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Ferapontov Monastery

Ferapontov Monastery
The Ensemble of the Ferapontov Monastery is a Russian-Orthodox monastic complex dating from the 15th-17th centuries, and its interior is considered one of the purest examples of Russian medieval art. The wall paintings were made by Dionisy, the greatest Russian artist of the end of the 15th century.

The Ensemble contains six major elements:
- The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin (1490)
- The Church of the Annunciation (1530-31) and refectory
- The Treasury Chamber (1530s)
- The Church of St Martinian (1641)
- The Gate Churches of the Epiphany and St Ferrapont (1650)
- The bell-tower (1680s)


Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
Although I had crossed Vologda Oblast in the past, stopping for a while in some cities during my train journey from Moscow to Vorkuta, in Komi Republic, I did not have any humane experience in that Russian province, so as a traveler I felt the responsibility to go again to that Oblast and visit it properly to consider it like really visited, seeing something more than a train station during half an hour; I did not want to fool myself.
The opportunity came in the year 2009, in my way down by boat and train from the Solovetski islands toBashkiria Republic.
I stopped in the pleasant town of Vologda and visited its Kremlin (Vologda is one of the few Russian cities possessing a Kremlin, or fortress) and the historical downtown, with constructions dating from the XII century.
The next day I took a bus to Ferapontov Monastery, a UNESCO Patrimony of the Humankind, to admire the famous frescoes painted by the monk Dionysius the Wise.

It was easy to get to Ferapontov; I boarded a bus early in the morning and after 1 hour or so I reached the gates of the Ferapontov Monastery, where I visited the famous frescoes of Dionysius the Wise, a monk from Moscow who painted icons and created was is called the "Muscovite mannerism art".
The ticket that I bought to visit the monastery and the Dionysius frescoes also allowed me the access to a museum of art crafts and a small chapel (very interesting), plus an exposition of contemporary paintings (not interesting at all).

To return to Vologda was more difficult since from Ferapontov Monastery there was a daily bus back to that city only at 6 PM; consequently I hitch hiked to get sooner to Vologda.
It is difficult to hitchhike in Russia (although not impossible). People are not used to practice that original and cheap type of transport. Only after two hours a car driven by a young man stopped and dropped me in Kirillov, from where I already had frequent buses to Vologda.
While waiting one of those buses I had the opportunity to visit near the bus station the monastery of Kirillo Belozersky, another wonder of the religious art in Russia, founded in the XIV century on the shores of the lake Siberskoye, which during many years was the largest monastery north of Russia.

Once back in the city of Vologda I boarded a train that after two days brought me to Ufa, the capital of the Republic of Bashkiria, to visit that city properly.
Date posted: July 2013
Gennady Nezhdanov (USA/Russia):
It is beautiful spiritual and historical place, very well preserved and maintained, resort for souls in thirst for genuine and eternal. Highly recommend to visit. If not in reality, just use web-site.
Date posted: May 2012
Jan Ove Langoy (Norway):
When visiting Vologda this spring, we asked a local tourist-guide what to see and she recommended a trip to Ferapontov. As it was out of season we had a privat tour of the monastry by the director. What a place; so quiet and peaceful and the paintings in the church are absolutely amazing.
This place is well worth the trouble getting there.
The best way to see the monastry are to arrange with the infocentre in Vologda and it is relatively inexpencive to visit.

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Site info

Ensemble of the Ferapontov Monastery
Country: Russia
Inscribed: 2000
Cultural Heritage
Criteria:  (1) (4)
Category: Religious structure, Christian

Site history:
2000 Inscribed
Reasons for inscription
Formerly appeared on T List as Mural paintings by Dionsiy in the Rojdestva Bogoroditsy Cathedral (1996)

Site links

Official website:
»Ferapontov Monastery

In the news:
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Related links:
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Related Forum posts:
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Getting there

This WHS has 1 location(s).


Human Activity
Frescoes / murals by famous painters .
Religion and Belief
Cathedrals .
Built in the 15th century .
Named after a local Christian saint .
World Heritage Process
Extended from original TWHS .

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