Beautiful Churches and Monasteries of Pereslavl Zalesskiy to visit in one day tour

The main attractions of Pereslavl Zalesskiy are for sure its orthodox monasteries and churches. There are a lot of them, so don’t try to see everything, but try to enjoy the city for you to get warm memories and satisfaction after the trip. Below I will give you a list of the most interesting and beautiful monasteries of Pereslavl which you can visit during one day trip.

Also we have a very cool video from this trip to Yaroslavl oblast, full of positive emotions and real Russian fun! You can watch it here – Amazing tour from Moscow to Golden Ring of Russia cities with real russian fun

Goritskiy Monastery in Pereslavl Zalesskiy

It was founded in 1382 by Ivan Kalita. In 1382 army of Mongolian Khan Tokhtamysh attacked Pereslavl and destroyed Goritskiy Monastery. In this time Evdokia – wife of Great Knyaz Dmitry Donskoy came here to pray. When Mongols attacked the monastery, it was a strong fog at Plesheevo Lake and she could escape with her son and several other people by sailing with raft to the middle of the lake. Later she restored the monastery in appreciation for her safe. Since that time every year on 6’th Sunday after Easter the monks of Goritskiy Monastery make procession by boats to the middle of the lake.

The Monastery now looks very beautiful and ancient. You can walk around, take pictures, visit service and walk a little along monastery’s walls.

Nicolskiy Orthodox Cathedral

Monastery was founded in 1348 by Dmitry Prilutskiy, the student of St. Sergius Radonezhskiy. Legend says that Dmitry was very beautiful man and as he was very righteous his face was even shining, that is why he always covered his face with thin cloth when was out of his room. One grand lady heard a lot about his beauty and wanted to see his face very much! So she spied him through the window when he was in his monastic cell. When Dmitry noticed the woman, her muscles became weak, she fell down and couldn’t get up any more and started to cry. Then Dmitry came to her, told that she needs to go to the church to pray to God and clean her soul. Then he prayed, blessed her and woman was healed at the moment.


Now monastery is absolutely restored and looks like new one. It has a beautiful architecture, but for me it didn’t caused any reverential trembling while being there… But for architecture and legend about Dmitry Prilutskiy, I put it in my list 🙂

Orthodox Church of Forty Sevastian’s Martyrs

Very beautiful architecture and amazing story of these Martyrs, who were killed because they refused to deny Christ. The story is as beautiful as tragic. It happened in the city of Sevastia (now it is called Sivas in Turkey) in 320. The Roman army which was leaded by General Agricola stayed in the city. According to custom they used to make pagan rituals before the battle. But there were 40 christian warriors from Cappadocia in his army, who refused to take a part in these rituals. So Agricola became angry and these warriors were killed and burned. Today orthodox Christians remember about their faith and build churches dedicated to their heroic deed.

The church is located at the shore of Plesheevo Lake near mouth of small River Trubezh. To take the best photos you need to cross the river and to make pictures from the opposite shore.

Trinity of orthodox churches in Pereslavl Zalesskiy: Vladimir Orthodox Cathedral, Alexander Nevskiy Church and Church of Peter Metropolitan

The interesting thing here is that these 3 churches are located in one place, so photos will be really interesting 🙂

Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy Orthodox Cathedral

Architecture of this cathedral is quite simple. But this is the only church here that was built in XII century before Mongolian period that was saved in its original form! And this is the church where Alexander Nevskiy was baptized.

 His monument is also near the church. This Orthodox Cathedral is located in the very center of the city at the Red Square and has a very nice lightening in the evening, so photos should be very nice!

Nikitskiy Monastery in Pereslavl Zalesskiy

It is the first and most ancient monastery of Pereslavl that was founded in 1010. In that time a very cruel tax collector Nikita lived there, who robbed people collecting huge amount of money for knyaz and for himself. Once he visited the church for evening service and heard words from Holy Bible – Isaiah 1, 16-17: “16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” In these verses he heard words of God dedicated to him and he understood that he was a very big sinner. After the service he went home immersed in his thoughts and couldn’t sleep that night. Later he left his richness and decided to become a monk. But when he came to the monastery, priest couldn’t accept Nikita because of his great sins. After that Nikita went to marshland with thousands of mosquitos, took off his clothes and spent 3 days there. After he returned back to monastery bitten by mosquitoes and when the priest had seen his body, he had pity and allowed him stay here. Nikita put on stone hat and chains and never took them off till he died to get forgiveness of his sins.

You will get a real pleasure when walking around the monastery. It is really huge, beautiful and its absolutely white color looks like a real fortress.

Pereslavl Zalesskiy is an old Russian city, which history starts from 1152, and it is only 5 years younger than Moscow. During the time it had a lot of triumphal and sorrow moments. But one thing is real – the city has a very interesting history which I will tell you below!

Interesting moments and personalities in history of Pereslavl Zalesskiy, Yaroslavl region

The area around today’s Pereslavl always was very attractive for settlements from other regions. Plesheevo Lake is full of fish, forests are full of wood and very good for hunting. First people came here in IV century, and in X century here was a first big settlement called Kleshino.

Time passed and new Great Knyaz Yuriy Dolgorukiy noticed this place is located on the crossing of important trading routes and has built here the first city in 1152. The city grew and became rich very fast, that is why it was called Pereslavl (in Russian language “pereniat slavu” is translated like “to take a glory”). And later it was called Pereslavl Zalesskiy as it is located in the forest area (in Russian “za lesom” means “behind the forest”)


In 1220 a Great Knyaz Alexander was born here in Pereslavl, who in the age of 20 years could defeat Swedish army on Neva River, later he was called Alexander Nevskiy. 2 years later he had another famous battle with German Crusaders on Chudskoe Lake that later was called Ice Battle. But while Alexander was knyaz of the Great Novgorod and lived there, his motherland rich and powerful city Pereslavl Zalesskiy was under attacks and robberies from other knyazes and Mongols. The history says that Mongolian army of Khan Batu invaded and robbed the city for 6 times! However, Knyaz Alexander Nevskiy is very respected in Pereslavl and in Russia generally and now there is his monument on the central square of the city.


In 1369 Knyaz Dmitry Donskoy has built here new fortifications, and 3 years later it withstood the battle with Lithuanians. But in 1382 Mongolian army of Khan Tokhtamysh invaded and burned the city. Pereslavl Zalesskiy was restored in 1403 and 5 years later was again attacked by Mongols. In 1608 Pereslavl was occupied by Polish invaders but was released 1 year later. After that the city was attacked for several times but has withstood all attacks and was never occupied again.


In its history a lot of Great Knyazes and Tsars visited Pereslavl for hunting, entertainments and political meetings. One of the most famous was Tsar Ivan IV (The Terrible), who had included it in Oprichnina area in XVI century, controlled by his main oprichnik and executioner Maluta Skuratov. So they often visited the city together to pray for their sins.


Another famous event that took a place in Pereslavl is a birth of Russian Marine Fleet. In the end of XVII young Russian Emperor Peter I, who had a passion of ships, had built his first small fleet at the shipyard at Plesheevo Lake. Later it was called “the amusing flotilla” and it became a foundation of Marine Fleet in Russian Empire when Peter I grew up enough to become a Leader of the country. These boats were carefully stored until the fire in 1783 destroyed them. The only one boat “Fortuna”, which was constructed by Peter I himself was saved from the fire and it is still in good condition.

Time passed and the growth of economy of Pereslavl went into decline. The main reason was the building of railways which didn’t pass through Pereslavl and it is in 18 km far from it. That is why step by step, year by year Pereslavl Zalesskiy became a quiet small country town with cozy streets and important historical value.

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Dmitry Doronin

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