About 600 kilometers south of Moscow is the town of Kostomarovo. A desert landscape, with hills of very little vegetation that look amazingly similar to those of the Middle East has earned it the nickname “Russian Palestine”. Here is a well-known cave, famous throughout the country, the Cave of Penitence. In this curious cave, the walls and ceilings come closer as they deepen, forming extremely narrow passageways that cause the believers who arrive carrying the weight of their sins to end up confessing in a forced and deep reverence. The Church of San Salvador is the oldest part of the monastery and is located underground, in a cave that can hold up to 2,000 people. This was the home of the hermits, dedicated hermit monks who led a completely isolated lifestyle. They were enclosed in cells embedded in the walls of the Church of San Salvador and their only communication with the outside world was a small channel through which they passed food and papers with prayer requests. This monastery is open for sightseeing and you can go on your own or as part of a sightseeing tour.