The town of Istra, burnt to ashes by Nazis in 1941, appeared as settlement around the grandiose Novy Jerusalim Resurrection Monastery, founded in XVII century by Patriarch Nikon in the image and likeness of the Palestine sacred places (the God's Coffin Cathedral in Jerusalem). Its creation is closely connected to the names of P.I. Zaborsky, Y.G. Bukhvostov, V.V. Rastrelli, M.F. Kazakov, K.I. Blank and other masters and architects.
The working Novy Jerusalim Monastery is also a museum of History and Architecture. It preserves the many historical and art relics (archeology and ethnography collections, Russian and West-European pictorial and applied and decorative art, icon-painting, icon and ornamental embroidery, manuscripts and old printed books, brass casting, jewelry art, handicrafts of different epochs).
Here it’s possible to view the magnificent portraits created by Russian masters of XVIII century and the works of artists members of Society for Traveling Art Exhibitions (Hudozhniki-Peredvizhniki).
The monastery itself is a unique architecture masterpiece of XVII century nowhere else to enjoy.
The grandiose Resurrection Cathedral – the main temple of Novy Jerusalim was built in 1658 - 1685. It was constructed as a topographic copy of the God's Coffin Cathedral in Jerusalem. The inner and outer decorations, the idea of which belongs to Nikon - on the contrary - are absolutely different.
Nikon’s cell – the construction reminds of Afon living towers - is decorated with glazed tiles. This small “toy” building houses several tiny rooms including two churches and a bell tower.
The stone fence with towers (1690-94), the Gate Church (1694-97), the Church of Three Saints (1686-98) and etc. the buildings richly decorated with majolica and stucco mouldings.