Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lost in Moscow (on our way to Novodevichy)

Today we went sight-seeing w/ our friends the Naegle's. We decided to go to Novodevichy, a famous convent and cemetery in Southern Moscow. After getting directions off Google off we went on this bright sunshiny day. Our first mistake was going out of the metro the wrong way. After walking for quite a while we asked for directions. The man we asked (sitting in his car) had a GPS system and he misunderstood our wonderful Russian and sent us on our way in the wrong direction. (which was the way we were going). Basically, what we ended up doing was going in a huge circle. If we had gone straight out of the metro instead of turning right we would have gotten there in 1/4 of the time. For heavens sake, how do you hide a large convent and cemetery which is located on many acres? Well, we managed to do it.
We walked our legs off but finally arrived. When we were finally headed in the right direction, (thanks to a young woman studying in England and could speak a bit of English),we could see the spires of the beautiful Russian Orthodox church beckoning to us.

Our visit to this beautiful convent and cemetery was worth the walk! SO beautiful.
                                            Diagram of the convent and cemetary grounds
Small Chapel
The lilac's were beautiful

Novodevichy Convent  was founded in 1524 by Tsar Vasily ll. Because it was founded by a tsar, it enjoyed elevated position among the monastaries and convents and became primary for ladies of noble birth.
It was also used as a prison for rebellious royals to include Peter the Great's sister and his first wife.
It was significantly rebuilt in the 1680's and enhanced after the Time of Troubles by Regent Sofia who was later confined by Peter the Great, along with the unwanted wife. Yep, it was used as a prison for rebellious royals, to include Peter the Great's sister and his first wife.

The Novodevichy Cemetery is located within the Convent walls and is very lovely. It is the third most popular tourist site in Moscow. Among the graves we saw were Nikita Kruschev and Boris Yeltsin. There are many famous Russian writers, composers, artists, dancers buried there.
                                   This is the gravesite for Boris Yeltsin which is most unusual
                                                        Gravesite for Nikita Kruschev
                             This is one of our favorite sculptures with Elder and Sister Naegle
We enjoyed spending time with our new friends, John and Carolyn Naegle, on this beautiful day.

                                   We send our love to our friends in the States. Until next week,
                                   dos vidonya!

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