Holy Assumption Monastery in Bakhchisaray

The Crimean cliffs, covered in thick vegetation, where you can see the glitter and the reflections of gold. If it looks better, you can see it in the valley, right on the steep wall are white buildings and paved stone roads and stairs. Those who are going to see the gold-covered domes can appreciate the ancient monastery, the Holy Assumption Monastery, founded here by the Byzantine monks more than a thousand years ago. The abode, nestled in a wild canyon, monasteries in the mountains reminiscent of the Balkan peninsula, which, though not surprising, since according to one version it was founded by the monks who fled their country after the Turkish invasion . The landscape was much like his homeland.

There are other legends associated with the Holy Assumption Monastery. Thus, according to them, a local pastor saw the icon of the Virgin in the place of the future monastery during his work. The pastor, of course, decided that the best idea was to take the holy image home. Therefore, the residents assumed that in the place where the image had been discovered the temple was to be built, but a miracle occurred on the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, for which the Assumption was named.

Another story tells us that the locals were attacked by the snakes of fear. The people asked for the intercession of the Mother of God, and after the prayers, they saw the light of the candles placed on the rocks. When the residents saw through the stairs, they observed the image of the Virgin, a candle and a dead snake.

To establish the exact date of the foundation of the Holy Assumption Monastery is impossible, as it is safely hidden in very thick layers of historical periods. However, it can be argued that the monastery arrived here in the eighth century. It was founded by the Byzantine monks, when the lands were part of the roman empire. Most scientists agree that the monastery was abandoned for some reason during the fourteenth century, but in the following century, it was once again activated.

Miraculously, having escaped during the Ottoman invasion in 1475, the Holy Assumption Monastery became the residence of Gotfskih Kafskih and its metropolitans. It is known that the to some extent the residence was under the auspices of the great dukes of Moscow, and later kings. During the period of the Turkish conquest and the appearance of the Crimean kanato, the monastery of the Assumption served as the main bastion of the orthodox Christians of the peninsula.

After a successful war against the Russian Empire, the Ottomans, the Turkish Vassal, Krymskoe Hanstvo, were able to acquire independence, and Russia received a large number of Crimean fortresses. However, the oppression of Christians by the Muslim population of the peninsula continued. As a result, local Christians have written a request to the Empress asking for resettlement within the empire, this request was granted.

In 1850, the monks returned once more to the Holy Assumption Monastery, who was experiencing a period of prosperity. At the end of the 20th century the complex had five churches, several buildings for the monks, a guest house for the pilgrims, a garden with fountains, the Gethsemane chapel, and in Simferopol was the courtyard of the monastery.

During the red terror, the Holy Monastery was looted and the monks were shot during World War II, the hospital is located in its territory. The expected revival of the Holy Assumption Monastery began after the fall of communism, in 1993, became the abbot of the monks, who came from the Monastery of Odessa with the aim of restoring the place. At the time of the transfer of the monastery church, there was only the house and the abbot of the Church of the Assumption.

With a titanic effort, little by little the brothers and the parishioners restored the holy place. It was restored a stone staircase that leads to the upper floor of the monastery, as well as the building of the bell tower, which soon began to ring under the golden vaults. Now, as in other times, the monastery attracts pilgrims to worship and pray before the image of our Lady “Three Hands” to see this holy and ancient place. Today, the restored monastery has three churches of the five that existed before the October Revolution, housing the new building with cells and the Abbot House equipped with a fountain.

To know more about the history of the Orthodox Church and see other monuments of Cultural Heritage you can visit places such as St. Basil’s Cathedral, Christ the Redeemer Temple, Novodévichi Monastery, Lavra Monastery, among others.

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