- Pühtitsa Convent
Pühtitsa Convent (Estonian: Kuremäe Jumalaema Uinumise nunnaklooster, Russian: Пюхтицкий Успенский женский монастырь) is a
conventlocated in Eastern Estonia( Ida-Viru County) between Lake Peipusand the Gulf of Finland.
The convent is located on a site known as "Pühitsetud" ("blessed" in Estonian) since ancient times. According to a 16th century legend, near the local village, Kuremäe, a shepherd witnessed a divine revelation near a spring of water to this day venerated as holy. Later, locals found an ancient
iconof Dormition of the Mother of God under a huge oak tree. The icon still belongs to the convent.
A small Orthodox Christian church was built in Pühtitsa in the 16th century. The convent was founded in 1891.
In 1888, the
Russian Orthodox Churchsent a nun from Kostroma Ipatiev Monasteryto establish a convent in Pühtitsa. The main Cathedral of the convent was built to a design by Mikhail Preobrazhenskyin a Russian Revivalstyle and was fully completed in 1910.
There are six churches in the convent dedicated to a number of Orthodox Christian Saints such as
St. Sergius of Radonezh, St. Simeon the Receiver of God, St. Nicholas, St. Anna the Prophetess and others. Prince Sergei Shakhovskoy governor-generalof Estonia was convent's patron and protected it from local nobles, mostly German Lutherans, who tried to resist its construction. The convent was first Orthodox monastery built in Estonia to the delight of mostly Orthodox local Estonian and Russian peasants of Jõhvicounty.
In 1919, after Estonia became independent from
Russia, the new government confiscated most of the convent's land and transferred the convent to the Estonian Orthodox Church, independent of Moscow. During the Second World War the battlefront was at times only a few kilometres away from the convent and Germans organized a concentration camp for Russian prisoners of war inside the monastery compound.
Following the second invasion and occupation of Estonia by the
Soviet Unionin 1944, the convent managed to survive despite the uneasy co-existence with the Communist authorities. Patriarch Alexius IIwho was the bishop(later the archbishop) of Tallinnand Estonia in the 1960s was instrumental in the fight to keep the convent from closure. In 1990 the Pühtitsa Convent was placed under the direct authority of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Alexius II. By 1991, the Pühtitsa monastic community consisted of 161 nuns.
* [http://www.orthodox.ee/indexeng.php?d=parishes/convent Estonian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate - Pühtitsa (Pyhtitsa) Dormition Convent]
* [http://puhti.orthost.ru/ Orthodox holy places - the Silver Ring of Russia]
Photos and videos
* [http://www.360pano.eu/pyhtitsa/ Entrance to the Pühtitsa Convent] QTVR fullscreen panorama (July 08, 2007)
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