Belev’s district of Tula region is rich in historical attractions, especially Christian monuments. Seven kilometers from the administrative center of the district on the right shore of the Oka river, is the Zhabin’ village. There is the one of the oldest Christian shrines - Vvedenskaya Zhabinskaya Makarevskaya wasteland.
St. Vvedenskaya Zhabinskaya Makarevskaya wasteland was founded in 1585, during the reign of Fyodor Ivanovich by appointed by him diploma,which was given to a pious elder Onuphrius for the linking Belevsky scribes Nikita G. Rzhevsky with comrades. In this letter is reported that Tsarevo sovereign and Grand Prince of Belevsky the palatial villages the scribes Nikita G. Rzhevskii with teammates gave the elder Onuphrius Zhabyn’ hillfort for the monastery». Except Zhabin’ hillfort, on which the monastery was erected, the elder Onuphrius had been given arable lands, meadows for hay and forest. But these lands during the desolation of the monastery in the XVII century were moved away from the monastery. Now the holistic, natural appearance of the monastery remained in the past. The post-revolutionary decades have changed the view of the wasteland. Separate volumes of partly crumbling and partly restored temples and residential buildings do not contribute their full artistic sensibility, they require a more complete recovery, together with the necessary for each of the wasteland or the monastery fence. The planning structure of the ensemble is so severely disturbed that restoration of some of its parts, it is necessary to make excavations.
Nowadays the former center of the composition of the wilderness is occupied without a roof and requiring priority of restoration the Cathedral of the presentation. On the left, closer located to the East of the road,there is recently restored warm Znamenskaya Church, and after it a residential housing is rebuilt. To the South of the Church, there is partially recovered and partially completed building of the former hotel. On the other side of the road, late Macarius Church is well preserved, and to the East of it, above, the former chapel over the well and font are restored. The main territory of the former monastery is now devoid of fences, the bell tower, the Bishop's and private buildings and other historic structures are occupied by modern barns with building materials, a lot of garbage and natural vegetation.
Finally existing by the end of the XIX century the complex of buildings with dominant amounts of the temples and shrines inside had a huge spiritual impact on the people and testified to the history of the wasteland. Like many ancient monasteries, the monastery resembled the structure of the wasteland. There the original wooden temple buildings, eventually replaced with stone did not survive. But the monumental buildings of the late hour came in not its original form. the Central Cathedral which was built in the ancient traditions 1708-1723 is most suffered. Other structures were mainly built in the XIX century and they were well traced changes in architectural tastes of that time — this late classic with a strong touch of pseudo-Russian style, eclectic, natural vegetation.
By rare plans and descriptions of ХVIII-ХIХ centuries it is still possible to trace the evolution of the spatial structure of the wasteland, its historic layout and buildings that defined the artistic look of the remote, but in its own expressive and memorable wasteland. Historical and architectural notes on each of the most important architectural structures, which necessary for the conduct of restoration work will be presented as separate notes following the General information urban character.
In its history the wasteland was repeatedly ravaged, destitute, turned into a parish Church. It was extremely poor with poor ward and almost had no lands. After the devastation of Lithuania it was restored by “the venerable father Macarius the Wonderworker of Belevand although about this time is little known but the word and acts of this ascetic gave later one of the names of the wasteland.
It should be noted that the existence of poor wasteland in these places was not associated only with the worship of local shrines and ascetics, but the road passing through it that travelers went from the prosperous Belev town and an Inn yards, where they stayed praying and making money on the sight in health and so on. Equally important for the maintenance of the monastery had a well with Holy water, which with hope and reverence is used by pilgrims and walkers.
Godless, destructive wave of the Revolution has not bypassed the Zabinski Monastery. In 1919 the monastery still existed. This is evident from the submitted of the Zabinski Monastery Abbot Archimandrite Macarius petitions to the Bishop Tula’s and Belev’s Iuvenaliy of June 25, 1919. The Abbot asked the Archbishop's for blessing for the creation the farm in the wasteland with the hope that “nobody has a right to trouble us and they may return the apiary (53 hives with bees and all the equipment)”. (Information letter, Tula state archive). According to evidence, the monastery lasted until 1922.
In the 30s the massacre of the monastery began, first the buildings of wooden structures-premises farm were destroyed and then stone buildings. Collective farms and a stone fence which was fenced abode were disassembled by individuals for their needs, then the fraternal storey building and two-story Church with the Bishop's house were demolished. The Macarius Cathedral was converted into a school-boarding and from the Znamenskaya Church a dome with arches was removed and a dining room was arranged in it. The remaining Holy – Vvedensky temple was destroyed by seventy years of desolation. Nowadays it is restored.
In 1991, at the request of His Eminence, the Metropolitan of Tula’s and Belev’s Serapion, His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Rusi Alexy blessed to open the Holy– Vvedensky Macarius Zhabinsky wasteland and to appoint the Governor of the Builder the Archimandrite Nikon. From this time the remediation work began to conduct. First, Znamenskaya Church was temporarily reconstructed in order to be able to make regular worship. Then the old Foundation of a two-storey communal housing was started to built. Also the reconstruction in the St. Macarius Church was conducted. The community building and the Cathedral of St. Macarius covered with galvanized iron and on the Cathedral were restored seven domes. In addition, a two-story hotel with cells and refectory was renovated.The utility rooms were built.
An important milestone in the restoration of the monastery began in 2008 with the restoration of destroyed and stayed with the collapsed vaults for more than 50 years the Vvedensky Cathedral. The serious work on the strengthening of severely damaged exterior walls and window openings was done. At the present time the arches and vaults of the Church are begun to restore. Everything will go back to the way.
Among the major historical milestones in the development of the wasteland the following should be noted.
1.The ruin of wasteland in 1615 by gangs under the leadership of pan Lisowski, the brethren of Zhabinski wasteland, and the monastery was burned to the ground.
2.The greening of the wasteland by the monk Makarios.
3.The desolation of the monastery by the end of the XVII century.
4.The renewal by the hegumen Tikhon (1707-1722) entrusted to him the monastery and the building of Svyato Vvedensky Cathedral Church in 1708.
5.The transfer from the Ozersk village in the monastery of the miraculous icon of the Mother of God “Sign”.
6.Pursuant to the decree of Emperor Peter the Great in 1724 on the abolition of the monasteries Zhabinski wasteland was assigned to Belev’s Spaso-Preobrazhensky monastery. The decree of Empress Catherine I in 1727, which repealed the previous decree on the abolition monasteries, allowed the monks to return to his abode.
7.The abolition of the monastery in 1764.
8.The restoration of the wasteland in 1776 by the transferred forces of the Abbot and monks of the burnt Sharovskiy monastery.
9.In 1812 the repaired Vvedensky Cathedral Church and the new three-tiered iconostasis installed in it were consecrated .
10.The building of the Znamenskaya Church at Abbot Venedikt in 1825.
11.The consecration of the Church of the lower and upper floors at the Episcopal house in 1848 – 1849.
12.The edition by Archimandrite Leonid (Kavelin) historical— statistical description of Zhabinski monastery in 1865.
13.The ruling by Abbot Jonah the wooden shrine with an icon of St. Macarius on the alleged resting place of his Holy relics in 1879.
14.The decree of the Holy Synod about the restoration of the commemoration of St. Macarius in 1888.
15.The decree of the Holy Synod of the return of the wasteland the “Macarius” name in 1889. The consecration of St. Macarius of the Cathedral in 1895.
16.The revival Gabinski wasteland since 1991 by Archimandrite Nikon.
In 1991 a large-scale work on the restoration of the wasteland was begun. Currently the Vvedensky Cathedral is restored, warm Znamenskaya Church and the building of the former hotel are rebuilt, the residential building is built up.
Today pilgrims and tourists have particular interest to a Holy spring which is located on the territory of the wasteland. Over the well the former chapel and a font is restored.