Site of historic Kremlin monastery destroyed by Bolsheviks set to become museum

The Kremlin will build a museum on the site of the 14th century Chudov Monastery, which was destroyed by the Bolsheviks and transformed into administrative buildings.

The news was presented in a statement on the Kremlin website, which said planners would “draft and present proposals to establish a full-fledged museum complex based around the unearthed foundations of the Church of the Miracle of Michael the Archangel in the basement rooms of the Kremlin’s Building 14 [on the site of the monastery].”

The instructions “pursue the aim of further developing the Moscow Kremlin as a museum complex,” the statement added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also ordered the creation of a new tourism route for the Moscow Kremlin, “offering tours of the territory without visiting the museums (with a separate entry ticket).”

The Kremlin and Red Square are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

“Inextricably linked to all the most important historical and political events in Russia since the 13th century, the Kremlin was the residence of the Great Prince and also a religious center,” UNESCO states.

Elena Krylova, the press secretary of the Presidential Property Management Department, earlier said: “As the Kremlin is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the dismantling of building 14 was done with extreme care and in close contact with UNESCO experts.”

“We are currently working to open a museum on the site of the archaeological dig, which will hopefully in time become its own attraction inside the Kremlin, and increase the flow of tourists to the entire area, which has expanded substantially as the result of Building 14 being taken down.”

The Ascension Convent and the Chudov Monastery were founded decades apart in the second half of the 14th century.

The convent was usually patronized by Tsarinas, and served as the place where they spent the days between their weddings and were buried after their deaths.

Chudov Monastery was dedicated to Archangel Michael’s Miracle at Chonae, where according to scripture he opened up a spring well from which water imbued with healing properties poured out. The miracle itself happened when pagans attempted to destroy the church by flooding it, only for the water to stop like a wall around the sacred building, preserving it, and scaring off the enemies.

Both the convent and the monastery were damaged during the fighting for the Kremlin in 1917 and were not restored afterwards, eventually being demolished in 1929.

A Soviet hall was built in their place – known as Building 14 – which served as a military school, a concert hall, a deputies chamber, and even Boris Yeltsin’s office during his power struggle with Mikhail Gorbachev.

The hall fell into disuse in recent years, and construction workers finished dismantling it this spring.