Sretensky Monastery

Valeriy Sharifulin/ТАSS

Barely noticeable amid the surrounding greenery, this monastery stands right in the city centre, where Ulitsa Sretenka (Sretenka Street) meets Rozhdestvensky Bulvar (Rozhdestvensky Boulevard). It was founded in the 14th century to commemorate Russia's victory over Tamerlane, the Mongolian conqueror. It is believed that Tamerlane's army was stopped by the miracle-working Icon of Our Lady of Vladimir, one of the most sacrosanct relics of the Russian Orthodox Church, which had appeared in Moscow just as Tamerlane approached the city's walls. The monastery became an NKVD dormitory during Soviet time, and a school was built above the cemetery of 1812 war heroes. The five-dome 17th century church (the monastery's only surviving historic building), a nice walk down the hydrangea-lined paths, and the amazing men's choir (people travel to Moscow from all parts of Russia just to hear it) will make your trip here worth your while.