Donskoy monastery was build due to a miracle. In 1591-1593 Kazy-Girey Khan from Crimea besieged Moscow. Getting ready for the battle, tsar Fedor and all Muscovites prayed to the Donskaya Icon of Mother of God for help. Divine mercy was shown: invaders suddenly left Moscow in an inexplicable fear. So, as a sign of gratitude to this holy icon, tsar Fedor founded Donskoy monastery.
The cathedral was built in 1591, probably by architect Fedor Kon. A century later another cathedral, a bigger one, was erected. The name matched its size - the Great Cathedral (1684-1698), and its old neighbour was named the Small Cathedral. Monastery walls and towers appeared in 1686-1711.
Donskoy monastery became a place for preserving pieces of destroyed ancient houses, monuments and churches, including some beautiful relieves of the destroyed Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. It is also a burial place for many celebrated Russians.