Nizhny Novgorod’s oldest monastery celebrating 865th anniversary

The most ancient monastery of the Nizhny Novgorod Province, the St. Theodore Monastery in Gorodets, is celebrating its 865th anniversary this year. Celebrations dedicated to this significant date are being held through the end of September, reports

The monastery is one of the oldest not only in the province, but in all of Russia, and it was here that St. Alexander Nevsky ended his days in monasticism.

In addition, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the revival of the monastery. Concerts, exhibitions, and other events are being organized by the Diocese of Gorodets on the territory of the monastery.

In particular, an exposition of the works of participants in the “Gorodets and Monastery. One History, One Life, One Destiny!” photo contest opened yesterday, and the conference, “Gorodets Historian,” dedicated to the history of the creation and revival of the monastery, will be held on September 18.

The culmination of the celebrations will be Hierarchal Liturgy with the participation of distinguished guests and friends of the diocese to be held in the St. Theodore Cathedral on September 12, the day of commemoration of the relics of the Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky.


The Gorodets-St. Theodore Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in Russia, founded in 1154 on the site of the finding of the icon of the Mother of God that was later called the Feodorovskaya.

St. Alexander Nevsky ended his days in the monastery, having taken the name Alexei in monasticism. Here also labored Prokhor of Gorodets, the teacher of St. Andrei Rublev, St. Paul of Obnora, a disciple of St. Sergius of Radonezh, and St. Timon of Nadeyev, a disciple of St. Seraphim of Sarov.

In the 19th century, the monastery was an important spiritual educational center and it had several churches by that time, but was closed in 1927, and in 1934 all the buildings were transferred for use of a juvenile labor commune. The last abbot, Igumen Israel, was shot in 1937.

Subsequently, the monastery buildings housed various projects.

On April 7, 2008, the solemn laying of the foundation stone of the St. Theodore Cathedral was celebrated, and the cathedral was consecrated on September 12, 2009, the day of the transfer of the relics of St. Alexander Nevsky. Repairs and reconstruction continue on the rest of the monastery corpus.