The history of the monastery
The Korsun monastery was established in the 1780s. The Old Believers settled here by the grace of Catherine the Great. The monastery soon became the major center of the Old-Orthodox traditions. Also, Grigory Potemkin, a nobleman and favorite of Catherine the Great, took a hand in establishing the monastery. He engaged residents near to construct the religious house.
In 1848, the monastery was transferred under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the meantime, the ecclesiastic house grew stronger. Hence, five sub-temples, frater, and monastic cells were established. Local monks were engaged in pastoral and poultry farming. They ranched outside the walls of the monastery. There were also an orchard and kitchen gardens throughout the abode. The monks assisted residents of Korsunka village by taking care of the local school. Back then, orphans received financial support when they were studying at theological seminaries.
Until the Great October Revolution of 1917, the Korsun monastery was the most respected religious community among the Eparchy of Kherson.
When the Bolshevists had come to power, the Korsun monastery faced the same fate as other churches. It was devastated by the Red Army, the military also took cattle and provisions. When the Soviet authority was established, the monastery’s ownership passed to the collective farm. Some buildings were broken up for construction supplies. After the Second World War, an orphan home was established on the monastery’s grounds, and then, in 1969, juvenile delinquents were undergoing social rehabilitation here. Hence, the monastery was in a sad state.
Worships within the walls of the monastery had been resumed only in 1999. Nowadays, the monastery is located in the territory of the special school, so worshippers are allowed to visit it under specified conditions. At the moment, the local citizens are actively rebuilding the religious house by themselves.
The architectural style
The monastery was surrounded by stone walls with four angle towers. It was crowned with the crosses. St. Michael Church adjoined the monastery from the east. The decoration of the facade is minimalistic. There are only arcaded cornice and tooth ornaments over the windows.
St. Demetrius Church was rebuilt into a water tower. Till the moment, it was represented as “a church under bells” (an architectural type of Old Russians, when a bell tower was being constructed above a church). Such buildings are so rare in Ukraine. St. Demetrius Church seems more like a tower of defense. The decoration is also minimalistic.
The stone walls of the monastery break down partially. The braced arched western gate is decorated with a pediment, an architectural element of the Baroque. The round northeast tower has a tended roof. The stork’s nest is the crowning piece of the tower, as the decoration is naturally included in the atmosphere of the place.
Interesting facts about the monastery
The founding of the monastery is legendary. When Kherson was only being built, there was a settlement across the Dnipro River. Its residents were engaged in the fishery. One day, two boys were returning home from the river, and they found the holy image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It appeared here from nowhere. While the boys were arguing about who takes the trove, the holy image fell to the ground.
The kids weren’t able to raise the sacred image from the ground, it was as if the icon turned into a hard flagstone. Only a pastor’s prayer has made it possible to raise the sacred image from the ground. Then, the settlers believed the place was holy.
How to get to the Korsun monastery
The Korsun monastery is located on Kominterna Street of Korsunka village. You can reach it by car. Just follow the Е97/Т2206 route. The highway goes through Obryvky and Pischane villages. When you reach Nova Kakhovka city, the destination point is just beyond. Follow the by-pass road through Dnipryany settlement.
You can also get to the Korsun monastery by public transport. It departs regularly. Just take the bus from Kherson to Nova Kakhovka. Then, find the public bus which departs from Nova Kakhovka to Krynky.