Vysotsky Monastery is a walled Russian Orthodox monastery founded in the 1370s by Vladimir the Bold. It served for a long time as a border fortress defending the southern approaches to Moscow from the Tatars. The first hegumen, Afanasy the Elder, was a disciple of St. Sergius of Radonezh, whose successor, St. Nikon of Radonezh, is believed to have been tonsured a monk in this monastery.
After the Russo–Crimean War (1571) the badly damaged monastery was restored on a grander scale. The five-domed Cathedral of the Conception dates from that building campaign, financed byIvan the Terrible. The cathedral was almost certainly preceded by a medieval limestone church of which little is known.
In the mid-17th century the monastery was fortified with stone walls and four corner towers. It rivalled the Vladychny Monastery as the most important shrine of Serpukhov and welcomed rich patrons wishing to be buried within the monastery walls. Among those buried there are Gavrila Golovkin, the Chancellor of Peter the Great, and Fyodor Soimonov, the Governor of Siberia. The Neoclassical belfry was completed in the 1840s.
The monastery celebrated its 500th anniversary with the construction of the All Saints church, designed by Roman Klein in a fashionable Neo-Byzantine style. The church was destroyed after the Russian Revolution, when the monastery was given over to the Latvian Riflemen to be used as barracks. By the end of the Soviet period the monastery had lost most of its walls and was very dilapidated.
Restoration work on one of the greatest monasteries of the Moscow region started immediately after its return to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1991. Repairs were made in the Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos, dating from the 17th century and containing an icon screen and royal doors from the 16th century. Reconstruction of the missing sections of the wall is in prospect.
The modern monastery derives its prosperity from the venerated copy of the icon of the Inexhaustible Chalice, which attracts hundreds of pilgrims from all over Russia and abroad. The icon is said to be particularly effective in the treatment of alcoholism.References:
Tyniec Benedictine abbey was founded by King Casimir the Restorer probably around 1044. Casimir decided to rebuild the newly established Kingdom of Poland, after a Pagan rebellion and a disastrous Czech raid of Duke Bretislaus I (1039). The Benedictines, invited to Tyniec by the King, were tasked with restoring order as well as cementing the position of the State and the Church. First Tyniec Abbot was Aaron, who became the Bishop of Kraków. Since there is no conclusive evidence to support the foundation date as 1040, some historians claim that the abbey was founded by Casimir the Restorer’ son, King Boleslaw II the Generous.
In the second half of the 11th century, a complex of Romanesque buildings was completed, consisting of a basilica and the abbey. In the 14th century, it was destroyed in Tatar and Czech raids, and in the 15th century it was rebuilt in Gothic style. Further remodelings took place in the 17th and 18th centuries, first in Baroque, then in Rococo style. The abbey was partly destroyed in the Swedish invasion of Poland, and soon afterwards was rebuilt, with a new library. Further destruction took place during the Bar Confederation, when Polish rebels turned the abbey into their fortress.
In 1816, Austrian authorities liquidated the abbey, and in 1821-1826, it was the seat of the Bishop of Tyniec, Grzegorz Tomasz Ziegler. The monks, however, did not return to the abbey until 1939, and in 1947, remodelling of the neglected complex was initiated. In 1968, the Church of St. Peter and Paul was once again named the seat of the abbot. The church itself consists of a Gothic presbytery and a Baroque main nave. Several altars were created by an 18th-century Italian sculptor Francesco Placidi. The church also has a late Baroque pulpit by Franciszek Jozef Mangoldt.