The history of Tregulay monastery of John the Baptist dates back to the times of Tambov fortress foundation. The monastery was founded in 1688 by St. Pitirim.
The place where the monastery is situated has always attracted people by its beauty and natural riches. The documents of those times describing the area also mention the Tsna, the Turgulya, the Lyada, the Sada rivers. According to one of the theories, the name of the place and the monastery comes from the changed word form of the Turgulya River.
There is another legend telling about the history of the monastery foundation. One day, while having a stroll with visiting St. Mitrophan of Voronezh and pious monk Innocent, Pitirim asked them for advice to choose a location for the monastery construction. All three men came to a secluded place that they blessed to be the future monastery grounds. That is where the name came from: “three men walking” – Trugilyay (Tregulay).
The first buildings of Tregulay monastery were wooden with the first church of John the Baptist among them that was built in 1691. All these buildings were destroyed by the fire in 1717. After that, new construction works began – first using wood and later stone.
In 1791-1795, two symmetrical extensions were built in Tregulay – a refectory and brethren's building, utility buildings of the stables and a monastery enclosure. The winter church of John the Baptist functioned in the refectory wing. After the separate five-dome church of John the Baptist and the bell tower were completed and consecrated in 1808, the winter church was reconstructed and consecrated in honor of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple. Later, in 1810, it was joined by the side altar of The Holy Face.
A small two-storey building was added on the right from the entrance to the monastery in 1822. The first floor had monastic cells and the second floor was occupied by the father superior.
The monastery got closed in 1918. In the 1920s it was used as a concentration camp and as a correctional facility, storage facilities and a military unit after. During the 1950s-1960s the monastery complex was destroyed. Only a few buildings survived: the refectory, the monastic cell building, the stables, the ice-house and haydrier rooms.
The rebirth of the monastery started in 1998. The slope by the river was cleared out, the well was dug out and the construction of the church and covered pool began. The new church in honor of the Second Finding of the relics of St. Pitirim (June, 23rd) and the chapel with a pool above the springs were erected on the territory of the former Tregulay monastery in 2002.
Today there are two holy springs in Tregulay one of which was dug out by St. Pitirim himself. On the day of the Epiphany there is a special celebration going on that includes a religious procession and the spring water blessing.
The monastery is gradually being brought back to life. Monks settled here again. The construction works and farming keep developing.