Photographer's Note

This is the cave church of Our Lady. It was built in 1473 in the sand bluff of Kamenetz creek ravine near to the ancient "Holy Caves". That caves were well known mystic place among the local people, where angelic singing and voices were heard often.


The Holy Dormition Pskovo-Pechersky (Pskov-Caves) monastery is located on the historically Russian land, 50 kilometers to the west of the city of Pskov, near the very border of Estonia and 340 kilometers from St. Petersburg.

The date of the monastery's foundation is considered to be August, 15/28, 1473. It was on that day that the monastery's founder, St. Jonah (Shesnik) consecrated the church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God ó a church which was built into the hillside. But the monastic life had actually begun there much earlier, when a few hermits, seeking solitude, came to live in the caves. The holy relics of one of them, St. Mark the desert-dweller, still rest in the caves and many people come to venerate them. The monastery's chronicle relates that "the Most Pure Virgin herself chose this site in the valley of the Kamenets spring, blessed it, exalted it through her chosen people and has been protecting it ever since. Five centuries have passed, and the monastery has seen both glory and tragedy, but never have the holy icon-lamps gone out, nor prayer ceased in this blessed place.

In 2003 the monastery marked the 530th anniversary of its existence and work in the Orthodox Church. The years pass, governments and empires rise and fall, but the monastery ever remains a firm stronghold of Orthodoxy in a restless world.

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Additional Photos by Oleg Kuznetsov (osub) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 28 W: 0 N: 264] (1663)
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