In the second half of the XVI century churches were attached to the state and the state provided monasteries and churches financially. The Spaso-Preobrazhensky (Transfiguration) Monastery received 13 villages with peasants and land from the state in 1563 and 1585. It was also granted the exclusive right of fishing in the river Oka.
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross convent was founded in 1625. The development of lacework was subsequently associated with this Monastery. It is one of the most outstanding parts of Belev culture heritage, which brought the city fame not only in Russia, but also beyond its borders. Initially, ecclesiastical vestments and items of the church service were decorated with lace. Then the women of the city took up the lacework. According to statistical data, 2,000 needlewomen were engaged in lacework in 1880. And more than 200 thousand pieces of various lace products a year were produced.
The first school was founded in the district at the Spaso-Preobrazhensky (Transfiguration) monastery in 1761. It was initially only for priests’ children. It was called the "Russian School" and was the first stage of education in Belev district.
By the beginning of the twentieth century monasteries of Belev had been improved. There were 4 churches in Spaso-Preobrazhensky monastery: the Church of Transfiguration, St. John the Baptist Church, St. Peter’s Church, and St. Nicholas the Miracle-Worker Church. The ancient icon of St. John the Baptist was kept in the Cathedral Church; there is one Church with three altars in honor of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the convent