Yaroslavl Oblast: Nikitskaya Sloboda – Nikitsky Monastery
Nikitsky Monastery is a spectacular monastic complex founded in the 12th century and located a few kilometers east of Pereslavl Zaleskiy. It’s a complete fortress with high walls and seven towers surrounding the central area where two cathedrals full of intricate frescos are located. Peter the Great chose the monastery as his residence in 1700s, as he built a mock fleet on the nearby lake, a forebearer of the future Russian Fleet. After the communist revolution, the monastery got abandoned and was used as a labor camp and prison during Stalin times, and later as a military base. In 1993, it was returned to the church and fully restored.