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:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.