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The monastery was founded ca. 1380 by the order of the Knyaz Dmitri Donskoi and was named after Saint Nicholas, who, as the legend says, Knyaz saw in the dream, in time of preparing for the long campaign against Mamai horde.
In an effort to fight children homelessness, monastery was partially destroyed and reorganised into a children labour colony in 1920; it was later transformed into a labour commune by Felix Dzerzhinsky.
At present it is one of the largest Orthodox monasteries in Russia with restored churches and chapels, with a territory with lots of greenery and swan ponds. There is a theological seminary and newly opened Sacristy-Museum.
The monastery is imaged on the Coat of Arms of Dzerzhinsky.
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