Legend has it that the Yuriev Monastery was founded by Prince Yaroslav the Wise in 1030. Situated along the route to princely residence of Rakomo Village on the Ilmen Lake, the Monastery still strikes the visitors by its large proportions. Comprised of a 52-meter high belfry and five buildings, the complex is a large walled area that is dominated by the Cathedral of St. George.
The Cathedral of St. George had a special status as the burial place for the members of the prince family (Alexander Nevsky’s mother and brother are buried here) and was one of the richest property owners at the time. Period chronicles refer to a certain Pyotr (Peter) as the architect of the cathedral which was highly unusual as it was customary at the time to keep the names of architects unknown to the future generations. Some of the authentic 12th century frescos were repainted in 1902 with only a few original murals surviving (incl. gigantic figures of the saints in the upper part of the tower).
The Cathedral of the Rising of the Cross was built in 1823 and is easily recognizable by its five blue-sky domes decorated with shiny golden stars.
Nowadays the Yuriev Monastery is one of the few acting male monasteries in Russia. Approximately 50 people reside in the monastery full-time and church service is held on a regular basis.