The Sanaksar Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God

Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS
Temnikov is home to the Sanaksar Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God. When the Moksha River overflows and the monastery is enclosed by water on three sides, it becomes a sight of astonishing beauty. The monastery was established in 1659 and by the early nineteenth century had grown quite large. The existing buildings were built in several stages between 1765 and the 1820s. At first, the construction was led by the elder Feodor Ushakov, uncle of the admiral, and later by the holy elder Philaret Bylinin. The Sanaksar Monastery ensemble is one of the few well-preserved heritage sites from the second half of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century. The monastery’s architecture therefore has great artistic value. For example, the monastery's Church in Honour of the Nativity of the Mother God has a pyramidal composition: the three-tier church is crowned by an ornate five-headed dome. The church facades are painted with many colours, which was a rarity in those days.