Andronicus Monastery of the Vernicle.
Andronevskaya Square, 10.

Andronicus Monastery of the Vernicle was built in 1360 (1357) by holy hierarch Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow, in commemoration of his providential escape from the storm on the Black Sea. It was given the name of the first hegumen, a disciple of Blessed Sergius of Radonezh, Venerable Andronicus who built here the first wooden cathedral of Saviour.

In the 14th – 17th centuries the monastery was one of the centres of book copying. Venerable Andrei Rublev spent the last years of his life in the monastery and was buried here (he died in 1427, according to other sources - in 1430). He is supposed to take part in construction of the cathedral. In 1763 the founder of the Russian Theater, F.G. Volkov, was buried in the monastery. The monastery was used as the outpost on the south-east borders of Moscow to defend the city from Mongol-Tatar raids. It was ravaged by the Mongol-Tatar (14th – 15th centuries), Polish and Lithuanian (1611) and Napoleon’s armies (1812). The monastery was restored every time. The following structures were built in the monastery: in the 16th century – a refectory and the church of Michael the Archangel, over-the-gates church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (rebuilt in the 17th century); in the 17th - 18th centuries – walls and towers (partially demolished in the 19th century, restored in 1960); at the end of the 18th century – a bell tower (73 meters high).

After 1917 the monastery was destroyed and ruined. In 1919 apartments were placed in it.

The monastery was closed in 1922.

In the 1930-ies the bell tower, the church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (16th century) and the church of Martyr Eugraphus (1874) were destroyed; the cemetery with monuments and tombs was ruined as well. A colony for homeless children, different institutions and archive were placed in the territory of the monastery.

In 1947 - 49 a decision was taken to restore the monastery. On the 600th anniversary (1960) from the day on which Venerable Andrei Rublev was born the Museum of Old Russian Painting named after Andrei Rublev was opened in the monastery (from the end of the 1980-ies – Central Museum of Old Russian Culture and Art named after Andrei Rublev).

A great role in reconstruction of the historical complex of the monastery and in establishment of the museum was played by D.I. Arsenishvili, who became its first director.

The Church of the Vernicle.

The Church of Michael the Archangel.


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