Things to See: Monastery of the Transfiguration of Our Savior (and Our Kremlin!)

May 5, 2012

The next on the list of “Things to See” in Yaroslavl is my personal favorite: Спасо-Преображенский Монастырь, the Monastery of the Transfiguration of Our Savior. I have now visited this site in fall, winter, and spring–and I’ll do it again in the summer! Located within the kremlin walls, this is another spot where you’ll find a little something for everyone.

For the art lovers: The Icon Museum

The icon museum has hundreds of years of icons in one large room. Art history lovers may find it interesting to wander and compare the styles based on the century or place of origin.

For the history and gore lovers: The History Museum

I’ve found the docents in the art museum particularly helpful! They tend to be elderly babushki who would love to show you around (speaking Russian may help you out if you want to ask them questions, though). There are all sorts of artifacts and interesting information on excavations done in Yaroslavl and Rostov in this museum. One of my favorite parts is looking at the cool weapons and armor! Plus, there are also lots of original paintings recreating scenes in history to help you imagine just what people might have looked like in Yaroslavl long ago, like the one pictured above.

For the animal lovers: Masha the Bear

It’s a BEAR!!!!!

 Okay, so this isn’t Masha–this is just a statue near the monastery (I know, I had you fooled for a second, right?). Masha is an actual, live bear inside the monastery, and for a small fee you can go take a picture with her! Unfortunately, I always seem to arrive during her breaks. I’ll get a picture with the real Masha yet!

For the kids: The Natural History Museum

The natural history museum essentially is made up of taxidermy animals and a more visual experience of excavations. The children flock to this museum!

For the architecture lovers: The Grounds

This photograph was actually taken slightly outside the monastery, and hopefully give you an idea of its size. The Transfiguration of Our Savior Monastery houses some of the oldest buildings in Yaroslavl, so for people with an interest in history, art, and architecture, this is the place to come. You can ask in the history museum which buildings are the oldest!

For the pious: The Transfiguration of Our Savior Church

Спасо-Преображенский собор

Come on a Sunday morning if you would like to take a peek inside, plus get a glimpse of a Russian Orthodox mass. To be respectful, I would recommend that girls cover their hair (though not religious myself, I tend to put whatever scarf I’m wearing over my head when I pop into churches here). Modest clothes for men and women are recommended.

For the jewelry lovers: The Jewel Museum

In my opinion, this is the most beautiful part of the missionary. Unfortunately, no cameras are allowed into the jewel museum, so I can’t give you an example of what’s inside. You’ll just have to find out for yourself (spoiler: expect lots of gold, silver, diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and pretty much anything that sparkles or shines)!

For the shopping lovers: The Gift Shops

There is a collection of gift shops inside the monastery with just about all the souvenirs you could want from Yaroslavl. Next to them is a cafe–naturally complete with beer. Like I said, something for everyone!

If you are interested in visiting the monastery, arrive between 10 AM and 5 PM to see the exhibits. It will cost you 20 rubles (less than 1 USD) to get into the grounds and between 40-50 rubles (less than 2 USD) to see each exhibit. It costs a little more to take pictures. Pay up front at the little red booth, and make sure to show your student ID for a discount! Going on a weekday with a student ID costs me 100 rubles (a little over 3 USD) all together to see all the exhibits and to take pictures.

‘Til next time!



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