The Goritsky Monastery of Resurrection is a Russian Orthodox female monastery in the village of Goritsy. Since the 1970s, the Kirillo-Belozerksy museum-zapovednik of History, Art, and Architecture has operated parts of the Goritsky complex. Parts of Goritsky convent were reopened for religious purposes two decades later, and as of 2011 Goritsky was one of the four acting monasteries in Vologda Oblast, and the only one for religious women.
The Gediminid Knyaginya (duchess) Euphrosinia Staritskaya founded the Goritsky convent in 1544, about a decade after her marriage to one of Tsar Ivan the Great's sons (who died imprisoned after a succession rebellion in his name), and two years after the marriage of her only son, Vladimir of Staritsa. In 1563, as the Livonian war with Lithuania, Poland and Sweden led to the Oprichnina, the aristocratic widow was forced to become a nun and kept under house arrest at Goritsky, together with her daughter-in-law, Yevdokiya Staritskaya. Nonetheless, in 1569, Tsar Ivan the Terrible gave orders to drown the two nuns in the nearby Sheksna River. The policy of removing political opponents to religious foundations, common throughout Europe for decades, continued to use the Goritsky convent. In 1586 Anna Koltovskaya, Ivan the Terrible's fourth wife, might also have taken monastic vows and changed her name to Daria at Goritsky, before being transferred to the Vvedensky convent in Tikhvin. Xenia Godunova, the daughter of Tsar Boris Godunov, became the nun Olga at Goritsky circa 1606, before being transferred to the Knyaginin Convent in Vladimir and later burial with her royal family at the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius. The convent's most recent famous resident may have been Fool for Christ Asenatha of Goritsky, who died in 1892 (and whom Russian Orthodox faithful continue to remember on April 19).
In the 1920s, the Bolsheviks transformed the convent into an agricultural cooperative where the nuns worked and prayed. In the 1930s it was shut down, and most of the nuns executed. In the 1970s it became part of Kirillo-Belozersky museum-zapovednik of History, Art, and Architecture (based on the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery). Since the 1990s a small community of nuns started to live in the convent.References:
Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.
The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.
In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.
Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.
About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.
Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.
A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.