The Monastery of the Holy Spirit is one of the oldest in Russia. It was founded in the early 14th century, during the reign of Grand Prince Ivan I Kalita of Moscow. The writing on the shrine of St Jacob of Borovichi said that the Monastery of the Holy Spirit was founded in 1327 and the cathedral was built in 1345.
The convent gained prominence in the late 15th century after the transfer of St Jacob’s relics (1545).
Ivan the Terrible, who was particularly interested in newly canonised saints and miraculous icons, granted farmland and estate grounds to the monastery. In 1613, during the Time of Troubles, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit was ransacked by Swedes and Poles. In 1654, Patriarch Nikon, who founded the Valdai Iveron Mother of God Monastery (often considered the Russian Athos), ordered to move the Borovichi relics to the new abode. The Monastery of the Holy Spirit, which retained part of St Jacob’s relics, became affiliated with the Valdai Iveron Mother of God Monastery.
In 1724, the monastery temporarily held relics of Holy Blessed Grand Prince Alexander Nevsky during their transfer from Vladimir to St Petersburg on the order of Peter the Great.
Since 1741, the Borovichi Monastery of the Holy Spirit became affiliated with the Alexander Nevsky Lavra.
During World War I, several buildings at the monastery were used as an infirmary. During the Great Patriotic War, it housed a hospital for prisoners of war. Later, a military unit was based at the monastery for many years.
On 14 September 2000, the Monastery of the Holy Spirit was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church and in 2002, golden domes and a cross were reinstalled on the cathedral.
The stone cathedral of the Holy Spirit was built in 1676 on the former site of two wooden churches. The church is the first stone structure in Borovichi that still stands today.
Churches of the monastery:
Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit
Church of St Jacob of Borovichi
Gate Church of the Iverskaya Theotokos
Taisiya Solopova Chapel
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