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One of the oldest spots in Moscow, formed in the 13th century as a friary at the intersection of the trading routes leading to Ryazan and Kolomna. The cloister's definitive architectural look was shaped at the end of the 17th century with the completion of the Dormition Church, the founding of the library, and the planting of a decorative garden with fountains and exotic plants. During its heyday, Krutitsy Metochion was the seat of the cathedral church, and there was an Orthodox seminary on cloister grounds. It was all downhill from there on out. Many of the buildings were lost in the 1812 fire of Moscow. Under Soviet rule, the remaining buildings fell into complete neglect.
Restoration of the cloister commenced after World War II. The former friary was converted to a museum and would not resume its ecclesiastical function until after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Church services resumed and an Orthodox publishing enterprise opened at the compound. Krutitsy Metochion currently combines two roles: an active monastery and a history museum. Apart from the Dormition Cathedral, other structures of note include the late 17th-century Krutitsy Terem house with its tiled artwork and openwork carved stone decorations and the redbrick Metropolitan's Chambers with white-stone finishing.
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