History of Goritsy

The monastery was established in 1544 by knyaginya  (duchess) Euphrosinia Staritskaya.. In 1563, she was forced to become a nun and then was permitted to stay as a nun in the Goritsky Monastery, together with her daughter-in-law, Yevdokiya Staritskaya. In 1569, both of them, following the order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, were drowned in theSheksna River.

At the time, it was a common habit to use the monastery for political exile. In particular, in 1586 Anna Koltovskaya, the fourth wife of Ivan the Terrible, might have taken monastic vows under the name of Daria before being transferred to Tikhvin. Xenia Godunova, the daughter of Tsar Boris Godunov, was presumably made a nun here in 1606. Subsequently, she was transferred to the Knyaginin Convent in Vladimir.

In 1920s, the monastery was transformed by Bolsheviks into an agricultural cooperative where the nuns worked and prayed. In 1930s it was shut down, and most of the nuns were executed. In 1970s it became part of Kirillo-Belozersky museum-zapovednik of History, Art, and Architecture (based on the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery). Since 1990s a small community of nuns started to live in the convent