Friday, September 28, 2012

Новоде́вичий Mонасты́рь

We don't have class on Fridays, so we decided to spend the day seeing one of the most famous sites in Moscow: Новоде́вичий Mонасты́рь (Novodevichiy Convent).  But first, I needed to get my (almost) daily run in.

I live in Спорти́вная, which is near the Luzhniki Olympics Complex.  All through the sports complex and along the Moscow River there is a paved multi-use path.  So, at 7:30AM, I set out from my apartment and headed towards the river.  The path through the sports complex is lovely.  It is tree-lined and secluded from much of speeding Moscow traffic.  It was unusually hot; a nice change from the brisk past few days.  There were a few other runners out in the morning, but not nearly as many as I would see running around Campus Loop back in Stanford or along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.  People here really don't exercise as much as we do in the States.

As I was running around the stadium, I thought it looked familiar.  I put two and two together, as they say, and realized the Luzhniki Olympics Complex was the location of the 1980 Moscow Olympics and that the stadium I was running around was the Lenin Stadium!  This seems a pointless anecdote, however, I researched the 1980 Moscow Olympic Opening Ceremonies this past year in my Program in Writing and Rhetoric class: Olympic Rhetoric.  Analyzing the Lenin Stadium comprised a portion of my main argument.  Seeing this landmark in-person was incredible.  It was truly one of those 'I cannot believe I am actually in Moscow' moments.

After my run, my host mom quizzed me on my vocabulary.  She probably thinks I am rather dense since я забываю so many of the words everyday.  I need to focus on my classes more, but there is so much to see and do here!

At noon, I met my friends outside the Metro stop.  We decided to have lunch before touring the Convent.  Patrick had looked up a nearbly restaurant Штолле in advance.  Штолле is famous for their pies, so I had to try a расстегай гриба (Mushroom Pie).  очень вкусный расстегай.

Mushroom Pie

After lunch, we walked to the Novodevichiy Convent.
Novodevichiy Convent
Basil III founded the convent in 1524 to commemorate the capture of Smolensk from the Lithuanians.  However, the majority of the convent, a beautiful, fortified religious haven, was not built until the late 17th century when Peter the Great's half-sister, Sophia ruled as regent.

After Peter reclaimed the throne, he confined Sophia in the Novodevichiy Convent for the rest of her life.

Adjacent to the convent is the Novodevichiy Cemetery, the resting place of many famous Russians including ...







There are no portable maps of the cemetery, so we each chose a figure and memorized the location of his headstone on the directory.  Even still, we ended up spending a long time in the cemetery lost amidst all the artistic headstones.

By the end of our search for the final resting place of many famous Russians, we were all exhausted, so we returned home отдыхать before the light show.
Unfortunately, though my tired self was rather thankful, it began to rain so we decided to postpone our outing to the Circle of Light Festival until tomorrow.



  1. Wow, beautiful photos of the Novodevichiy Cemetery. What is Yeltsin's monument?

  2. Very cool! I've never been to Novodevichiy Cemetery so seeing these photos is nice :)

    I'm so happy to see that you're enjoying Moscow!! You should try some piroshki with kapusta (pirogis with cabbage), they're my favorite!