Ferapontov Monastery

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ferapontov Monastery


a monastery located 20 km from the Kirill-Belozersk Monastery, between Lakes Borodavskoe and Passkoe, in what is now the village of Ferapontovo, Vologda Oblast.

The Ferapontov Monastery was founded circa 1398 by Fera-pont (died 1426), a monk of the Simonov Monastery in Moscow. By the late 15th century, it owned many villages and considerable land. In the 16th century it was a major cultural center. The patriarch Nikon was banished there by the tsar after falling into disfavor. The monastery was closed in 1798 and reopened in 1903. At present, it is a branch of the Kirill-Belozersk Historical, Architectural, and Art Museum and Preserve.

The picturesque architectural ensemble of the Ferapontov Monastery includes the Rozhdestvo Bogoroditsy Cathedral, built in 1490 by masters from Rostov. The four-columned church, originally crowned by two domes, has stepped vaults with elevated wall arches and a keel-shaped roof. It is surrounded by an enclosed parvis. The frescoes over the entrance and within the cathedral, outstanding examples of Old Russian monumental painting, were executed by Dionisii and his sons (1500–02; according to some findings, 1502–03). Other architectural monuments include the refectory with the Blagoveshchenie Church (1530–34), an example of the izhe pod kolokoly type (with the bell tower integrated with the main structure); the church is connected to the cathedral by enclosed passageways with a tent-shaped bell tower in the center (17th century). The Church of Martinian (1640–41), topped by a tent-shaped tower, was built adjacent to the south side of the cathedral.


Bocharov, G., and V. Vygolov. Vologda, Kirillov, Ferapontovo, Belozersk, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1969.
Freski Ferapontovo monastyria. Moscow, 1970. [Album; text by I. E. Danilova. Moscow, 1970.]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.