Saturday, December 6, 2014

inSPIREd Sunday - Novodevichy Convent Part 2

May 2011 - Moscow Russia

Last week I posted photos of the churches on the grounds of the Novodevichy Convent. 
Novodevichy means New Maiden.
This week I'm going to post photos from the graveyard. I will post more graves next week.
This has to be the most stunning graveyard ever. There are many famous Russians buried here.

The cemetery was designed by Ivan Mashkov and inaugurated in 1898. Its importance dates from the 1930s, when the necropoleis of the medieval Muscovite monasteries (Simonov, Danilov, Donskoy) were scheduled for demolition. Only the Donskoy survived the Joseph Stalin era relatively intact. The remains of many famous Russians buried in other abbeys, such as Nikolai Gogol and Sergey Aksakov, were disintered and reburied at the Novodevichy.

A 19th-century necropolis within the walls of the Novodevichy convent, which contained the graves of about 2000 Russian noblemen and university professors, also underwent reconstruction. The vast majority of graves were destroyed. It was at that time that the remains of Anton Chekhov were moved outside the monastery walls. His grave served as the kernel of the so-called "cherry orchard" - a section of the cemetery which contains the graves of Constantin Stanislavski and the leading actors of his company.

Under Soviet rule, burial in the Novodevichy Cemetery was second in prestige only to burial in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis. Among the Soviet leaders, only Nikita Khrushchev was buried at the Novodevichy rather than at the Red Square. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Kremlin Wall is no longer used for burials and the Novodevichy Cemetery is used for only the most symbolically significant burials. For example, in April 2007, within one week both the first President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin and world renowned cellist Mstislav Rostropovich were buried there.

 The Soviet circus clown, Nikulin

 Chekhov’s grave

Stalin’s wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, with its protective glass covering, allegedly added when vandals had removed the nose.


  1. Quite a memorable cemetery. Some of it has very much of a Soviet feel in the way the gravestones look, but others have a conventional feel.

  2. What history this cemetery holds. The arch over the entrance is wonderful. The kneeling angel and the ballet dancer are my favorites. Tom The Backroads Traveller

  3. Cemetery full of history. Pantheon merit.
    Interesting post and fantastic pictures ..
    Have a great celebration.
    Greetings from Polish.

  4. Very interesting are the cemetery monuments ... Cheers :)

  5. Indeed famous people's grave. It's a beautiful cemetery. What I find a very good thing are the monuments and epitaphs written on their stones. They create a memory lane of the departed ones to present. When you look and read, you'll know whe person was and a hint about his/her life.

  6. such amazing designs. i love the man with the hat and that doggie laying in front of him. that is so precious! what a great location to visit. thank you for taking us along. ( :

  7. Absolutely fascinating. What is it about cemeteries, that makes them such compulsive viewing?! Some amazing memorials there - I think it's something the Russians have a flair for.

  8. Amazing, took me a while to realise it was in Russia