The Raifa Monastery is located 27 kilometres away from Kazan. It was founded in the 17th century by a hermit named Filaret. It’s one of the first Orthodox churches erected in this region after Ivan the Terrible’s conquest of Kazan. In 1661, an exact copy of the Georgian Mother of God Icon was brought here.
The following cathedrals are located on the premises of the Raifa Monastery: Georgian Mother of God Icon Cathedral, Trinity Cathedral and St. Sophia Church (built in the late 18th century). The beauty of the monastery complex is enhanced by carefully cultivated flower gardens and numerous statues created by the local novice and professional sculptor Vladimir Savelyev. There is also a picturesque lake located not far from the monastery. Its length reaches almost 1.5 kilometres. Numerous legends exist about this lake. Tourists are told that the frogs here do not croak in order not to disturb monks’ prayers. One can take a boat ride around the lake and marvel at its beautiful views, as well as check out whether the above-mentioned legend is true or not.
The Raifa Monastery is located on the premises of the Volga-Kama State Natural Biosphere Reserve. The park was founded in 1960 for the purpose of preserving unique natural ecosystems. The reserve has a tree nursery filled with over 400 different varieties of trees and shrubs from Europe, Asia and Northern America.