The Spaso-Preobrazhensky (Transfiguration of the Savior) Monastery in Yaroslavl is known to everyone in Russia who is interested in the history of Old Russian literature. It was in the territory of the monastery that the manuscript of "The Tale of Igor's Campaign", one of the most famous monuments of literature of the late 12th century, was found. The monastery was erected in the XII century at the Kotorosl River crossing and served as part of the urban defensive system. In the 13th century the Transfiguration Cathedral was built in the territory of the monastery and a large library was arranged. In 1501, the monastery went through a large fire, and the cathedral was rebuilt patterned after the cathedrals of the Moscow Kremlin. Today, the building of this cathedral and its frescos, created in the middle of the XVI century, are the most ancient in the city.
The Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery is a place where an important event for Russian history took place: it was here from where the Minin and Pozharsky’s militia left to liberate Moscow from the invaders in 1612. A monument to Minin and Pozharsky on Red Square in Moscow is reminiscent of this event. The Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery was an important educational center: the first religious school in north-east of Rus was established here in the early 13th century, and in 1747 the Slavic-Latin theological seminary was founded. The last abbot of the monastery, transformed in 1787 into the Yaroslavl Bishops' House, gathered a rich library. It was this library where the manuscript of "The Tale of Igor's Campaign", one of the most important monuments of Old Russian literature, was found in the early XIX century.
The Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery is currently the main element in the structure of the Yaroslavl Historical and Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve. The main monument of the monastery is the Transfiguration Cathedral. The modern monastic ensemble also includes buildings of later eras: the Church of Yaroslavl Wonderworkers, the four towers, the Holy Gate, cells and a belfry which you can climb to explore the city from above. The newest monument in the territory of the monastery is dedicated to the kopeck (coin) of 1612, installed in 2013. The monastery of the museum exhibits Yaroslavl icons of the 16th-19th centuries, precious metal wares, and also arranges expositions dedicated to the "Tale of Igor's Campaign", the monastery itself and the nature of the region.