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 monastery was built. Zverinets is mentioned in the chronicles in 1069, but the monastery was still not built. Archbishop Vasily Kalika built a stone Intercession Church in 1335. This is the oldest building of the monastery which survived. The present stone Church of St. Simeon the God-Receiver was built in the monastery in 1467 on the site of an earlier wooden one, which was built in 1399. The stone church was built to commemorate victims of the plague.
Between 1611 and 1617, during the Time of Troubles, Novgorod was occupied by the Swedes, and the monastery was considerably damaged. In 1721, it was abolished as a separate entity and subordinated to the Syrkov Monastery. In 1727, it was re-established. Between 1840 and 1860, a wall was constructed, and in 1899-1901 the new Intercession Cathedral was built. In the end of the 20th century, about forty nuns lived in the monastery. In the 1920s, after the October Revolution, the monastery was abolished. The buildings were badly damaged during World War II. The restoration works started in the 1960s. Currently, the monastery hosts a seminary for the Novgorod eparchy.
Today three churches have survived. The Church of Saint Simeon, constructed in 1467, is a small church with one apse and one dome. In the 19th century, a secondary building was added from the western side of the church. Frescoes of the 15th century survived.
The Intercession Church, built in 1399, was before 1682 consecrated to the Holy Virgin. It was considerably rebuilt in the beginning of the 17th century, after the Swedes devastated the monastery, and again in 1899-1901, when the cathedral was constructed next to the church.
The Intercession Cathedral was constructed in 1899-1901 in the eclectic style. It is the tallest building in the monastery and has five domes.
The Zverin Monastery is on the World Heritage list as a part Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings.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.