St. Nicola Convent
43, Gagarin Street
Phone: (48535) 30645
St. Nicola Convent built “on the swamp” was presumably founded in 1348. The founder, Dmitry Prilutskiy, was a follower of the Saint Sergey Radonejskiy who himself visited the convent several times. In 1348 its wooden structures were destroyed by the tartars and during the Time of Troubles by the Lithuanians and Poles. The end of the 17th and the middle of the 18th century saw stone facilities appearing within the Convent’s walls.
In the first decades of the Soviet Union the enclosure wall, the tented bell-tower dated back to1693, and the Nicola cathedral built in 1721 (the money came from the Muscovites Obuhovi), were dismantled. What has survived from the monastery are the Annunciation Church with epigraphs of old times, the St. Peter and Paul’s gate church built in the middle of the 17th century, fragments of the monastery wall with the gates, and a cell constructed in 1894.
The original sanctuary is now being actively restored. Not only its old facilities are undergoing reconstruction but also new ones appeared instead of those which had been ruined. The money for restoration of the enclosure wall, the bell tower and the Nicola cathedral came from V.I. Tirishkin. The Nicola Cathedral, the main church of the sanctuary, was built in the image of the Uspenskiy Cathedral of the Kievsko-Pechorskaya Laura (The architect is V. Izhikov, 1999–2003). The churches of the sanctuary are a place where the relics of the two Pereslavl Saints – the blessed prince Andrey Smolenskiy and the reverend Korniliy Molchalnik – lie. Today, admiring a beautiful ensemble of the Nicola Convent it is not easy to believe that it endured more devastation than any other Pereslavl sanctuary in the years when the religion was not in favor. Fifteen years ago you could hardly identify two dilapidated churches and a small section of the wall with the old monastery.
The 20th century plays a particular role in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church. At the beginning of the century the convent was one of the richest cloisters of Pereslavl.
The nunnery was the home for over a hundred nuns. The convent possessed a great wealth in old silver and gilded plate, porcelain tableware, velour carpets, woolen cloth, and furniture. The nuns kept cows, pigs, chickens, and horses. In 1923 the convent was closed. The household utensils, the cattle and the poultry became the property of the communal services department. The church plate was sent to the treasury except for some pieces of artistic and historical value which were sent to the Museum of Pereslavl The convent was used as a cattle-breeding farm, many facilities were rented off. Only in 1994, after many years of oblivion, the former sanctuary regained its original purpose and received the first four votaries. Today, about 50 nuns live in the convent which, as before, is now one of the prosperous sanctuaries on the Pereslavl land.