Cave monasteries of Southern Russia

The view of the Uspensky Divnogorsky Monastery and the Don River (Voronezh region, about 290 miles from Moscow) // The history of the first cave monasteries started a long time ago. In the earliest days of Christianity the Roman catacombs were used for religious services.
Uspensky Cathedral, Uspensky Divnogorsky Monastery // Cave monasteries appeared in Palestine in the 4th century, but hermits lived there a long before this.
The entrance to the cave temple // Russian cave monasteries were built according to Eastern Orthodox tradition. Kievo-Pechersky Monastery was founded in the 11th century; it used to be an example for the others.
The conduits // Nobody can say exactly when the caves on the Don riverside emerged. According to several theories, it happened during the first centuries of Christianity. The only documented proofs date back to 1653, when the Uspensky Divnogorsky Monastery was founded.
The representatives of the Brotherhood // The caves were mined in the chalk mountains to the right of the Don River and its side streams. In Voronezh Region, out of 50 caves, 40 serve religious purposes: some of them contain temples, while others are meant to be hermit dwellings.
The entrance to the temple of John the Baptist// The maximum length of caves in Voronezh Region – 1.3 miles, with arches 20-meters-high. Today in Voronezh Region there are three active monasteries.
The view of the whole monastery complex: Uspensky Cathedral, monastic cells and the Temple of John the Baptist// The Uspensky Divnogorsky Monastery is located in Liskinsky District, where Tikhaya Sosna River meets the Don. It was founded in 1653 by Ukrainian monks.
The monastery steeple // Legend says that it was initially founded by missionaries that came from Sicily, and later it was re-opened. The monastery is famous for the miracle-working icon of Divnogorskaya Madonna, which is of Sicilian origin.
Under the chalk pillars there is a temple of John the Baptist. // These places are also famous for chalk pillars. Natural pillars are about 40-feet tall. Speaking of natural attractions, it is important to mention the nearby Divnogorie nature preserve.
The view of the Don and Tikhaya Sosna rivers // The monastery and the surrounding places of interest are located in 80 miles from Voronezh.
In the cell of the anchoret // The Voskresensky Monastery is situated 1.5 miles outside of Belogorie village. It is the biggest cave complex in the Don River region. Construction started in 1796. The complex contains the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, cells, and numerous conduits that stretch a distance of 1.3 miles. The complex is situated in 124 miles from Voronezh.
The shelf of Golgotha Mountain. The entrance to Seraphim Sarovsky Cathedral and the Cave of Redemption // Spassky Kostomarovsky Monastery is located near Kostomarovo village.
The shelf of Golgotha Mountain. The Spassky Cathedral and the steeple // The mystery of these caves remains unresolved.
The Spassky Cathedral // The Golgotha Mountain and its surroundings are thought to resemble Palestine. This resemblance is supported by the similar toponyms: Golgotha, garden of Gethsemane, Jordan...
The cathedral itself is situated in the cave under the steeple // The complex consists of two cave cathedrals and five caves for monastery dwellers. Located 124 miles from Voronezh, this monastery is a great site for tourists.

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