The Novodevichy Convent was founded by Vasili III, the Grand Prince of Moscow, in the XVI century in honor of the Icon of Our Lady of Smolensk "Odigitria". This Orthodox convent is located in a surprisingly quiet and beautiful place on the banks of the Moskva River. The Novodevichy Convent long served as a place of imprisonment for ladies from the Russian royal families. Here Boris Godunov accepted the throne. This is also the place of incarceration of Tsarevna Sophia, Peter the Great’s half-sister, who was forced by him to take the veil and who organized the Streltsy Uprising. Legend has it that the Naprudnaya Tower of the convent, where Tsarevna was languishing, carries out wishes. To do this, you just need to touch the white stone wall of the tower.
The Novodevichy Convent really resembles a fortress with high walls and 12 towers with loopholes and openwork “crowns”. Thanks to the exceptional preservation of the architectural ensemble of the Novodevichy Convent in the Muscovite Baroque style, it has been proclaimed the UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is the famous Novodevichy Cemetery next the convent, separated by a high wall into the "old" and "new" one. The new cemetery appeared at the monastery in 1898-1904 and became the second honorable place for burials after the Kremlin Wall. The cemetery holds the tombs of famous Russian names: the princes Volkonsky, writers Mikhail Zagoskin, Anton Chekhov, Nikolai Gogol, painter Isaak Levitan, actress Lyubov Orlova and statesmen Nikita Khrushchev and Boris Yeltsin. There are several interesting legends about the Novodevichy Convent, one of which tells about ghosts. Haunters assure that unbodied souls of those forcibly admitted to the veil, and of the rebellious Streltsy executed here by Peter the Great, are visible today around the Bolshoy Prud (Big Pond) next to the convent.