The small village of Goritsy is home to Europe’s largest monastery, the immense 14th Century Kirillov-Belozersky Monastery. As well as the many priceless relics from Russia’s glorious history housed there, this visit is also a great opportunity to see what life in a real Russian village is like.

Founded in 1397 by Saint Cyril, throughout its history it was visited by tsars seeking forgiveness for their sins and hoping to store their many treasures in the safety of the monasteries huge walls. Many priceless relics remain in the monastery including some of the earliest pieces of Russian religious writings and 500 year old icons painted by the Russian master Dionysius

the Wise. The village of Goritsy itself is populated by just 600 people, who live in traditional painted wooden izbas, or log cabins and continue to make a living through fishing and farming. Walking around the peaceful back roads of the village reveals dozens of beautiful houses decorated with intricate wooden carvings and the chance to buy local crafts and homemade snacks.

Tower in the Kirillov Belozersky Monastery Local house in Goritsy View in the Kirillov Belozersky Monastery Kirillov Belozersky Monastery in Goritsy