Rostov the Great

Many people know this city from the Rostov Kremlin, where the legendary movie “Ivan Vasilyevich back to the future” was filmed, but there are other sights here as well.

For example, this ancient monastery of the Epiphany by Abraham on Lake Nero, which was first mentioned in 1261!

In the legend of St. Abraham about the creation of the monastery, it is said that a stone idol dedicated to the pagan god Veles has long stood on the banks of the Nero. The locals revered him as an assistant in agricultural work, and also as the god of wisdom and ritual chants.

According to the Christian text, the Apostle the Theologian who appeared to Abraham handed him a rod topped with a cross, with the help of which the pagan idol was crushed. And in its place they built a wooden church in honor of the Apostle the Theologian, and the brethren began to gather around it.


At first it was a male monastery and it performed a dual role: it was the center for the spread of the Christian faith among the local pagan population and at the same time played the role of a fortress, protecting the approaches to Rostov. At that time, the monastery was surrounded by high walls, which have not been preserved.

It is noteworthy that in the middle of the 16th century, before the military campaign against Kazan, the monastery was visited by Tsar Ivan the Terrible. He saw the rod of Abraham and took it with him to the battlefield, leaving the cross in the monastery. After the victory over the Tatars, the tsar allocated funds for the construction of a new brick Cathedral of the Epiphany, dedicated to the capture of Kazan, and later sent valuable books and icons as a gift to the erected temple