CITY ESCAPE – MOST BEAUTIFUL MONASTERY – WEEKEND ACTIVITY – BRUEGELS' ART
We have a great new city escape tip for you! The “New Jerusalem Monastery” is one of the most beautiful monasteries we have seen so far in Russia and it's just 1 to 1,5 hour by car from Moscow, depending on the traffic and your starting point, so it's perfect to do it on the weekend.
The baroque monastery is originally from the 17th century, but it got badly damaged during The Second World War and was recently restored. The inside of the cathedral is probably the most impressive part of the entire monastery with its high dome, bright glazed tiles, side chapels and a little church in the middle. This church is a symbolic copy of The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem which was built above the empty tomb of Jesus. There is a symbolic stone "tomb" here also - and you will people lining up to go in for a prayer.
New Jerusalem was a favorite project of an ambitious Patriarch - Nikon. He even gave new name to the local river Istra - it became no less than Jordan (you can see its name written on the map in the monastery).
We also recommend a walk on the walls - the best view open from here.
There are several eateries on the premises, selling bliny (crepes) and dumplings (pelmeni). From the back archway you can get to "Gethsemane garden" - practically, a forest, and walk to the bank of "Jordan" - Istra. (Now, in early April it can be a bit muddy there). Cross the river by a bridge and you will see the next point of interest - New Jerusalem Art Museum.
In spring 2021 it runs a 70 works exhibition of the famous Dutch artists Bruegels - Pieter and two Jans. You have most likely seen "Hunters on the Snow" or "Winter Landscape with Ice-skaters and Bird-trap" by Pieter Bruegel. His paintings feature numerous figures of people doing their own business each and picture the lives of the ordinary man in the 1500ss-1600ss. He also liked to place Biblical scenes (like the Massacre of the Innocents) in the reality of winter Netherlands.
The exhibition is very popular, so it is recommendable to buy the tickets at least a week in advance.
Enjoy your visit!
Location: Ulitsa Sovetskaya, 2, Istra town