Danilov Monastery, Moscow

Danilov Monastery, or Svyato-Danilov Monastery (Данилов монастырь, Свято-Данилов монастырь in Russian) is a monastery on the right bank of the Moskva River in Moscow, Russia.


History of Danilov Monastery

Danilov was founded in the late 13th century by prince Daniil Aleksandrovich. Shortly before his death in 1303, Daniil took monastic vows and later was buried in Danilov Monastery. The very first Muscovite archmandrite came from this monastery in 1300. In the 14th - 15th centuries, Danilov Monastery fell into decline. In 1560, Ivan the Terrible brought it back to life.

In 1591, when the armies of a Crimean khan Kaza Giray approached Moscow, the area around Danilov Monastery was turned into a fortified mobile camp. In 1606, the rebels under the command of Ivan Bolotnikov and Istoma Pashkov collided with the army of Vasili IV not far from the monastery. In 1607, an impostor by the name of Ileyka Muromets, who had pretended to be tsarevich Peter (son of Feodor I of Russia), was executed next to Danilov Monastery. Being in the center of many military events during the Time of Troubles, the monastery was severly damaged in 1610. In the early 17th century, it was surrounded by a brick wall with seven towers.

In 1710, there were 30 monks in Danilov Monastery. In 1764, there were only twelve of them on staff. In 1900, however, the number rose to seventeen. In 1812, the monastery was ransacked by the French army. The monasterial sacristy and treasury, however, had been transported to Vologda and Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra shortly before the French occupied Moscow. First documented information on Danilov Monastery's landownership can be traced back to 1785, when it owned 18 desyatinas of land. By the end of the 19th century, the monastery had already possessed 178 desyatinas and a few buildings in Moscow. In 1805, they opened an almshouse for elderly women in the monastery, which was later turned into an almshouse for elderly clergymen and their widows.

In the second half of the 19th century, Danilov Monastery's cemetery was a final resting place for many writers, artists and scientists, such as Nikolai Gogol, Nikolai Yazykov, Vasili Perov, Nikolai Rubinstein and many others. The remains of most of them, however, were later transported to different cemeteries. By 1917, Danilov Monastery had 19 monks and four novices and owned 164 desyatinas of land.

After the October Revolution, the monastery housed archmandrites, deprived of their pulpits. In 1929, the Soviets issued a special decree on closing the monastery and organizing a detention facility on its premises under the auspices of NKVD (приёмник-распределитель НКВД, or priyomnik-raspredelitel' NKVD). In 1983, Danilov Monastery was returned to the Moscow Patriarchate and became a spiritual and administartive center of the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1988, the monastery was restored. They built a residence for the Patriarch and Synod, a funeral chapel and a chapel in commemoration of the 1000 years of Russia's baptism.

Quick Facts on Danilov Monastery

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Names:Danilov Monastery
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:55.710791° N, 37.630448° E
Address:Moscow, Russia
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Map of Danilov Monastery, Moscow

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