History of the Korennaya Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God and
The Wonderworking Icon "The Sign"
The Church on the site existed since 1295 while The Korennaya Monastery (Kursk Root Hermitage) was built later in 1597 by the Tsar Theodore Ivanovich of Moscow. The Monastery was founded on the exact site of the first Church chapel (1295). The Hermitage Church was dedicated to the Life-Bearing Spring of the Mother of God and was built above the same Spring that had appeared when the Icon was first revealed. The Kursk Root Hermitage was named in honor of the revealing of the Icon "The Sign" at the root of the tree in 1295 AD.
Most all of the Hermitage buildings were neglected for 70+ years during the communist regiment. Many repairs still needed to be done. A large building located straight across from the Main Monastery court yard is a solid building but is waiting for funds. During the soviet control of the Korennaya Hermitage, they tried to cover the Kursk Root Spring by filling the whole area with a cement cap but the Holy Spring Water would always find a way to escape and continue its Holy Tradition since 1295. The communists also put guard dogs by the Holy Spring to keep all the people from using Spring Water and going to the monastery.
For the complete history of both the Kursk Root Hermitage and the Kursk Root Icon, please visit the Kursk Root Icon Page.
WWII Battle of Kursk
At the Battle of Kursk in 1943, Korennaya was an important head quarters of the Russian Army. There is a large WWII Memorial Museum located next to the Kursk Root Hermitage on the land that used to be part of the Monastery. It was used for the Russian Generals underground bunkers. The Battle of Kursk is history's largest tank battle. The German army was defeated and their strategic initiative was lost forever. Shortly thereafter, the German South Army Group surrendered at Stalingrad. These defeats resulted in an eventual German retreat from Russia which was then closely pursued by the Red Army. The Red Army moved into Germany and captured Berlin on May 9, 1945. The Russian Military suffered an estimated 13,600,000 deaths in expelling the German invaders. See: Historical WWII Museum