Mozhaysk, Russia

Mozhaysk, Russia

According to, Mozhaisk is located near the Mozhaisk reservoir, 110 km west of Moscow.

The first mention of the city dates back to 1231. In 1277 Mozhaisk became the specific center of the Smolensk Principality. In 1303, he was captured by the Moscow prince Yuri Danilovich and annexed to the Moscow principality. Since then, Mozhaisk has been considered one of the main fortified points west of Moscow. In 1382, the city was burned down by the Tatar Khan Tokhtamysh, but after 7 years, it became the center of an independent specific principality. From the 16th century Mozhaisk known as a significant trade and craft center, a large settlement spread around it. In addition, the country residences of the kings were located here. During the Polish-Lithuanian intervention, the city was devastated. In 1624-1626, a stone Kremlin with two gates and six towers was being built in Mozhaisk. The Mozhaisk Kremlin existed until the 18th century, and after that it was dismantled. Since 1708, Mozhaisk became a county town of the Mozhaisk province. The city became famous during the Patriotic War with Napoleon, when on August 26, 1812, the decisive battle of Russian troops with Napoleon’s army took place on the Borodino field, located 12 km from the city. Cathedral Hill is an

ancient part of Mozhaisk. Here, from the 17th to the 18th centuries, there was a powerful stone Kremlin, which has not survived to this day. Now only the remains of the ramparts remind of it. In the eastern part of the Cathedral Mountain you can see the Cathedral of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (Novo-Nikolsky). It was built in 1802-1814 in the pseudo-Gothic style on the site of the destroyed Holy Cross Church. The cathedral is decorated with white stone carvings, and its ledge bell tower is crowned with a thin spire. Today, the cathedral keeps a copy of the carved image of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker – the main shrine of the city, the original of which was here until the end of the 16th century, now exhibited in the Tretyakov Gallery.

Next to the Cathedral of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker stands the single-domed Peter and Paul Church. It was erected in the middle of the 19th century on the site of the collapsed city cathedral. interesting Church of Joachim and Anna. It belongs to the 18th century, however, in its southern wall, the white-stone part of the ancient temple of the 14th century has been preserved.

On the outskirts of Mozhaisk, on Brykina Gora, the ensemble of the Luzhetsky Ferapontov Monastery rises. It was founded in 1408 by St. Ferapont Belozersky. The current appearance of the monastery was formed in the 16th century. Its most majestic building is the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin. This five-domed brick cathedral contains fragments of frescoes of the 16th century, made by Moscow, Pskov and Novgorod masters. Also preserved here is the temple in the name of St. Ferapont, the Vvedenskaya church with a refectory, the gate church of the Transfiguration, the bell tower, the rector’s cells and the fence with towers. The main shrine of the monastery is the relics of St. Ferapont, to bow to which pilgrims come from all over Russia.

The city Historical Museum of Local Lore tells about the history of the region and its main sights. Also of interest is the museum of S.V. Gerasimov, where paintings by this famous artist, who was born and worked in Mozhaisk, are exhibited. In the center of the city there is a memorial complex to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War with an eternal flame. This monument reminds of the stubborn battles with the fascist troops that the Russian army fought in 1941 near Mozhaisk.

South of Mozhaisk is the village of Borisovo (in ancient times – Borisov Gorodok). Here, under Boris Godunov, a defensive fortress was erected, of which only earthen ramparts remain today.

12 km west of Mozhaisk is the Borodino field, which is now declared the State Borodino Military Historical Museum-Reserve. It was created in memory of the general battle between Russian and French troops on August 26, 1812. On the territory of the museum-reserve there are more than 50 monuments and memorable places: earthen artillery fortifications, mass graves, 36 monuments at the command posts of Kutuzov, Napoleon, locations of Russian troops, as well as sculptural monuments. The museum’s expositions include personal belongings of generals, weapons, military costumes, trophies, finds from battlefields, portraits and battle works. In total, the museum has 40,000 items of storage. In addition, the Church of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God (1701) with elements of ancient Russian wooden architecture, and the Spaso-Borodino Monastery (1820-1870) with buildings in the Empire and Russian Romantic styles are located on its territory.

Mozhaysk, Russia