The Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra & Sergyiev Posad
In the heart of the European part of Russia, on the hill of the Central Russian Upland spreads out the most beautiful city in the northern Moscow region – Sergyiev Posad.
Almost seven centuries ago, a monastic cell and a small church dedicated to the Trinity were built in a remote, thick forest on the small Makovets Hill at the confluence of the Conchura River with a forest stream. Here, the gatherer of Russian lands, Sergius of Radonezh laboured spiritually in a quiet hermitage in the secluded forest. That is how the life has begun in the provincial depth of the country that later became the gem of the Golden Ring of Russia.
You can reach the ancient town located 70 km from Moscow either by commuter train or by car. From the Yaroslavsky train station, the trains depart every half an hour. And, just in an hour and a half, you can behold a fairy-tale miracle. From the horizon, multiple cupolas of cathedrals emerge covered in stars. Their golden shine mesmerizes. The 88-metre five-layered bell tower heads towards the azure sky. This is the spiritual centre of the Orthodox Christianity in Russia. For the best experience delieverd in your language, we advise you to book a Trinity Monastery Tour with one of our professtional Moscow tour guides.
It was here in the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, where happened the historical events that had the crucial influence on the further fate of the Russian state. At all times, tsars favoured the monastery. It is associated with the names of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great. Here, Sergius of Radonezh blessed the prince Dmitry Donskoy and his army for the battle with Mamai, the Khan of the Golden Horde. By the imperial decree, it was conferred the dignity of ‘lavra’ for its dominant role among other religious institutions.
The best masters of 15-19 centuries worked on the white-stone architectural ensemble. The iconostasis is painted by the famous iconographers like Daniil Chyorny and Andrei Rublev (painted the world-known icon ‘The Holy Trinity’).
The largest building of the monastery is the Assumption Cathedral that was erected based on the model of the Assumption Cathedral which you can visit during our Moscow Kremlin Tour. The UNESCO declared the world-famous architectural ensemble as a World Heritage Site. This is the largest active male monastery in Russia and the residence of the Patriarch. On the territory of the Lavra, you will see the oldest educational institution in the country – Moscow Theological Academy. That is why every year millions of tourists, travellers and pilgrims from different countries of the world, at times from the most remote corners of the planet, seek to visit the Lavra and to enjoy the architectural solutions and to feel its historic and pivotal importance for Great Russia.
Museums of Sergyiev Posad are full of original exhibits. In the Museum of Peasant Life, one can see not only painted samovars, multi-coloured trays and other peasants utensils but a real epic oven that is a very frequent personage of ancient Russian folk tales.
Since Sergyiev Posad is considered the capital of the puppet “kingdom”, where else can be the only Toy Institute in Russia. More than hundred years ago, an amazing matryoshka doll (also known as a Russian nesting doll) was born in this land. It was the riot of people’s fantasy! Bright, painted in all possible ways, they astonish the boldest imagination.Visit the toy museum on the Volokusha mountain, in the most picturesque place of the city opposite the Lavra. Charming, naïve Bogorod toys, all kinds of dolls, thousands of toys of world’s nations will fill your heart with the warmth of home and make you smile.
In the Lavra, in this open sky museum, you will see medieval manuscripts and first printed books. Here the most ancient icons are kept. The exposition will introduce the rich collection of church articles, things from silver and gold. Multi-coloured scarves, exquisite lace, and gold embroidery find their roots in the folk art. Paintings neighbour birch bark items pertaining to the modern applied arts and crafts. It seems that abundance of exhibits will not end…
Sit on a bench on the territory of Lavra and try to comprehend the flood of impressions, coming from the depth of the centuries. Nice emotional excitement will be complemented by a visit to one of the cafés that serve here to different tastes. You will be offered hot, as if straight from an oven, dishes and will be served in vivid folk costumes. Pleasant fatigue will fade away and you can continue to explore one of the oldest cities of ancient Russia. Get away from the bustling, chaotic life flow of Moscow, by taking Trinity Monastery of St.Sergius Tour, and relax yoru brain and soul while submerge into the history of this surreal place.
About the author
Diana Zalenskaya, a travel professional and destination expert for Moscow, Russia.