Museum-Memorial Complex of the Heroes of Kulikovo Field at Monastyrshchino
The establishment of a museum complex in Monastyrshchino village goes back to the 19th century, when a stone church was built here (designed by A. Bocharnikov, 1865-1884). It was dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin, since the date of the battle coincided with the Orthodox feast-day of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.
In 1997 the church and the former parochial school were transferred to the Kulikovo Field State Museum-Reserve. So began the establishment of a Museum-Memorial Complex of the Heroes of Kulikovo Field. The year 2000 saw an exhibition entitled “The Field of Russian Glory”, followed in 2005-2016 by “Rus’: the Great Beginning”.
In 2017 a new exhibition, “The Don. An entire history on the banks of one river” was launched here, introducing the story of the Battle of Kulikovo and describing how the ancient Russian nation came to be formed. The exhibition is mainly ethnographic, narrating the life and fate of the people who settled in the Don river basin and formed a unified, multinational culture. The exhibition contains unique archaeological artefacts including ancient treasure hoards and items from domestic and trading life, accompanied by depictions of scenes from the lives of our forebears.
During the construction of the Museum Memorial Complex a memorial was erected to the Grand Prince of Moscow Dmitry Donskoy (designed by the sculptor Oleg Komov in 1980). An Alley of Remembrance and Unity was also laid, lined with commemorative tokens from each of the towns who sent men to fight at the Battle of Kulikovo.
Two festivals take place in May in the grounds of the Complex: the “Bylina” folk festival and the “Kulikovo Field” singer- songwriter festival. In September, on the bank of the nearby River Don there is a battle re-enactment festival.
The northern part of Monastyrshchino village is the place where the rivers Don and Nepryadva converge. According to legend, this is where the Russian troops crossed the river on the eve of the battle; the Chronicle “Tale of Mamai’s Defeat” tells of this specific place. On the 700th anniversary of St Sergei Radonezh’s birth, a rotunda chapel was erected at the site in his honour.
The legendary Green Oak Wood can be found on the outskirts of Monastyrshchino. This is where the Ambush Regiment of Russian warriors held out before making their decisive attack. The historic Green Oak Wood was almost completely destroyed as a result of several centuries of agriculture and other human impact. Now, thanks to the hard work of staff from the Museum- Reserve and voluntary groups, not only is the forest area being brought back to life but the surviving fields are being returned to their original appearance using native steppe plants.
Audioguides in English and Russian