The Ipatiev (Hypatian) Monastery is a male monastery, situated on the right bank of the Kostroma River and the left bank of the Volga River just opposite the historic part of the city of Kostroma. It was founded around 1330 by a Tatar convert, Prince Chet, whose male-line descendants include the Russian tsar Boris Godunov. The monastery was first mentioned in chronicles in 1435. Its architectural ensemble was formed during the XVI-XIX centuries.
It is famous by the historic fact that Michael Romanov, the first of the Romanov dynasty, was called from this monastery to become tsar of Russia. So the 300-years Romanov tsar and emperors dynasty comes from this Monastery.
The monastery kept the Chronicles of the Ipatiev Monastery - a most valuable historical and literary relic (the beginning of the XV century).
You can watch my 7 min 45 sec HD Video Kostroma Ipatiev Monastery out of my Youtube channel with Russian Choral music.
After the fall of the Godunovs the Romanov dynasty became the monastery patrons. It was here that 16 year old Michael Romanov got the news that he had been elected Tsar of Russia.
The Memorial Column was erected in the center of the Old Town in 1839 in memory of the well-known events and the persons who have left a trace in history of the monastery. Boards with texts about these events are placed in rectangular niches from four sides.
Since 1993 the Kostroma diocese spends there annually on June, 17th divine of service in memory of the last Russian Emperor Nikolay II and his family who were murdered by Bolsheviks in 1918 in Yekaterinburg.
The Ipatiev Monastery was disbanded after the October Revolution in 1917. The State History and Architecture Museum-Preserve "Ipatiev Monastery" was established in 1958. It is located on the grounds of the Ipatiev monastery, and incorporates Architecture and Ethnography Museum founded in 1957.
The Museum-Preserve is one of the biggest museums in Russia. With its collection numbering over 400,000 objects the museum has more than 50 monuments of architecture of the XVI-XIX centuries.
Exhibitions housed in the Ipatiev monastery include:
"Sacristy of the Trinity Cathedral" (donations of boyar and tsar families),
"History of the Kostroma Region from Ancient Times to the End of the XIX Century",
"Church Antiquities of the XIV-XIX centuries",
"The Boyars Romanovs` Chambers",
"Natural History of the Kostroma Region".
Recently the authorities decided to return the buildings of the Monastery to the Russian Orthodox Church, despite strong opposition from museum officials.
Working hours: 9.00-18.00.
Closed on Monday.
The Museum of Wooden Architecture is Russia`s first outdoor museum of this kind. Houses, barns, bath-houses, four mills, wooden churches and chapels were moved there from different parts of the Kostroma region. Brought together, they give us a full idea about country life in the Upper Volga Region. The pride of the museum is the Cathedral of Holy Mother of God (1552) from the village of Kholm.
The grounds of the monastery accommodated monuments of Russian wooden architecture: the Church of Our Savior and the Transfiguration from Spas-Vezhi village (XVII century) and others.
In September 2002 one of the most prominent museum exhibits, the large wooden church (1628) from Spas-Vezhi village, was destroyed by fire.
The main functioning church in Kostroma is in the Bogoyavlensky Monastery. The five-domed Bogoyavlensky (Epiphany) Cathedral was built in 1559-1565. It was the first stone edifice in the city. Its medieval frescoes perished during a fire several years ago.
The Monastery houses the city's most precious relic, a Xth-century Byzantine icon called Our Lady of St. Theodore (Fedorovskaya Icon of Virgin). It was with this icon that Mikhail Romanov was blessed by his mother when he left for Moscow to claim the Russian throne.
Kostroma was twice ravaged by the Poles. It took a 6-month siege to expel them from the Ipatiev monastery. The heroic peasant Ivan Susanin became a symbol of the city's resistance to foreign invaders; several monuments to him may be seen in Kostroma.
Ivan Susanin took the enemies to thick woods and deadly swamps, where he met his death, but where the enemy troops vanished, too.
The monument to Ivan Susanin was placed in the middle of the city in 1851. Its author, V.Demut-Malinovsky, created a two-figure composition united by the pillar as its central part. He put a bust of the young Mikhail Romanov on top of it with kneeling figure of Ivan Susanin at the base. During the Soviet period of history the monument was dismantled and a new one was built not far from the location of the original. It presents an imposing standing figure of the bearded peasant hero facing the Volga.
The Ipatiev Monastery survives mostly intact, with its XVIth-century walls, towers, belfry, and the XVIIth-century Cathedral. The territory of the Ipatiev Monastery is divided into two parts: the 'Old Town' and the 'New Town'.
Most of the monastery buildings of the Old Town date from the XVIth and XVIIth centuries.
By the mid-XVIIth century the architectural complex of the monastery was mostly completed, although further construction work continued for several centuries.
The stone walls around the Old Town used to be 550 meters long, 6 meters high, and 3 meters thick.
The New Town was built in the middle of the XVIIth century after Russian tsar's Mikhail Romanov decree.
The walls and towers of the New Town were built by Andrei Andreyev Kuznets, a truly talented builder and architect from Kostroma. This part of the monastery is more symmetrical in its layout which made it much easier to defend it from the enemies.
The special row of portholes in the walls enhanced the monastery's defense capacity. The New Town reflects the general trend in fortress building of that period of Russian history. In tune with the tastes of the period the decor of the edifices becomes more elaborate, adding elegance and beauty all of its own.
This gate is the main entrance into the Old Town of the Ipatiev Monastery. The Northern Gate as a new smart gate was arranged in 1767 to arrival of Empress Ekaterina II to Kostroma.
This is an elegant and bright construction under forms in style of baroque, having triumphal arches from the external and internal sides.
The Northern (external) facade is topped with a high attic where you can see an Ekaterina's monogram.
Boris Godunov was de facto regent of Russia from 1584 to 1598 and then the first non-Rurikid tsar from 1598 to 1605. Since the middle of the XVI century the Ipatiev monastery entered the period of prosperity, the development being attributed to the rise of the Godunovs who used to give great donations to the monastery. Stone construction subsidized by the Godunovs was under way there.
The Trinity Cathedral houses the family tombs of the Godunovs.
The monastery complex also includes the Boyars Romanovs` Chambers. Originally there were monk cells there wherein the Prior of the monastery used to live. In 1613 Michael Romanov and his mother, nun Marfa, occupied two small rooms on the first floor.
In the middle of the XIX century the monastery building became ramshackle and was rebuilt to look like a tsar palace on the orders of Alexander II, but some modern architects questioned the authenticity of this reconstruction.
The internal facade of this wonderful building carries traces of the three basic stages of its construction in the XVII century.
The first step included crosspieces of windows of the ground floor in the beginning of the XVII century. The second step included elegant plat bands in the second half of the XVII century. The third step is well seen on the decorated in Narishkin’s style of baroque windows of the third floor in the end of the XVII century.
There are also other remarkable buildings on the territory of the Old Town, such as the Chambers of Monks and the Candles House.
In 1824 - 1827 the two most important architectural pieces were added to the picture of the town center. Both were designed by the local architect P.Fursov and became finishing masterstrokes of the architectural ensemble. Those were the Fire Watch Tower (35 meters high) and the Guard-House.
Kostroma like many Russian towns with a lot of wooden houses suffered serious fire damages. Inside the Tower there used to be rooms for cisterns with water, a stable, living rooms for firemen, and an observation deck on top. Now there's the history museum of fire department inside.
Next to the Fire Watch Tower (in the clockwise direction), there's the building where there used to be the military guard-room (gauptvakhta). The decorations on the walls of this building are dedicated to the victory over Napoleon in 1812. The Guard-House was absolutely necessary as the town garrison was impressive in number by then and its officers were rather infamous for drinking and wild behavior.
Nowadays there's a literature museum inside this building, where you can see samples of old Russian books (hand-written and printed), and an exhibition dedicated to writers from Kostroma region.
The museum is open daily from 10 till 17.
The house in the so-called palace style was built in 1819-1824 for General S.Borshov, known for his courage during the Patriotic War of 1812. It was the only dwelling house of the palace style in Kostroma and its front-side stands out due to the eight-pillar portico.
After the end of the Patriotic war the owner, General Borshow, became a senator and spent most of his time in the capital. So he and his family would rarely visit the house.
The house was sold in 1849. The new owner, A.Pervushin, started with a complete renovation of the building before turning it into a profitable hotel venture - Hotel London. Among the most famous guests that stayed there in the years to follow were members of the Royal Family and prominent figures of the Arts world.