St. Daniel monastery

The Church over the Gates of St. Simeon the Stylite The Church of the Holy Fathers of Seven Ecumenical Councils The Holy Trinity Cathedral The Chapel-over-the-Well The Remembrance Chapel The Father Superior House The Hospital Building The New Brothers House The Department of Church External Relations (ex. Brothers House) The Residence of Patriarch of Moskow and All Russia Alekseevskaya Tower Georgievskaya Tower Patriarch Tower Synodal Tower

St. Daniel monastery on a map
St. Daniel monastery

Danilov Monastery – the first monastery in Moscow – was founded at the end of 13th century by St. Prince Daniel of Moscow, son of Prince Alexander Nevsky. Prince Daniel the Peacemaker, without bloodshed or intestine quarrels, began laying the groundwork for the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the glorification of Moscow. He became the forefather of the dynasty of Grand Princes of Moscow and then of the Czars of Russia. Here, shortly before his demise, Prince Daniel took monastic vows and was laid to rest in the Monastery cemetery, according to his last will and testament, as an ordinary monk.

The son of Prince Daniel, Ivan Kalita, transferred the Monastery to the Kremlin. The cloister was restored at its initial site after numerous miracles that were wrought on the grave of the Holy Prince by his descendant – Czar Ivan the Terrible.

By God’s Providence, the Holy relics of Prince Daniel were acquired in 1652. Shortly after that, the Russian Orthodox Church canonized Prince Daniel.

The architectural features of the Monastery came into being over the course of several centuries: the Church of the Holy Fathers of Seven Ecumenical Councils (with lower Pokrovsky Church) – a remarkable monument of Russian architecture of the 17th-19th centuries, the Church of Reverend Simeon Stolpnik – 17th-18th centuries, the Trinity Cathedral designed by architect O.I. Bove in 1833–1838, the Last Rites Chapel – in 1988. In the 19th century, Danilov Monastery was known for its necropolis. Such famous people as N. V. Gogol, N.G. Rubinstein, S.M. Tretyakov, A.S. Khomyakov and others are buried here.

The Monastery was closed in 1930 by the theomachist authorities. The Prior of the cloister, Archbishop Fyodor (Pozdeyevsky) and most of his brethren were shot.

The first Moscow monastery was also the first to be returned to the Church. That happened in the fall of 1983 and by 1988, on the Millennium of Christianity in Russia, it was restored thanks to the efforts of all the people. The rebirth of Danilov Monastery opened up a new chapter in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church. St. Prince Daniel once again called upon his cloister to serve the people.