Svyato Monastery
Svyato Monastery
Current Status Neglected
People Come Here For… Very Little

Svyato Monastery was founded by missionaries in the 12th century. For hundreds of years, the miraculous properties of its reliquary collection — from the ancient icon of St. Ioann the Divine to the wonder-working Blessed Virgin icon named Znamenie-Korchemna; shrines with relics from George the Victor, Panteleymon the healer, Nikolay Wonder-Worker, and a host of other saints; and relics from the martyrs Mihail Ryazanskiy and Iuvenaliy Ryazanskiy — brought many travelers to the monastery, along with the money its monks needed to live on. In the past few generations, however, the monastery has dwindled; the elder monks succumbing to the inevitability of age, and then their successors, until finally only the monastery itself remained, barely-remembered monument to past wonders.

A long, low brick building situated near the edge of a limestone bluff, its profile anchored by two squat towers roofed in black and a slender central tower capped in white, the monastery shows signs both of age and enduring care. The exterior brick is beginning to crumble in places but the interior corridors are well-patched; and while its windows completely lack any semblance of glazing, the still air inside the building is markedly warmer than the outdoors. Old, age-faded tapestries on the walls attest to the hobbies of long-dead monks, scuffed floorboards to their habitual tread; in some of the more obscure corners can be found dust-covered dishes, or a scrap of moth-eaten cloth that was worn sometime in the distant past. The shrines, strangely enough, remain intact despite passing time, preserved by local superstition and caution; rough-hewn effigies, ancient half-burned candles, small ceramic or glass containers bearing the bones of long-dead holy men.

Situated below the monastery is the Holy Well, a water-filled pit lined by meticulously-laid stone, purported — like so much else at Svyato's monastery — to be imbued with the power of healing. Behind the Holy Well are the caverns, worn out of the limestone in ages past, undecorated and unadorned save by the bones from generation upon generation of monks… at least so far as anyone in the area will attest, for few care to broach the monastery's grounds anymore.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License