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A tranquil spot in metropolitan Moscow, the Novodevichy Cemetery is the final resting place of many famous Russians. The attached Novodevichy Convent also attracted many of Russia’s elite. These associations, plus its calm surroundings, make it an important spot to visit in Moscow. Pay your respects at the graves of eminent Russian musicians, writers and thinkers.
Tsar Vasily III founded the convent in 1524. His patronage meant the convent usually hosted women from society’s upper echelons. It has been remodeled since this time, largely because of the half-sister of Peter the Great, Regent Sophia. By a twist of fate, she was incarcerated by her half-sibling in the very same building. The convent is also remembered for surviving Napoleon’s invasion due to the ingenuity of its nuns. Read Tolstoy’s War and Peace to see a mention of the convent as well. The cemetery’s history parallels the convent’s. Many prominent Muscovites have been interred here since its inception.
Upon entering, see the Gate-Church of the Transfiguration. This noble red-and-white edifice is an impressive sight. Inside, view the Cathedral of the Virgin of Smolensk, which was built in a style dubbed the “Moscow Baroque.” Its full domes protrude over the walls surrounding the site.
Inside, view many 16th- and 17th-century religious artworks, including a multi-level iconostasis and lavish frescoes by artist Dmitry Grigorev. Inspect the massive 236-foot (72-meter) belfry to admire its intricate design. In the convent area, see exhibits ranging from religious art to precious stones.
Visit the cemetery to see graves of famous Russians. Esteemed author and playwright Anton Chekhov, dramatist Konstantin Stanislavsky and composer Sergei Prokofiev are buried here. Russian politician Nikita Khruschev’s grave may be the most intriguing. Khruschev was a controversial figure and was buried in the cemetery because he was not allowed burial at the Kremlin Wall. Monochrome decorations around his burial site symbolize his positive and negative traits, providing a thought-provoking experience.
Reach the Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery via the Sportivnaya metro station. Both are convent and cemetery are open daily; however, the convent closes on the last Monday of each month. The cemetery, churches and exhibits have entry fees.
Make the most of your visit to Novodevichy Convent. Here is a list of some of the top activities:
Want to know what other things there are to do at this fabulous attraction? We suggest purchasing a Novodevichy Convent & Cemetery Tour.
Examine our Moscow things to do page to find more activities in the area.
Golden Ring Hotel is in close proximity to the Arbat District, within 5 minutes' walking distance from Smolenskaya subway station, and within 1.5 kilometers from Red Square and the Kremlin.
This hotel is located in Moscow (Khamovniki), close to Novodevichy Convent, Metro Museum, and Luzhniki Stadium. Also nearby are Gorky Park and Sparrow Hills.
Located in Khamovniki, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Metro Museum and Novodevichy Convent. Cathedral of Christ the Savior and Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts are also within 3 mi (5 km). Sportivnaya Station is only a 3-minute walk and Frunzenskaya Station is 23 minutes.
Located in Khamovniki, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Metro Museum and Novodevichy Convent. Cathedral of Christ the Savior and Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts are also within 3 mi (5 km). Sportivnaya Station is 6 minutes by foot and Frunzenskaya Station is 18 minutes.
Located in Tverskoy, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and Bolshoi Theatre. State Historical Museum and Lenin's Mausoleum are also within 2 mi (3 km). Mayakovskaya Station is only a 2-minute walk and Tverskaya Station is 8 minutes.
Set on the edge of the Moscow River, this huge hotel is adjacent to the Kievskaja metro station; a footbridge across the river leads to Arbat street shopping.
Located in Khamovniki, this inn is within a 15-minute walk of Metro Museum and Novodevichy Convent. Cathedral of Christ the Savior and Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts are also within 3 mi (5 km). Sportivnaya Station is 7 minutes by foot and Frunzenskaya Station is 15 minutes.
Located in Khamovniki, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Metro Museum and Novodevichy Convent. Cathedral of Christ the Savior and Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts are also within 3 mi (5 km). Sportivnaya Station is only a 3-minute walk and Frunzenskaya Station is 19 minutes.