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“Extended stay must” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Novodevichy (New Maiden) Convent and Cemetery

Novodevichy (New Maiden) Convent and Cemetery
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$78.04*
and up
Cathedrals and Churches of the Russian Capital
Ranked #30 of 2,388 things to do in Moscow
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Located near the Moscow River, this peaceful retreat from the bustling city includes a spectacular 16th-century convent and a cemetery where many of the country's most famous writers, poets, politicians and public figures are buried.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Thompsonville, Michigan
Level Contributor
119 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Extended stay must”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

Well worth the subway ride but make sure you have good directions as it is a short walk to the Convent. Plenty of little stores to buy lunch near the subway exit/entrance.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Rsmith7412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Chinese (Traditional) first
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  • Any
English first
Carrickfergus, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
558 reviews
339 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,167 helpful votes
“World's greatest headstone”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

Novodevichy Cemetery is a very remarkable place. I’m used to Christian burial places, and some western military cemeteries. This is very different. You won’t see crosses here, and that was very strange, in my eyes. Many of its headstones are from Soviet times. You’ll see fantastically characterful sculptures that memorialize ballerinas, authors, poets or politicians. Boris Yeltzin’s grave marker is a colourful sculpture of a Russian flag.

I’ll include two photos, here. One shows a great monument to some guy who obviously loved a good book. The other has an amazing story. Nikita Khrushchev was a premiere of the USSR. He once toured an art exhibition, denouncing what he saw. He thought the modern art images mutilated the Soviet people. He cursed and vilified the exhibits. A very brave artist, Ernst Neizvestny, stood up to him. I’ve read he retorted “in front of my work, I am the premiere!”

People showing such defiance towards Soviet officials would often be made to suffer, and Neizvestny did ultimately have to quit his homeland in 1976, faced with the enmity of party leaders. During the exhibition incident Khrushchev may have actually enjoyed having someone argue with him.

Khrushchev himself fell somewhat out of favour, and was a leader not granted the honour of a burial in the walls of Moscow’s Kremlin. A year after his death his family gave his burial place in Novodevichiy Cemetery a headstone made by none other than Ernst Neizvestny. It is really beautiful. His likeness smiles at you. The interlocking white marble and black granite blocks symbolise the progressive versus reactionary character of the man. Khrushchev was a volatile, dangerous figure who was also something of a reformer. He was at times a peacemaker, at other times aggressive.

It is so fantastically bizarre to think that he rejected modern art so pugnaciously, only for his family to pick that one defiant sculptor to place a huge example of it over his resting place for eternity. It is quite the most striking headstone I’ve ever seen.

(A warning: in winter this place is very, very cold!)

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Steveodo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A nice quiet retreat.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2013

The convent is a must see for anyone visiting Moscow. Founded in 1524, It is one of the few religious institutions not only to survive the upheavals of history from Napoleon to Soviet atheism, but also remain largely intact to this day. The artwork and frescoes on the ceilings of the churches alone could have kept me there all day. Sadly, cameras are not permitted inside the church, as people do come here to worship and also due to the fragility of icons.
A stroll along the duck path is the perfect spot to get away to get some peace and quiet. In the spring and summer months newlywed couples, and families come here on weekends to relax in a scene that almost looks reminiscent of a Georges Seurat painting.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Stephen1205
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Harbor, FL
Level Contributor
209 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Renewed Faith in Humanity”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2012

The Communists exiled most of the clergy in Russia and robbed the churches. They are now making a concerted effort at restoration. Very active religious movement in Russia even after over 2 generations of Communist and Socialist rule.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank InterntlTraveler10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgium
Level Contributor
74 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“A nice quiet and peaceful picturesque experience just outside Moscow.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 24, 2012

We were here in wintertime and the snow made it a very charming experience. You can buy/get a map of the cemetery next to the convent if you're interested in finding the graves of the famous people buried there.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Country_hopper99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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