A convent in the middle of Moscow doubled as a fortress.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
Country: Russian Federation
Date of Inscription: 2004
Category: Cultural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 1097:
“The Novodevichy Convent, in south-western Moscow, built in the 16th and 17th centuries in the so-called Moscow Baroque style, was part of a chain of monastic ensembles that were integrated into the defence system of the city. The convent was directly associated with the political, cultural and religious history of Russia, and closely linked to the Moscow Kremlin. It was used by women of the Tsar’s family and the aristocracy. Members of the Tsar’s family and entourage were also buried in its cemetery. The convent provides an example of the highest accomplishments of Russian architecture with rich interiors and an important collection of paintings and artefacts.”
I have at times missed Heritage sites while visiting a place, but this site came quite by chance on the last day of our visit to Moscow in 2011. We were driving through the city with our guide killing some time before our departure with the Trans-Siberian Railway. We only stopped for less than half an hour outside the gates of the Convent, but we did get an impression of it.