Let's start our visit to the main sight on the Konevets
island: the Konevets Birth of Holy Mother of God monastery.
The monastery is built in a traditional
configuration: as a wall surrounding the Cathedral. The interior is
accessible through two entrances: one on the lake-shore side, though
which we are about to enter, and another, a back entrance, on the forest
In front of the monastery - a Belarus
tractor of a recent vintage.
This is the chapel, through which we
will enter the territory of the monastery.
The chapel is 35 meters high (to the cross). To the left and right of
the chapel are buildings from 1808-1810. The small, single-story section
to the left of the chapel used to house the porter and the sexton. The
similar single-story section on the right used to contain the vegetable
store. The main two-story buildings that surround the Cathedral included
the prior's chambers, the monks' cells, waiting rooms, the archive, the
dining hall, and the bakery.
Now we are inside the monastery, i.e. on
the other side of the chapel.
The monastery was founded at the end of
the 14-th century. At first, in 1398, the foundation was laid for a
church on the lake shore. But due to the flood danger the monastery
itself was built here, on higher ground.
In 1577 and from 1610 until the end of the Northern War, the island
was occupied by the Swedes. At that time the monks had moved to a
monastery near the Great Novgorod.
After the October 1917 revolution the island ended up as part of
Finland. Prior to the Soviet-Finish War of 1939 the island was home to
headquarters and two batteries of Finish shore artillery.
The buildings that remain on the island date from the 19th and
beginning of the 20th century.
At the center of the monastery is the
large Cathedral of the Birth of the Holy Mother of God; its cupolas
appeared in one of the prior photos. The building was erected on the
foundation of older churches, i.e. on the same spot. The first stone
cathedral was built here during the reign of Ivan the Terrible.
I believe these are the relics of Arsenii
Konevsky, the founder of the monastery.
The Cathedral has two stories, but there
was almost no one on the first floor.
On the second floor there was a service marking a religious holiday.
Not much of our 'civilization' has
reached the island; the monks are a picturesque bunch.
They do not
require that you to get a blessing (for a fee) to take the photos;
rather they take no note of the camera at all.
Frescos are in the process of being
Here is a view behind the Cathedral.
This and the next photos show the towers, one of which had a bread
storage, and the other had a 'kvas' brewery and a food storage. ('Kvas'
being the non-alcoholic Russian national drink.)
The two story buildings contained the monks' cells. The one story
buildings next to them had the workshops.
Nearby is a well attended flower bed.
Interestingly, there are crosses at the tops of these towers, while at
the Yur'evsky and the Iversky monasteries the towers (aside from the
Cathedrals) have different figures.
The view of the Cathedral from the back
area. (I couldn't capture the facade: I was too close to the entrance
for my camera's optics.)
The building, like the surrounding walls, was erected in 1874 by the
architect I. B. Slupsky.
The side turrets really are wooden; the central turret may also be, but
it is sheathed in plaster.
The western gate.
A reflection of the Cathedral in the
In the next album we will walk under this
arch to see the monastery's backyard, as well as the Uspensky chapel,
its turret seen straight ahead by the woods.