For the information
of those who carry out excursionary activity, specialists in the accompanying of tourists,
who conduct excursions round the Orthodox holy things of the Crimea!
In order to avoid an impious attitude towards the Orthodox holy things of the Simferopol and Crimean diocese on the part of tourists from groups that come from non-ecclesiastical tourist agencies, Metropolitan Lazarus of Simferopol and Crimea has issued a decree blessing the carrying out of excursions round the holy places of the Simferopol and Crimean diocese (monasteries, churches), but allowing this to be done only by members of the pilgrimage section of the Simferopol and Crimean diocese, pilgrimage experts and leaders of excursions to the monasteries and churches of the Simferopol and Crimean diocese.
On the organization of excursions to the Holy Dormition men's monastery of the Simferopol and Crimean diocese!
According to information provided by the prior of the Holy Dormition monastery, Archimandrite Silouan (Makej), from October 22, 2008 the organization of excursions to the sites of interest and historical and cultural monuments of the Dormition monastery (Bakhchisaray, Basenko str., 57a) is carried out in accordance with the established "Rules for external behaviour on visiting the Holy Dormition monastery of the Simferopol and Crimean diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church".
The given Rules must be observed throughout the territory of the monastery, including the buildings assigned for worship, for economic activity and as living quarters, the territories attached to them. They are obligatory for everyone, of whatever citizenship or confession of faith, both those on foot and those who use transport.
The monastery is a closed religious organization, and visiting times are limited by the internal ordering of the life of the monastery.
With the blessing of the monastery prior, within the confines of the monastery territory is defined as suitable for visits that have a missionary-educational or excursional aim. In case of necessity, additional conditions for visiting, or staying in, monastery objects or plots, can be stipulated.
There is a missionary section in the monastery that conducts missionary-educational work, acquainting visitors to the monastery with the history of the Holy Dormition Men's Monastery and with the monastic way of life. The staff of the missionary section contains both monastic inhabitants of the monastery and parishioners who are on obedience.
In individual cases the right of giving excursions and instruction to visitors to the monastery can be transferred to outside people and organizations. This must be done in written form. Without such written permission the provision of excursionary services on the territory of the monastery by outside people or organizations is forbidden.
Without an accompanying representative of the monastery it is forbidden for tourist or pilgrim groups to walk around the monastery.
Before entering churches or chapels, and also throughout the whole period of the stay on the territory of the monastery, mobile telephones must be turned off.
In connection with the interior order of the community, the reception of groups without prior agreement may be limited.
Entry into living quarters of workshops of the monastery is forbidden.
Leaders of groups:
*If visiting more than once, must provide the monastery with a prior timetable for the visit to the monastery throughout the whole period of the visit, which, in its turn, is permitted to take place after its approval by the superior of the monastery.
* If visiting the monastery only once, must, for the sake of receiving a blessing for the visit and getting to know the holy things of the monastery, send the monastery prior a petition (at least one week before). The petition must indicate the date and time of the visit and approximately the number of visitors.
* If unable to obtain prior agreement on the date and time of the educational excursion, the group will be served in a queue by the representatives of the missionary section of the community that are on duty.
* Anticipate the time that is necessary for the group to look over and get to know the architecture and history of the monastery not less than 40 minutes (optimally: one to one-and-a-half hours).
* Acquaint the group in good time of the rules of behaviour on the territory of the monastery.
The leader of the group bears responsibility for the visitors' observing the rules for visiting the monastery throughout the whole time of the group's stay in the monastery.
During visits to the territory of the monastery, dress must be decent: clothes must cover up. It is unfitting and impermissible to wear open clothes or swimwear, sportswear, shorts, mini-skirts, breeches, etc. On visiting active churches, the central area of the second tier of the monastery and the active skete, women must be in skirts with their heads covered. Women are not allowed to be on the territory of the monastery in trousers, short skirts or with uncovered heads. On visiting active churches men must not wear head coverings.
Visits to active churches for cultural or educational purposes during Divine services is not allowed. It is possible to examine the internal decor of the churches only outside the time of services, and this is limited by the internal ordering of the life of the monastery. Amateur photography and the use of cine-cameras and videos is forbidden without corresponding authorization, as is professional photography and the use of cine-cameras and videos without written permission from the monastery prior.
The use of loud-speaker apparatus, the playing of musical instruments, singing and shouting, etc., is forbidden.
It is forbidden to leave children on the territory of the monastery without supervision by parents or people looking after them.
Smoking and the consumption of spirits, including low-alcohol drinks and being in a drunken state is forbidden on the territory of the monastery.
If a group or an individual member of it transgresses the rules for visiting the monastery more than once, then the group will be refused permission to continue the excursion and visit to the monastery and must leave the territory of the community.
Since March 1, 2009 the Dormition monastery has not given the right to provide excursionary services on the territory of the monastery to outside people or organizations.
From April, 2009 control over the observation of the rules for visiting the monastery will be effected on the territory of the Dormition monastery by law-enforcement organs and public organizations.
Taking into consideration the carrying out of preparations for the 2009 tourist season, and in order to avoid any possible misunderstandings in connection with the change of regime and conditions for visits to the Dormition monastery, the monastery prior directs attention to the fact that outside people and organizations who want to carry out excursionary activity on the territory of the Dormition monastery must necessariloy have special permissory documents giving them the right to carry out excursionary activity.