The majestic snow-white Holy Ascension Makaryevsky Monastery, hidden in the dense green forest thickets, is located near Kazan, at the place where the Sviyaga River flows into the Volga. A quiet, measured life flows in the monastery, and it seems like even the time freezes here. It is a great place to relax from the bustle of the city and feel peaceful. From the hill, you can enjoy the breathtaking view onto the island town of Sviyazhsk and the Volga.
The history of the monastery goes back many centuries. It was founded in the first half of the 15th century by Prepodobny Makariy Unzhenskiy Zheltovodskiy Chudotvorets on the shore of Zheltovodsky lake. According to legend, in 1439 the governors of Khan Ulu-Muhamed attacked the monastery founded by Makariy. The khan, frightened by the wrath of God, released the ninety-year-old Makariy with several monks. Returning to their homeland in Kastroma, the travelers stopped on the picturesque bank of Sviyaga, even though, the Kazan Khan forbade them to be on his territory. Makariy had to continue his journey, but before leaving he blessed this land, deciding to build here a monastery as soon as possible.
At the beginning of the 17th century, one of the monks of the Unzhen Makaryevsky monastery revives the Makaryevsky monastery. And another monk, named Isaiah, sets off on a long journey with the goal of finding the very source, in order to finally fulfill the will of St. Makariy and establish a monastery at the holy spring.
Throughout its long history, the monastery has gone through a great deal of ordeals. During the revolution, it was looted, and monks left this place. For a long time, from 1936 to 1986, the Makaryevsky Monastery housed a children’s tuberculosis sanatorium. During the Great Patriotic War, the wounded soldiers were treated here.The monastery buildings were as well destroyed by natural forces and fires. By the time this holy land was returned to the believers, only dilapidated walls were preserved. In 1922, the Ascension Monastery was closed, and revived only in 1996. By the end of the 20th century, temples and other buildings of the monastery were restored with prayers and help of the righteous. In 2013, an 18-meter-high monument to St. Makariy was erected in the territory of the monastery. Today’s its fraternity has about 20 people.
Makaryevsky monastery consists of several buildings. Its territory is not very large. The main temple shrines have always been the icons of St. Macariy with a piece of relics that Isaiah brought from the Unzhe monastery, and the Vatopedi icon of the Mother of God “Joy and Consolation”.
The surviving architectural ensemble belongs to the buildings of the 17-19 centuries:
Church of the Icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in the Archimandrite Corps. It was built in 1866 and rebuilt in 1887. The main shrine of it is the miraculous icon of the Mother of God of All Sorrows of Joy.
The Church of the Ascension of the Lord is the first and at that time the only temple built in the name of the Ascension of the Lord, as a reminder of the day of the liberation of Macariy, exactly on this day, the Kazan Khan granted him freedom. The church was built at the end of the 17th century at the burial place of Isaiah, the founder of the monastery.
Chapel of the Icon of the Mother of God “The Life-Giving Spring”. In 1892, a wooden chapel was built over a spring where, according to legend, stopped Macariy. The chapel was later replaced by a stone one.
Chapel of Makarii Zheltovodsky is located at the foot of the hill, next to the revered source of St. Macariy. In 2013, a monument was erected to the founder of the monastery Makariy Zheltovodsky. The height of the monument is 18 m.
-In 1989, the shooting of the movie “Sphinx” took place on the territory of the then still ruined monastery.
-Opposite the monastery is another attraction of Tatarstan – the island of Sviyazhsk.
-In 17th-18th centuries the monastery was famous for conducting the Makarievskaya Fair. In 1817 a fire destroyed all buildings of Makaryevsky Monastery, and the fair moved to Nizhny Novgorod.
How to get there
Makaryevsky Monastery is located near Kazan.
Address: 422591, Republic of Tatarstan, Verkhneuslonsky district, the village of Vvedenskaya Sloboda.
Coordinates: 55.782139, 48.701522
You can get here either by car or by ferry. Purchase the ticket at the river station to the Rudnik stop.
A visit the Makaryevsky monastery can be combined with a tour to island town Sviyazhsk.