Ancient Orthodox Monastery Beautifully Restored in Tula Region of Russia

Communists closed down the monastery in 1920, with the main Transfiguration cathedral turned into the local history museum, and other churches used as warehouses and for vegetable storage.

Originally appeared at: Global Orthodox

The restoration of the Transfiguration monastery in Belyov (Tula region), one of the oldest in Russia, has been completed. The work was financed by local and federal authorities, as well as by individual private investors.

The monastery was founded in the first quarter of the 16th century on the higher left bank of the Oka River. By that time, Belyov (southwest of Tula) had developed into a strong fortress, standing at the beginning of the so-called abbatis fortification line that protected the southern Russian border from attacks by the Nogai hordes.

In 1712, the monastery had four stone churches and a thick stone wall surrounding the monastery territory. By the second half of the 19 century, it developed into an architectural jewel of the Tula region. Its bell tower built in 1820 rose to a height of some 45 meters – a most impressive sight for a small town like Belyov.

Communists closed down the monastery in 1920, with the main Transfiguration cathedral turned into the local history museum, and other churches used as warehouses and for vegetable storage. By the beginning of the 21st century, the monastery structures were in a hazardous state.

On April 15, 2008, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church acted to resume monastic life at the ancient site. Monks came to settle there, and the monastery started to revive. In 2016, the restoration works were started.

Today, the monastery still remains an architectural and spiritual treasure of Belyov. Of all monasteries in the Tula region, it is the only fully preserved architectural ensemble dating back to the 17th-19th centuries, and has therefore been granted the special status of being a federal architectural monument.

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