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History of Kostroma

Some historians believe the town could have been founded by Yury Dolgoruky more than half a century earlier. Like other towns of the Eastern Rus, Kostroma was sacked by the Mongols in 1238. It then constituted a small principality, under leadership of Prince Vasily the Drunkard, a younger brother of the famous Alexander Nevsky. Upon inheriting the grand ducal title in 1271, Vasily didn't leave the town for Vladimir, and his descendants ruled Kostroma for another half a century, until the town was bought by Ivan I of Moscow.

As one of the northernmost towns of Muscovy, Kostroma served as a place of retreat for the grand dukes when enemies besieged Moscow in 1382, 1408, and 1433. The spectacular growth of the city in the 16th century may be attributed to the establishment of trade connections with English and Dutch merchants (Muscovy Company).

Boris Godunov had the Ipatievsky and the Epiphany monasteries rebuilt in stone. The construction works were finished just in time for the city to witness some of the most dramatic events of the “Time of Troubles”.

Kostroma was twice ravaged by the Poles; it took a 6-month siege to expel them from the Ipatievsky monastery. The heroic peasant Ivan Susanin became a symbol of the city's resistance to the Polish invaders; several monuments to him may be seen in Kostroma. The future tsar, Michael Romanov, had also found asylum at the monastery. It was here that an embassy from Moscow offered him the Russian crown in 1612.

The Romanovs regarded Kostroma as their personal protectorate especially the Ipatievsky monastery. They had the Trinity Cathedral rebuilt in 1652; its frescoes and iconostasis are a thing of beauty.
Text from Wikipedia

Kostroma Ipatievsky Monastery

1330, Troitsky Cathedral 1652

Photo Panoramio

Troitsky Cathedral 1652

The Ipatiev Monastery was founded 1330 by the Tartar prince Zakharias Tchet, the founder of the Godunov family, who had fled from the Golden Horde to Moscow and had been baptized there. It stands on the spot where the Virgin appeared to him together with St Ipatiev. By 1590 the monastery had evolved into a small fortress, so that Mikhail Feoderovich Romanov could find shelter there from the invading Poles. Here he was persuaded by the Russian boyars and clergy in 1613 to accept the crown. Thus was founded the Romanov dynasty.

Photo John Glines. pbase.com

Doorway in the cathedral of the Ipatievsky Monastery after a recent restoration.

Photo John Glines. travel.webshots.com

The massive iconostasis in the Trotsky Cathedral, 1652 and later.

Kostroma Bogoyavlensko-Anastasy (Epiphany) Monastery


Photo sobory.ru

The Anastasy Cathedral

The Bogoyavlensky Monastery was founded in the 1559 by Nikita who was a disciple and a relative by Sergy of Radonezh. At present it is inhabited by nuns.
In the 70s the church was off limits to visitors.

Photo Wikipedia

The miraculous icon of Our Lady of St Theodore is now housed here. Orthodox Christians believe her to be the protectress of Kostroma.