The Svyato-Danilov Monastery was founded in the late 13th century by Prince Daniil of Moscow, a younger son of Aleksandr Nevsky. Although the exact date is not known (sometime between 1272 and 1303 during Daniil's reign), it is considered the oldest monastery in Moscow. Before his death in 1303, Prince Daniil became a monk at the monastery and in 1652 he was canonised as St Daniel (Daniil) of Moscow. During the 14th and 15th centuries the monastery fell into a state of neglect as its monks were transferred to the Kremlin. However things looked up under Tsar Ivan the Terrible, who revived the monastery. During the Times of Troubles the monastery was burned down by the troops of the Second False Dmitri in 1610, although later it was rebuilt with fortified walls and seven towers. In 1812 the monastery was looted by French troops although its vestry had earlier been evacuated to Sergiev Posad and Vologda for safekeeping. During the 19th century many prominent people, including Nikolai Gogol, Vasili Perov, Nikolai Rubinstein and Nikolai Yazykov, chose to be buried in the monastery's cemetery.
After the revolution, the monastery remained open longer than all others in Moscow, and only in 1930 was it finally closed. The monastery's cemetery was destroyed, although beforehand the bodies of famous people were re-interred in other cemeteries. Afterwards, the monastery's territory was used as a youth prison, mainly for children whose parents had been executed, and during this time the remains of St Daniel were lost. In 1983 the monastery was the first monastery in Moscow to be returned to the Orthodox Church and it became the official residence of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. In 1988 the monastery underwent restoration work.
St Simeon the Stylite's Gate-Church
The entrance to the monastery is formed by the St Simeon the Stylite's Gate-Church. The building dates from 1732 although during the Soviet-era the church's tower was removed and only restored in 1984. The tower holds the original bell which spend most of the 20th century at Harvard University to which it was given after having been saved from being melted down by an American industrialist. The university returned the bell in 2008.
Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils Church
The Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils Church is the oldest church in the monastery dating from the second half of the 17th century. It comprises a bell tower attached to a single-domed structure via a vestibule and inside it has seven separate chapels. Another chapel was installed in the square outside the church in 1988 to commemorate the millennium of the Baptism of Rus.
The monastery's main cathedral is the Trinity Cathedral which was constructed between 1834 and 1838 by the famous architect Osip Bove. It was built in the classical style with its facades decorated with columns and pediments. The church was restored to its former glory and re-consecrated in 1983. It holds two miracle-working icons as well as the relics of St Daniel of Moscow.
Official Residence of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
After the monastery was returned to the Orthodox Church in 1983 it became the administrative and spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Official Residence of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. In 1988 a residence was built for the Patriarch which includes the All Saints of Russian Lands Church. The front of the residence is adorned with an impressive mural of Christ. Just outside the residence is a statue of St Vladimir, the grand prince of Kiev who adopted Christianity as the official religion of Rus.
|Location||22 Ulitsa Danilovsky Val|