Most Amazing Monasteries Around the World

Nilov Monastery


The island is the home of Nilov Monastery, which was founded by Saint Nilus in 1594, and previously welcomed up to 40,000 pilgrims each year. Today the monastery complex remains as one of the most impressive ensembles of Neoclassical architecture in Eastern Europe. Some of its churches date back to the 17th century, a graceful embankment was completed by 1812, and a large cathedral was built in 1821-25.

During World War II, the monastery was the site of a NKVD camp which held approximately 7,000 Polish prisoners of war who had been taken captive by the Soviet Union as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Almost all of the prisoners were subsequently executed in April 1940 in Kalinin (now Tver) and then buried in mass graves in Mednoye, an act which became known as the Katyn Massacre. Amongst those killed were Polish officers, lawyers, policemen, teachers, doctors, and other members of the intelligentsia. 

Yumbulagang: Tibet’s first palace turned monastery


Location: Perched on the summit of the Jormo Zhaxi Ceri Mountain on the east bank of the Yarlung River, about five kilometers in the south from the Tradrug county.

Yumbulagang , palace of mother and son in Tibetan…

The Monastery of Gradac

The Monastery of Gradac, built in the second half of the 13th century, is an endowment of Helen of Anjou, the wife of King Uros I. The church is predominantly in the style of the autochthonous Raska school, though with certain Gothic elements. Few frescoes have survived, but those that have are similar in style to those of the nearby Monastery of Sopocani. 

Rievaulx Abbey


When Rievaulx Abbey was founded in 1132 by twelve monks from Clairvaux Abbey as a mission centre for the colonisation of the north of England and Scotland, it was the first Cistercian abbey in the north. With time it became one of the great Cistercian abbeys of Yorkshire, second only to Fountains Abbey in fame.
The remote location was ideal for the Cistercians, whose desire was to follow a strict life of prayer and self-sufficiency with as little contact as possible with the outside world. 
This year, Rievaulx celebrates its 875th anniversary. Highlights of this long history are displayed in the indoor interactive museum, and afterwards there’s delicious local food to enjoy in the tea room. 

Strahov Monastery

 The Royal Canonry of Premonstratensians at Strahov is one of the oldest monasteries of the Premonstratensian Order in the world. It has been a working monastery ever since 1143.
Strahov Monastery is one of those places that seems to defy history’s toughest times. For 800 long years it has been facing wars, fires, invading armies and still remains one of Prague’s finest monasteries and museums.
The most valuable parts of monastery complex are: Library (unique library from 1143), Basilica of Our Lady (Mozart improvised on the organ in 1787), Picture Gallery (one of the truly great private collections in the Central Europe, established in 1836). 

Montserrat Monastery

 The mountain of Montserrat was already a religious and pilgrimage center thousands of years ago. The history of the Catholic temples begins in the 9th century, when the Catholic troops conquered these lands to the Muslims, the “Sarrains”. In the 10th century there were already four Catholic Hermitages in the mountain. 



Noravank is a 13th century Armenian Apostolic Church monastery, located 122 km from Yerevan in a narrow gorge made by the Darichay river, nearby the city of Yeghegnadzor, Armenia.

In the 13th–14th centuries the monastery became a residence of Syunik’s bishops and, consequently. a major religious and, later, cultural center of Armenia closely connected with many of the local seats of learning, especially with Gladzor’s famed university and library.

 The monastic complex includes the church of S. Karapet, S. Grigor chapel with a vaulted hall, and the church of S. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God).

Ruins of various civil buildings and khachkars are found both inside and outside of the compound walls. Noravank was the residence of the Orbelian princes. The architect Siranes and the remarkable miniature painter and sculptor Momik worked here in the latter part of the thirteenth and early fourteenth century.
The fortress walls surrounding the complex were built in the 17th–18th centuries.

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