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ALEKSANDRO-NEVSKY NOVO-TIKHVINSKY CONVENT

Novo-Tikhvinsky Orthodox Christian convent is the oldest monastery of Ekaterinburg; its history began in 1796 with a hospice at the Uspenskaya (Assumption) cemetery church.

First the community was very small − only three women under the leadership of sister Thaisia (Tatiana Kostromina). Kostromina, a daughter of an artisan from Verkh-Isetsky plant, was the founder of Novo-Tikhvinsky convent. For several years she personally travelled to St. Petersburg seeking the official decree to establish the convent and provide means for the sisters. Finally, on December 31, 1809 Novo-Tikhvinsky convent was officially established by the Emperor’s decree.

The monastery construction lasted almost the entire 19th century; year after year it was developing and expanding. The convent accepted incoming women of all ages. Since mid-19th century Novo-Tikhvinsky convent was the largest in the Urals and one of the largest in Russia. In 1824 the monastery was visited by Emperor Alexander I, and in 1837 − by Crown Prince Alexander, the future Emperor Alexander II.

By the beginning of the 20th century 135 nuns and 900 novices lived in the convent. At the time the monastery surrounded with high walls and towers had six churches, individual cell rooms, hospital, almshouse, candle factory, and utility buildings. The ensemble was centered around the largest church − the dominant five-domed Cathedral in the name of St. Alexander Nevsky, now fully restored. During holiday the cathedral could hold over 6 000 people. During the soviet era the convent was closed and is now is gradually reviving.

INTERESTING FACT

In the middle of the 19th century the convent was one of the major primary and secondary education centers for women in the Urals. It ran a four-year school for girls. In the convent itself by 1866 only 17% of sisters were illiterate, while the general illiteracy rate in the country at the time was over 70%

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