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Donskoy monastery and cemetery tour


Come with us to discover one of the most well preserved monasteries of Moscow. Founded in 1591 it is famous today for its bright monuments of  the 17th century architecture, peaceful atmosphere, unique cemetery with ancient tombs. During the tour we’ll see authentic fragments of high reliefs of the blown up Cathedral of Christ the Savior, visit the grave of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and talk about the victims of Soviet repressive system.

The cemetery of the Donskoy Monastery was the only monastery necropolis of Moscow, not destroyed after the Revolution.  It looks exactly the way it had looked before 1917: ancient tombs, chapels, crypts with brightest aristocratic names of the 18th and 19th century. You will see the burials of the relatives of Alexander Pushkin, historian Klyuchevsky, architect Bove as well as other poets, writers and philosophers of the past.  Wandering around the cemetery we’ll find the grave of the great Russian human rights activist and writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn as well as remains of of the "white" generals Denikin and Kappel.

During the Soviet era, in the territory of the Donskoy Monastery, there was a museum of architecture, in which fragments of destroyed Moscow churches were brought. Today you will see the rare, authentic fragments of six high reliefs of the blown up Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

A large new necropolis was inaugurated in 1910 just outside the monastery walls. We’ll find the grave of the daughter of Alexander Pushkin Maria Gartung who served for Leo Tolstoy as a model for Anna Karenina. 

The cemetery is mostly famous today for a common grave for the cremated ashes of executed political prisoners from Joseph Stalin's Great Purge. It is believed that about 5000 people executed by NKVD were secretly buried at the Donskoy Cemetery including  Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Pyotr Krasnov, Vsevolod Meyerhold,  Isaac Babel, and other victims of Stalin's regime. During the tour we’ll talk about the tragedy of the Soviet repressive system and the fate of  its victims.

Tour duration:  About 3 hours
Tour cost: 1600 RUB
Meeting time: 11.00 am
Meeting place: TBA
Guide: Lana Maksimova

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