The Nikolo-Vyazhishchskii Stavropegial Women's Monastery was founded in by the monks Efrosiny, Ignaty, and Galaktion and the hieromonk Pimen at the end of the 14th century (a charter from 1391 mentions it), with Pimen becoming the first hegumen of the monastery. It was first mentioned in the chronicle under the year 1411. The monastery was patronized by Archbishop Evfimy II (r. 1429-1458), who was hegumen of the monastery before his election as archbishop of Novgorod in 1429, and was buried there (he is known as St. Evfimy of Vyazhishche). His sarcophagus is now in the Church of St. Evfimy of Vyazhishche, built in 1685. The monastery was one of the greatest landowners in the Novgorodian land, holding in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, some 2,000 hectares of land. Much of its lands were confiscated during secularization under Catherine II (r.1762-1796) at which time it was classified a 2nd Class Monastery.
Following confiscation by the Soviets, the monastery was closed in 1920. It became part of a collective farm and the buildings were used to store yams, as well as a threshing floor, a forge, and a metalshop. From the 1950s, there were efforts to restore the monastery and it was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1989. On March 31, 1990, then Metropolitan of Leningrad and Novgorod Alexius (later the Patriarch of Moscow) reconsecrated the main church to St. Evfimy.
The convent has the status of a stauropegic monastery (as of a grant from the Holy Synod of 7 October 1995), that is, it is under the direct control of the Patriarch of Moscow rather than of the Archbishop of Novgorod. The current hegumenia is Antonia (Korneeva). There are at present some 15 nuns living at the monastery. Of four churches in the Monastery (St. Evfimy, St. Nicholas, St. John the Divine, and The Church of the Ascension), only one is now a working church, that of St. Evfimy. The rest are still being restored.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.