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World Heritage Site

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Ferapontov Monastery

Ferapontov Monastery

The Ensemble of the Ferapontov Monastery is a Russian-Orthodox monastic complex dating from the 15th-17th centuries, and its interior is considered one of the purest examples of Russian medieval art.

The wall paintings were made by Dionisy, the greatest Russian artist of the end of the 15th century.

The Ensemble contains six major elements:

- The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin (1490)

- The Church of the Annunciation (1530-31) and refectory

- The Treasury Chamber (1530s)

- The Church of St Martinian (1641)

- The Gate Churches of the Epiphany and St Ferrapont (1650)

- The bell-tower (1680s)

Map of Ferapontov Monastery


  • Cultural

Community Reviews

Wojciech Fedoruk Poland 02.10.16

Ferapontov Monastery by Wojciech Fedoruk

It is not easy to go to Ferapontov on your own. Although there are three buses daily from Vologda (direction Lipin Bor and Petrozavodsk), you have to walk around two kilometres from the bus stop. And the bus back to Vologda is either after 1-1.5 hours (hardly doable unless you are a very good walker) or after about 9 hours and the latter means long time of waiting in the middle of nowhere or trying to hitchhike (what I did successfully).

The monastery of Ferapontov is the only one of many famous temples nearby that was inscribed as WHS. One of the reasons is that it is preserved with almost no changes since its creation in XIVth-XVth centuries. The monastery hold the masterpiece of Russian religious art - frescoes of Dionise, who is considered, after Andrei Rublow, second most important icon painter (or, as Russians say, icon writer). The frescoes are very well preserved, although constant restoration is going. Before going to the church you have you watch a short movie about the frescoes and their difficult restoration (scientists search original components of the paint, sometimes including gems). The movie is in Russian, I am not aware whether they have an English version.

Beside the frescoes, it is worth visiting two remaining tserkvas and a small museum of icons (with much more interesting examples than many ones in the churches of Golden Ring).

By the way, being in Vologda you cannot miss the beautiful St. Sophia Sobor. It has the biggest wall covered with frescoes in whole Russia and - which is extremely unlikely for this country - taking photos inside is available without limits.

Gennady Nezhdanov, USA/Russia 24.05.12

It is beautiful spiritual and historical place, very well preserved and maintained, resort for souls in thirst for genuine and eternal. Highly recommend to visit. If not in reality, just use web-site.

Jan Ove Langoy, Norway

When visiting Vologda this spring, we asked a local tourist-guide what to see and she recommended a trip to Ferapontov. As it was out of season we had a privat tour of the monastry by the director. What a place; so quiet and peaceful and the paintings in the church are absolutely amazing.

This place is well worth the trouble getting there.

The best way to see the monastry are to arrange with the infocentre in Vologda and it is relatively inexpencive to visit.

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Site Info

Full name: Ensemble of the Ferapontov Monastery

Unesco ID: 982

Inscribed: 2000

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 1   4  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2000 - Inscribed 
  • 2000 - Revision Formerly appeared on T List as Mural paintings by Dionsiy in the Rojdestva Bogoroditsy Cathedral (1996)


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