In the district of Yaroslavl, not far from the monastery of Saint Trinity from Sergyev Posad, in forest rich on berries, mushrooms and medicinal plants, on the shore of the small watercourse of Solba there are the churches of the ancient monastery of saint Nicholas from Solba. In ancient times, this place was under the siege of the hordes of Huns. In their languages, “Solba” meant “the alive water”.
The location of this place, lost into the deep and dense forests, presents itself as an ideal one for those seeking the seclusion and avoiding of the world. There aren’t many places like that in Russia and this fact in itself sounds as an attraction of this sight.
The history of the monastery of Saint Nicholas from Solba begins in the second half of 15th century and the beginning of 16th century. We can suppose that the monastery was founded by one of the disciples of saint Sergio. At the beginning it was a monastery for monks and it was situated in the fields of Byltsynom, that is to say five kilometers far from the actual location of the monastery.
The cloister had a lot to suffer in its time. At the beginning of the 17th century the monastery was destroyed by Polishes and robbers. Afterwards, it was deserted for almost 100 years and in 1711 it has started to develop itself, but on a new place on the watercourse of Solba.
Its plain blossoming came between 1904 – 1917, when the monastery change its status into a nunnery. In 1914 in the monastery there were almost 115 sisters. Abbess Makaria was the superior of the monastery, a very skillful one. Thanks also to the prayers of the sisterhood, the cloister arrived to its veritable efflorescence.
In December 1918 the monastery was closed. The destiny of the abbess Makaria and of the sisters is not known until our days. But we know from the archives that some of the sisters were sent to the camps where they died and their priest was shot.
In the assembly of the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000, the holy Martyr Nicholas Ershov, the priest of the monastery, was canonized. He served to this monastery for six years from 1912 until the closing of the monastery. He suffered the martyrdom on 16th of December 1957 in the town of Pereslavl.
During the World War II the monastery was transformed into a children camp and afterwards a psychiatric hospital was built here.
The Church of the Assumption of our Lady was destroyed and the inner part was lost. In the sixties, for the building of the road next to the monastery, the necessary materials were provided from the walls and towers of the monastery. In 1994 when the monastery was given back the churches and its desecrated belongings, the reconstruction seemed impossible.
A few years after, in the winter of 1999, nun Erotiida, together with three sisters being 16, 17 and 18 years old, came to this place. The landscape was quite desolating, – all over the place there were only ruins, the territory of the monastery being invaded by the forest, without fences, a lot of garbage, the church destroyed, the only existing building into a deplorable state, without any windows, occupied by bums. No phone, no transport, no money. They were surrounded only by forest, no villages or any inhabited places around. The sisters had to live under the same roof with bums. Only God knows how it was possible to develop the monastery in this place.
Nun Erotiida succeeded to bring electrical energy in the monastery, and consequently, the phone connection and the internet as well. The local road was repaired and in 2013 the monastery was provided with gas, pulled directly from Pereslavl, a town situated 70 km far from the monastery. All the villages around the place were provided with gas as well. In the monastery were constructed ten churches, four chapels, bathroom for the spring, the building of the orphanage, the school, the college and the workshops for handicrafts. The beautiful and unusual architectural ensemble, the great walls shall remain in the memory of future generations as the fingerprint and the example of the monastic effort and of the sister’s talent in this place. The constructions are not finished of course there are a lot of social philanthropically projects that were made for helping suffering and old people. Many families with children from the villages neighboring our monastery.
At the present, there are 40 members in the sisterhood, there is organized an orphanage and the school where 60 girls from 7 to 18 years are being educated. In the year of 2015 it was opened a professional college for girls. The strategy of that development of the monastery situates on the first rank the education of children and adolescents.
The children are educated far from the noise of the crowded towns, the girls are studying the drawing, the theatrical art, they sing at the choir, they participate to religious services, they play musical instruments. A lot of specialist and teachers are studying with them. The girls participate to concerts, expositions, they are going to several trips, they help sister in their obedience. The children grow in a good disposition, they are educated in the spirit of the sisterhood.
All the activities of the monastery are very actual and necessary today in our days especially for children. The monastery is built with the means of the sacrifices and any help is welcomed.