The main building of the Novodevichi Convent is Smolensky Cathedral (cathedral of Virgin of Smolensk), the oldest and biggest church (h – 42,5 m). It’s erected in order the Grand Prince of Moscow Vasily III (father of Ivan the Terrible) in 1524-1525. It is like the Dormition Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin. Architect is probably Aleviz Novy or Nestor.
The 5th-domed church resting on 6 pillars, on a tall basement (podklet) is girdled on three sides by a broad gallery. It’s builders had chosen in favour of facades almost utterly devoid of decorative elements (only a string-course оn abses). The general silhouette boasts a sculptural expressiveness and simplicity. There are narrow windows on zakomari, 2 stories of windows on a drum.