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Convent of Annunciation

Convent of Annunciation

Nowadays:

Office block

In the 1820th a small community of kleinitsy-chernichki (girls who chose to serve God rather than to marry and have their own families; worldly sisters) was formed in the Menzelinsky district of Ufa Governorate. In 1825 Stepanida Sheshmintseva, Sister Superior of worldly sisters and a daughter of a Cossack, addressed the eminent Ambrose with a request to place them under his protection and to request the supreme authority to establish a convent attached to the Assumption Church in Ufa. In...
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      Address:
      12 Sochinskaya street
      Public Transport Stop:
      Sochinskaya
  • History

      In the 1820th a small community of kleinitsy-chernichki (girls who chose to serve God rather than to marry and have their own families; worldly sisters) was formed in the Menzelinsky district of Ufa Governorate. In 1825 Stepanida Sheshmintseva, Sister Superior of worldly sisters and a daughter of a Cossack, addressed the eminent Ambrose with a request to place them under his protection and to request the supreme authority to establish a convent attached to the Assumption Church in Ufa.

      In 1832 at the instance of hegumeness Filareta, Bishop Mikhail moved the Betkinsky community from Menzelinsky district to Ufa, to the vicinity of St. Sergius of Radonezh Church.

      In 1838 the Betkinsky community was renamed into the Convent of Annunciation. The convent was entitled to funds from the treasury. In 1845 the convent was given the meadows behind the Ufa River. The convent was handled by the hegumeness. Those who entered the convent in the middle age without taking the veil had to obey her decisions. The life in the convent consisted of daily prayers and selfless alienation from everything beyond the convent walls.

      The Convent of Annunciation was located on the bank of the Belaya River near the place where the small Sutoloka River flows into the Belaya. As the number of sisters grew, the welfare of the convent improved: three sides of it were paled with a stone wall 4.5 arshines (about 3 m 20 cm) high. The western side (closer to the Sutoloka bank) of the wall was wooden "because it is impossible to build a stone wall on a sharp descent".

      In 1852 a new winter stone church "in the name of the blessed prince St. Alexander Nevsky with a side-altar in the name of the Holy Mother" was built and consecrated on the premises of the convent. The five-domed semi-stone church in the name of Annunciation was the second and the main one in the convent, constructed through the donations of landowner Stepanova. The church was cold, hence, it was used in summertime only. Besides, the convent possessed a shabby wooden church with a separate bell tower.

      The convent existed owing to the work of sisters (laywomen, novices, conventuals and nuns) who plied various trades: gold, silver, pearl, chenille embroidery in preparation of vestments and other fabrics.

      The local religious newspaper reported: “Of September 15th of 1878, under № 2859 about the subsequent on the 8th day of July of 1878 highest pleasure to permit the prioress of the Ufa Convent of Annunciation, hegumeness Eupraxia to accept and wear a golden pectoral cross with jewelry, given to her by the authorities and citizens of Ufa as a sign of their respect for her high moral qualities.”

      In 1897 the third monastic church in the name of an icon of the Iviron Holy Mother was consecrated.

      The Convent of Annunciation was one of the main architectural complexes of the old part of Ufa and was clearly seen from the opposite side of the river. Architects of convent buildings and churches are unlikely to be identified as too many years have passed, but it might be that in some cases standard projects were used.

      After the civil war the convent ceased its activity: in 1929 the Iviron and Alexander Churches were closed, and in the 1930th the five-domed Annunciation Church was taken down completely. Until 1990th the premises were occupied by the central pharmaceutical warehouse. One of the buildings was used as a bathhouse, the other one was given to a secondary school. A part of the convent wall along Bolshaya Usolskaya (Sochinskaya) Street survived until the 1970th.

      Some convent buildings were destroyed; some of them suffered from a landslide and were taken down in the late 1960th and the beginning of the 1970th. Nowadays only four buildings remained: Iviron and Alexander Churches, parochial school (polyclinic No. 46 until recently), residential building and public offices. At the end of the previous century many constructions of the former convent were returned to the Ufa Eparchy.

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