Building of the Pühtitsa (Kuremäe) orthodox monastery

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The monastery in Kuremäe, officially named as the Pühtitsa womens Monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God, was founded in Illuka parish in Kuremäe, in 1892-1895. This was part of the russification era, during which, among other things, it was hoped to coax more peasants into the orthodox church. The building was financed by the governor of Estonia, Sergey Shakhovskoy. Earlier, locals had wanted to build Illuka church on the same site, but Shakhovsky stopped the construction works in 1891, and the materials collected were used to build the monastery.

According to the orthodox lore, a miraculous icon was found in Kuremäe in the XVI century, and the place was named Pühitsa ("Holy place" in Estonian). An orthodox chapel may have stood there in 1608. It is also surmised, that even earlier, a chapel of the people called Votes (Vadjalased) may have stood there, but this information has not been confirmed.

For a long time, this monastery was the only operating monastery in Estonia. They also continue to act nowadays, more than 100 nuns and novices live there.

 Sources: Photos$file/tn_klooster.jpg


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