The attentive reader will remember that in my last post I spoke of the Day of the Defenders of the Fatherland. As this holiday fell on a Saturday this year the bank holiday was transferred to the following Monday. This left me with a perfect day to convince my fiance to cancel classes and get out of Dodge. Once that job had been done we had to decide where to go. Where else better to go in the dead of winter than sunny Jerusalem? You may say that one day does not suffice for a trip from Moscow to Jerusalem but you would be wrong, my geographically impaired friend. I’ll have you know that Jerusalem happened to be founded in the 17th century by Patriarch Nikon just 60km north west of Moscow near Istra…
As an elektrichka is the perfect mode of transport for such a distance we set out at mid-morning upon our adventure. To our great dismay when we arrived we found Jerusalem to be even colder and with more snow than Moscow. We, however, not letting that hamper our holiday, gathered our gumption, garnered our galoshes and were off. Opting for a workout, we walked the several kilometers to the monastery.
Views from afar:
I have to say that once we made it to the monastery I was slightly disappointed. It turned out that the monastery is now mostly a museum and tourist attraction. The government has, however, been so kind as to let a few of the churches operate…
The monastery gates:
As you can see, this monastery was built on a scale of garmongous. The main church:
which, on the inside, is based on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the other Jerusalem comes close to rivalling Christ the Saviour in Moscow. As it was winter this church was mostly closed (although I don’t know exactly what winter has to do with it…). One was only able to gaze upon the main altar through the lattice gates seen in the above photo. There were two small chapels open, in one of which (seen on the lower right side of the photo) Patriarch Nikon is entombed.
View of main altar:
As most of the churches were off limits there wasn’t much more to see, but there was a spring from which we drank:
and, of course, the River Jordan:
We even saw the descendents of the apostles doing a little fishing:
And to top it off we can’t leave out the bell of the three hierarchs:
You can see more photos on my photo page.
Tags: new jerusalem monastery, istra