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 1547 and still stands.
Famous monks of the Krypetsky Monastery included Basil, who described the life of St. Savva in the 1540s; St. Nilus, who founded the Nilov Monastery on Stolbnyi Island; and the former chancellor Afanasy Ordin-Nashchokin, who had the monastery grounds greatly expanded and improved. In the 18th century, the abbey fell into disrepair, but was restored by Evgeny Bolkhovitinov, a bishop best known for his friendship with Gavriil Derzhavin and the latter's poems dedicated to him.
In 1918, the monastery was disbanded by the Bolsheviks who plundered more than five poods (2,600 troy ounces) of gold in the monastery sacristy and had its Neoclassical belltower disfigured. The abbey was briefly revived during the German occupation of the area in World War II and was finally restituted to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1991.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.