Russian Gov't Gives $8 Mil to Restore Amazing Medieval Monastery in North

The world famous St. Cyril, White Lake Monastery and museum, in the Vologda Region, 360 miles north of Moscow

Originally appeared at: Orthodox Christianity

The world famous St. Cyril-White Lake Monastery-museum, located in the Vologda Region, 360 miles north of Moscow, will receive 508 million ruble (more than $8 million) for restoration under the federal “Culture of Russia” program, reports Blagovest-Info.

“The scope of the work is huge. It is the leading tourist site of the region, visited by more than 300,000 people annually. I hope that all the funds will help the museum become a leading excursion site for the whole “Northern Necklace” of Russia,” Vologda Province Governor Oleg Kuvshinnikov said on Monday.

As explained by museum-reserve director Mikhail Sharomazov, the allocated funds will be used for the restoration of almost all the monastery’s towers and the Church of the Archangel Gabriel, and for the construction of a hotel and restaurant on the territory of the museum. All works are planned to be completed by the end of the year.

“Belozersk Tower will be an open storage for carved wood, and Vologda Tower an open storage for storing icons,” the director said.

The ceilings in the southern part of the ancient Church of the Archangel Gabriel have already been restored, and works are now being carried out on the interior and on the facades.

There will also be significant restoration work on all the walls dating to the 16th and 17th centuries, and on individual monuments on the territory of the monastery and nearby.

The total cost of the repairs and construction was estimated at 6 billion rubles, and about 1 billion rubles were already raised from 2014 to the present.


White Lake Monastery was founded in 1397 by the monk Cyril, the most famous of the disciples and followers of St. Sergius of Radonezh. St. Cyril came to the shore of Lake Siversky at the age of 60 and died at the age of 90. His relics are buried in the Church of St. Cyril of White Lake. The museum-reserve preserves items associated with the name of the saint.

Due to the high spiritual authority of the founder and other elders of the monastery, it received contributions from Basil III, Ivan the terrible, representatives of the Romanov dynasty, and many princes and boyars. Among the contributions were land holdings, money, precious icons, books, and Church utensils. This made it possible to build a grandiose ensemble from the end of the 15th to the end of the 17th century, including the Great Dormition, built in 1496 and occupying a central place in the ensemble, and the Little Ivan Monastery, and the so-called New City.

The monastery was secularized and turned into a museum in 1924, though monks were allowed to return to the Ivan Monastery in 1998. The ensemble of the monastery has been designated as a cultural heritage monument of federal significance.

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