The Kozheozersky Monastery is a Russian Orthodox monastery founded by Niphont of Kozheozero and Serapion of Kozheozero in 1550s. It is one of the most remote monasteries in Russia; there are no roads leading to Kozhozero, and the only way to get to the monastery is 30 kilometres by foot.
In 16th century the valley of the Onega River was already populated, and the ascetic monks were looking for remote places to get away from people. Niphont of Kozheozero, a monk in the Syryinsky Monastery close to the selo of Chekuyevo, in the lower course of the Onega, arrived to Lake Kozhozero. According to the tradition, this occurred in 1552. In 1557, Sergey, a baptized Tatarprince, arrived to Lalke Kozhozero and became a monk, taking the name Serapion. He later became the first hegumen of the monastery. Since the lands around Lake Kozhozero were not suitable for agriculture, the monastery was initially poor. In 1585, Tsar Feodor Ivanovich transferred lands around the lake to the monastery, and two churches were built. Serapion died in 1611. The next hegumen was Avraamy, who was the disciple of Serapion and died in 1634. The only saint ever living in the monastery was Nikodim of Khozyuga, who came to Kozhozero in 1607, and in 1609 left for a remote location 14 kilometres from Kozheozersky Monastery.
Nikon, the future patriarch of Moscow and reformer of Russian Orthodox Church, arrived to the monastery in 1641 and was the hegumen from 1643 to 1646. During his period, he solicited considerable investments from two tsars. In 1646, he left for Moscow for some business related to the monastery, and never returned, getting a new appointment.
In 1670, the monastery served as a place for political exile. In 17th century, it was growing and became rich, however, in 18th century the financial state of the monastery deteriorated. In 1722 the last hegumen, Georgy, died, and subsequently the monastery was headed by a 'builder'. The first builder was Korniliy (1722-1738). In the beginning of 1730s, a disastrous fire destroyed all wooden buildings of the monastery, and it was never able to recover. In 1758, the monastery was subordinated toSpaso-Kargopolsky Monastery in Kargopol, and in 1764, it was shut down. Between 1650s and 1764, 346 monks in total lived in the monastery.
Kozheozersky monastery was reopened in 1853. In 1764, former monastery buildings were turned into a village, and the village population was forcibly resettled in 1853. Until 1880s, the monastery was poorly managed and remained in a difficult financial situation. The situation improved when Pitirim, formerly a monk in Solovetsky Monastery, became a hegumen in 1885. He renewed the monastery buildings and built a road to the moneatery.
During the Civil War in Russia, Kozheozersky Monastery was on the front line between Red and White armies. For some time, it remained on the territory subject to the White gowernment in Arkhangelsk, and a White Army detachment was stationed in the monastery. The front line was close to the selo of Chekuyevo. In the winter 1919/1920, the Red Army underwent a massive attack an, in particular, took the monastery over. The monastery was closed, the fate of the monks is unknown.
For some time, the ruins of Kozheozersky monastery hosted resettled peasants. This settlement was known as Kozhposyolok. In 1954, Kozhposyolok was abandoned, and the monastery was repopulated in 1997 and consecrated in 1999. The only monk permanently residing in the monastery is the hegumen.References:
The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.
At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.
During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.
In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.
In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.
The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.