Luzhetsky Monastery is a medieval fortified monastery in Mozhaysk founded in 1408 by Therapont of Belozersk. Therapont founded Ferapontov Monastery in 1398, located in the Principality of Beloozero, which at the time was administered jointly with the Principality of Mozhaysk. The prince, Andrey of Mozhaysk, resided in Mozhaysk, and was a brother of Vasily, the Grand Prince of Moscow. He was also one of the main sponsors of the monastery. In 1408, he sent a letter to Therapont urging him to come to Mozhaysk, and Therapont was obliged to obey. Even though Therapont, after arriving to Mozhaysk, expressed very clearly his wish to return to White Lake, the prince never let him go. They made a deal, and Therapont founded Luzhetsky Monastery in Mozhaysk. He died in the monastery in 1426. He is venered as a saint by Russian Orthodox Church.
The original cathedral was demolished in the first half of the 16th century, and a five-dome stone cathedral was built in 1524-1547, which still stands today. Mozhaysk, together with the monastery, was transferred to the Grand Duchy of Moscow in the middle of the 16th century. The history of the monastery in the 15th century is somewhat unclear; it is known that in 1523 the hegumen of Luzhetsky Monastery was Makary, who later became the Metropolitan of Moscow.
The monastery was considerably damaged during the Time of Troubles in the 1610s, when it was plundered. Most of the current architecture of the monastery, including the bell-tower, the Transfiguration Church, and the cells, were built in the 17th century. In 1812, during the Napoleonic Wars, Luzhetsky monastery was briefly occupied and plundered by the advancing French army. In 1929, it was closed by the Soviets and reopened in 1994.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.