Weekend pilgrim tourism: Vyshny Volochek and Torzhok
It is necessary to drive only 60 km along the Moscow-St. Petersburg route from Tver to Torzhok in order to be in one of the oldest Russian monasteries, Novotorzhsky Borisoglebsky. But we suggest first passing Torzhok and getting to the next city on the M 10-Vyshny Volochyok highway.
We will continue our way towards the northern capital and after another 60 km. at the entrance to the historical center of Vyshny Volochka, in the direction of travel you will turn right. A little more and a monastery in front of us, inscribed its own pilgrim in the history of Russian Orthodoxy. The fact that for many years the main shrine of the Kazan Convent was Andronikov (Andronikovskaya) icon of the Mother of God, according to legend, written by the Evangelist Luke during the life of the Virgin Mary, or, most likely , one of her earliest lists.
According to the first surviving documentary evidence of the icon, in 1347 the Byzantine emperor Andronicus III Palaeologus donated it to the Monemvasian monastery in Morea, where she remained until the beginning of the 19th century. By the name of the monastery the icon was also called Monemvasian. When the Turks attacked Greece in 1821 and devastated many cities, including Monemvasia, the abbot of the monastery, Bishop Agapius, leaving all the treasures of the monastery in the hands of the enemies, saved only the miraculous Andronicus Icon and hid with her in the city of Patras.
Before his death, Agapius bequeathed this shrine to his relative, the Russian Consul General N. I. Vassopulo, whose son and heir, A. N. Vlassopulo, sent her from Athens in 1839 with a letter to His Maiden name to Odessa, Emperor Nicholas Pavlovich. So the icon came to Russia.
In the 20s of the last century after the closure of the Kazan Monastery, the icon fell into the Epiphany Cathedral of the Most High Volochek, from which it was stolen in 1984. After long misadventures, this holy relic ended up in the patriarchal sacristy.
The main cathedral of the monastery is one of the most beautiful Russian churches – the Kazan Cathedral, built by the project of the architect A.S. Kaminsky.
In Vyshny Volochyok you can see a lot of unusual and interesting, and man-made canals, dressed in granite, and the Epiphany Cathedral on the island.
Returning to Tver, it will be convenient for us, while moving, to visit Torzhok, where the Borisoglebsky Monastery is located, founded in 1038 by the future Rev. Efrem Novotorzhsky, an ethnic Hungarian or, as they were called in Russia, Ugrin, This is one of the oldest Orthodox monasteries in Russia. The first stone Borisoglebsky Cathedral stood for about 700 years, but it was badly damaged in 1607 when the Poles took Torzhok. In 1785-1796 designed by architect N. A. Lvov, a new cathedral was built in its place. But the foundations of one of the chapels of the ancient cathedral can be seen today. The first stone in the construction of the present cathedral was laid by Catherine II in 1785. This year, the empress made her famous journey through the first artificial water system of Russia – Vyshnevolotskaya.
It is assumed that monastic tonsure took on the Novotorzhsky Borisoglebsky Monastery and from some time until 1647 he was the abbot of the future seventh Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Joasaph II. Under Joasaph II, it was decided to establish a bishop’s department in Rzhev
Until the last days, Joasaph II did not break ties with his small homeland. It is known that in 1669-1670, according to his decree, the Church of the Entry into the Temple of Our Lady was built at the Novotorzhsky Borisoglebsky Monastery. Now it is the oldest building of the monastery. The architectural ensemble of the monastery also includes: the Gate Church and the Entry – Jerusalem Church, now the most ancient monastic building.
From the monastery there is a beautiful view of the Tvertsa River and Torzhok.
At the moment, the monastery is used by the Orthodox Church and the All-Russian Historical-Ethnographic Museum.
For pilgrims who want to visit the monastery, there is a comfortable monastery hotel with separate 2 and 4-bed rooms.
This is an amazing pilgrim train anyone can make on one of their weekends.