The stone Ascension Cathedral was founded by Grand Princess Eudokia, widow of Dmitry Donskoy in 1407. The Great Princess, nun Euphrosyne died half a month after construction began. Several months later, her daughter-in-law Sophia Vitovtovna, consort of Grand Prince Vassily I, continued building the cathedral but managed to erect it as far as the drum, when the fire partly destroyed the monastery and damaged the cathedral in 1415. The shrine stood incomplete and burnt out for half a century.

The widow of Grand Prince Vasily II the Blind decided to renew the dilapidated cathedral only in 1467. In the same year, the church was consecrated. After standing for half a century and withstanding another fire, the cathedral was dismantled and replaced by a new one by order of Grand Prince Vasily III in 1518. The Italian architect Aleviz Novy – the author of the Archangel Cathedral — became the constructor. The new cathedral was completed in 1521. Apparently, at the beginning of the 17th century, there were side-chapels, including the one of St Michael Maleinos – the patron saint of Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich. This side-chapel existed till 1618, till the time the eponymously-named wooden church was built. A sacristy was built over the north porch in the 17th century, and the windows in the cathedral were extended in the late 17th century. In the 1730s, the Side-chapel of the Dormition of the Virgin in the north porch was consecrated, and on the order of Empress Anna Ioannovna, the side-chapel of Our Lady the Joy of All Who Sorrow was attached to the southern side, in memory of her deceased sister. In 1814, after the retreat of the French Army, the church was re-consecrated. In 1929 it was destroyed.

Northwest top view on the Ascension CathedralPlan of the Ascension CathedralView of the Ascension Cathedral in the mid-19th c., southern façadeSouthern façade of the Ascension CathedralAscension Cathedral of the Ascension Monastery, northern viewView of the Ascension Cathedral in the mid-19th c., southern façade