Donskoy, Novospassky and Novodevichy Monasteries – holy places of Russian belief and history.

Bus tour – duration  3 hours

Moscow's rise to political prominence in medieval Russia is inextricably linked to its importance as a religious centre, and this is reflected in the large number of monasteries and convents that were established in the city from the 12th Century . The constant threat of attack from Mongol Tartar forces, among others, led Moscow's early rulers to establish a chain of citadel monasteries around the old city, and these have become some of the most important centers of the Russian Orthodox Church, including the official residence of the Russian Patriarch.

Although the Bolshevik government disbanded all of Moscow's monasteries after the Revolution, and used the buildings for a variety of more or less insalubrious purposes, including a Museum of Atheism and a prison camp, some of the sites were returned to the Church after the Second World War and, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the remainder have all found their way back into Church hands. Extensive work has been going on to restore these architectural treasures to their former splendor.