Link to Home Page Korennaya (Kursk Root) Hermitage of the Birth of the Holy Theotokos

Rylsk, Russia
St. Nicholas Monastery

St. Nicholas Monastery

We took a day trip to Rylsk that is an ancient town just 100km southwest of Kursk. We wanted to visit the Monastery of St. Nickolas in Rylsk founded in 1505. It just happened to also be the Abbot Pankrati’s angel’s day. We did not know this when we headed to Rylsk. Abbot Pankrati invited us to eat with them in the trapeze room. Many people had many good things to say about him during the meal. Abbot Packrat was an hieromonk in Korennaya Hermitage about five years ago. I didn’t know that he was sent to this monastery and he was also very surprised that we visited his monastery especially on his angels’ day. It’s a small world sometimes!

Much rebuilding has been done at this monastery in the last five years and much more is being worked on. We visited the monastery springs and were surprised with the new dipping tanks that are made of logs. Taking dips into Holy Springs is a big Russian Orthodox tradition. You go under the water three times. The water has always been very very cold! It’s Great!

St. Nicholas Monastery Springs & Dipping Tanks

Rylsk is a town in Kursk Oblast Region, Russia, located on the right bank of the Seym River in the Dnieper basin. Population: 17,603 (2002 Census); 19,000 (1974). Rylsk is about 60 miles (100 km) west of Kursk.

Rylsk was first mentioned in 1152 as one of the Severian towns. It had become the center of an appanage principality by the end of the 12th century before coming into the hands of Lithuanian rulers sometime in the 14th century. Casimir IV made a grant of it to Dmitry Shemyaka's son Ivan, who had settled in Lithuania. Ivan's son Vasily defected to Muscovy, but Lituanians held the town until 1522. During the Time of Troubles, it was one of the first towns to welcome False Dmitry as the tsar. After the Ukraine's integration into Imperial Russia, Rylsk capitalized on the trade between Little Russia and Great Russia. A great number of merchants resided in the town, whose population remains almost the same as a century ago.

Soviet authority in Rylsk was established in November of 1917. The town was occupied by the German army from October 5, 1941 to August 30, 1943.

Rylsk, Russia Coat of Arms

Rylsk is a monument of architecture, which represents the image of a merchant town of 17th-18th century. Merchants represented more than a half of the population of Rylsk. The town is the birthplace of the famous Russian navigator and researcher of Alaska, merchant Grigoriy Shelehov. One of his ships was named “Joann Rylskiy” after the patron saint of the town. The mountain “Ivan Rylskiy”, which towers above the town is an archaeological reserve. It has historical relics from 6-5 BC. Since the ancient part of the town remained almost unchanged you will find yourself in olden times as soon as you get there.

The town does not retain many marks of antiquity. Its oldest buildings are three churches of the monastery of St. Nicholas, all erected in the mid 18th century. Some of the most prominent buildings in the town were commissioned by Shelikhov. Grigory Shelikhov, was born here and has a monument erected to his memory in the central square. The town's main Churches are the Uspensky Cathedral (1811) and the Pokrovsky Cathedral (1822); both designed in a vernacular Neoclassical idiom and furnished with very lofty bell towers.

In the environs of Rylsk, two manors are of infinite interest to the student of Russian history. The village of Ivanovskoe, 20 km east of Rylsk, has a summer residence of Ukrainian Ivan Mazepa, while Maryino, slightly to the west, used to be a seat of the princely house of Boryatinsky, who in 1815-16 built a palace and extensive English park there.