Novodevichy Cemetery
Novodevichy Cemetery is the most famous cemetery in Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. It is next to the 16th-century Novodevichy Convent
Novodevichy Convent
Novodevichy Convent, also known as Bogoroditse-Smolensky Monastery is probably the best-known cloister of Moscow. Its name, sometimes translated as the New Maidens' Monastery, was devised to differ from an ancient maidens' convent within the Moscow Kremlin. Unlike other Moscow cloisters, it has...

, which is the city's third most popular tourist site. It should not be confused with the Novodevichy Cemetery
Novodevichy Cemetery (Saint Petersburg)
Novodevichy Cemetery in Saint Petersburg is a historic cemetery in the South-West part of the city near the Moscow Triumphal Gate. The cemetery is named after the historical Resurrection Convent...

 in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...



The cemetery was inaugurated in 1898, when it was judged that there were too many burials within monastery walls. One of the first notables to be buried there was Anton Chekhov
Anton Chekhov
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian physician, dramatist and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. His career as a dramatist produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics...

, whose gilded tomb is the work of Fyodor Shekhtel. Today, the cemetery holds the tombs of Russian authors, musicians, playwrights, and poets, as well as famous actors, political leaders, and scientists.
More than 27,000 are buried at Novodevichy.

The cemetery has a park-like ambience, dotted with small chapels and large sculpted monuments. It is divided into the old (Divisions 1-4), new (Divisions 5-8) and newest (Divisions 9-11) sections; maps are available at the cemetery office.


Under Soviet rule, burial in the Novodevichy Cemetery was second in prestige only to burial in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis
Kremlin Wall Necropolis
Burials in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis in Moscow began in November 1917, when 240 pro-Bolshevik victims of the October Revolution were buried in mass graves on Red Square. It is centered on both sides of Lenin's Mausoleum, initially built in wood in 1924 and rebuilt in granite in 1929–1930...

. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Kremlin Wall is no longer used for burials and the Novodevichy Cemetery is used for only the most symbolically significant burials. For example, in April 2007, within one week both the first President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

 and world renowned cellist Mstislav Rostropovich
Mstislav Rostropovich
Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich, KBE , known to close friends as Slava, was a Soviet and Russian cellist and conductor. He was married to the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. He is widely considered to have been the greatest cellist of the second half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest of...

 were buried there.

In 2001, there was an attempt to move ballerina Anna Pavlova's remains to the Novodevichy Cemetery in accordance with her requests and after considerable controversy.


The work of these sculptors, among others, can be found at Novodevichy Cemetery:
  • Nikolay Andreyev
    Nikolay Andreyev
    Nikolay Andreyevich Andreyev was a Russian sculptor, graphic artist and stage designer. As a young man Andreyev studied with Sergey Volnukhin and in 1902 became associated with the Peredvizhniki group of realists. Andreyev's brother V.A. Andreyev was also a sculptor.Andreyev was the designer of...

  • Mikhail Anikushin
    Mikhail Anikushin
    Mikhail Konstantinovitch Anikushin a famous Soviet Russian sculptor. Among his most famous works are a monument to Alexander Pushkin at Pushkinskaya Station of the Saint Petersburg Metro , a monument to Alexander Pushkin at Arts Square in Saint Petersburg , a monument to Vladimir Lenin at...

  • Lev Kerbel
    Lev Kerbel
    Lev Efimovich Kerbel is a renowned sculptor of Soviet realist works. Kerbel's creations included statues of Marx, Lenin and Yuri Gagarin, which were sent to socialist countries across the world...

  • Sergey Konenkov
    Sergey Konenkov
    Sergey Timofeyevich Konenkov was a famous Russian and Soviet sculptor. He was often called "the Russian Rodin".-Early life:...

  • Vera Mukhina
    Vera Mukhina
    Vera Ignatyevna Mukhina was a prominent Soviet sculptor.- Life :Mukhina was born in Riga into a wealthy merchant family, and lived at Turgeneva st. 23/25, where a memorial plaque has now been placed. She later moved to Moscow, where she studied at several private art schools, including those of...

  • Ernst Neizvestny
    Ernst Neizvestny
    Ernst Iosifovich Neizvestny is a Russian sculptor. He currently lives and works in New York City. His last name in Russian literally means "unknown"....

     (b. 1925)
  • Alexander Rukavishnikov (b. 1950)
  • Ivan Shadr
    Ivan Shadr
    Ivan Shadr , pseudonym of Ivan Dmitriyevich Ivanov was a Russian/Soviet sculptor and medalist who took his pseudonym after his hometown of Shadrinsk.- Life :...

  • Nikolai Tomsky
    Nikolai Tomsky
    Nikolai Vasilyevich Tomsky was a much-decorated Soviet sculptor, designer of many well-known ceremonial monuments of the Socialist Realism era.- Biography :...

  • Yevgeny Vuchetich
    Yevgeny Vuchetich
    Yevgeny Viktorovich Vuchetich was a prominent Soviet sculptor and artist. He is known for his heroic monuments, often of allegoric style.He was born in Yekaterinoslav, Russian Empire...


See also

  • Burials at the Novodevichy Cemetery
    Burials at the Novodevichy Cemetery
    - Notable burials: A-C :*Sergey Afanasyev , first Soviet space industry minister*Ivan Agayants , a KGB officer and foreign spy*Sergei Aksakov , a writer...

  • Novodevichy Cemetery (Saint Petersburg)
    Novodevichy Cemetery (Saint Petersburg)
    Novodevichy Cemetery in Saint Petersburg is a historic cemetery in the South-West part of the city near the Moscow Triumphal Gate. The cemetery is named after the historical Resurrection Convent...

  • Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Russian Cemetery
    Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Russian Cemetery
    Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Cemetery, specifically the one known as Cimetière de Liers, as there are two cemeteries in the city, is a Russian Orthodox cemetery, located on Rue Léo Lagrange in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, département Essonne, France....

External links

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