Central Asia :: Russia
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Smolensk and its octagonal bell tower at the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow. Founded in 1524 to commemorate the capture of Smolensk from Lithuania, it became a convent for ladies of noble birth and was also used for a prison for female royals. Most of the current cathedral dates to the mid-17th century. After the Russian Revolution, the convent was turned into a museum. It was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church after World War II.
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