920. At the end of the Continuation War in 1944 the Moscow Armistice granted Petsamo to the Soviet Union. The brethren were evacuated to the New Valamo Monastery, where they kept their autonomy until 1984 when the last of them died at the age of 110. Although the monastery buildings were destroyed during the war, the Russian Orthodox Church decreed the reestablishment of the monastery in Pechenga in 1997.References:
From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.
Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.
In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.
Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.