It is famous for its 14th century Trinity Monastery of St Sergius, an important center of Orthodox Christianity. There is the very old Trinity Cathedral here which was erected in 1422, the year its founder, Sergius of Radonezh was canonized.
The monastery’s magnificent ensemble was built over six centuries. The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity was erected to commemorate St Sergius’s immense service to the state. Here at St Sergius’s shrine Moscow princes kissed the cross swearing to keep their promises and treaties and prayed before going to wars and on coming back from them.
The Trinity Lavra in Sergiev Posad is a part of the legendary Golden Ring of Russia and a unique architectural masterpiece protected by UNESCO World Heritage organization.
Sergiev Posad is the birthplace of matryoshka doll. There is a Museum of Toys which was opened in 1918 in Moscow and then transferred to Sergiev Posad.
The History of Sergiev Posad
Sergiev Posad was founded in 1337 by St Sergius of Radonezh. The birthplace of the city is the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius.
The monastery played a significant part in the history of Russia. It protected Russians in fighting against the Tatars, opposed the Polish-Lithuanian forces during the Time of Troubles and supported Peter the Great during his struggle against Princess Sophia.
Today the monastery is home to over 300 monks. It is surrounded by a massive wall and a series of watch-towers.
The Trinity cathedral, built in the early 15th century is one of the oldest churches. This cathedral boasts some works by Andrei Rublev, Russia's most famous icon master. The relics of St. Sergius in a silver shrine bring a lot of pilgrims from all over Russia.
On the territory of the Trinity Monastery there is the Assumption Cathedral commissioned by Ivan the Terrible. It rises in the center of the complex. Its blue domes with golden stars are seen from far away. The elegant baroque bell tower was built in the 18th century. Today it houses the biggest working bell in Russia.
Outside the cathedral there is the Tomb of Boris Godunov and his family and a small chapel built in the 17th century over a holy well.
Inside the Trinity Cathedral was painted by the great medieval icon-painters Andrey Rublev and Daniil Chorny. Rublev’s famous icon of the Trinity, painted to commemorate the battle of Kulikovo was replaced by a copy and is now in the Tretyakov Galley.
The 16th-century silver shrine of St Sergius graces the cathedral. The canopy was set up over it in 1737. It is one of the main places of pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians. The monastery’s founder St Sergius is buried in a silver sarcophagus donated by the Empress Anna in 1730.
The Tsar’s Chambers is on the other side of the monastery, beyond the main bell-tower and is easily recognizable by their colorfully painted and tilled exterior. They were constructed in the late 17th century for tsar Alexei.
Opposite the Trinity Cathedral there stands the Church of the Holy Spirit or the Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, built in 1476 by Pskov masters.
The most festive-looking building is the Refectory Church with its side-altar dedicated to St Sergius.
Noteworthy among the 17th century structures is a very tall five-tier bell tower. Began in 1740 by Ivan Michurin and completed only in the 1770s it became the dominant structure of the ensemble.
Sergiev Posad Tour last 7 hours and during the tour you will
- see and feel the spiritual center of the Russian orthodox Church
- know that the place has got 2 names and what else is famous for
- get acquainted with St Sergius life and his influence on the Russian Orthodox Church and be able to touch the relics
- understand why it is called “The Vatican of the Russian Orthodox Church”
- be treated to the tasty bread, baked in the monastery and try famous kvass - a traditional Russian drink
- visit the majestic Cathedral of the Assumption, which according to the legend was painted by the team of craftsmen for 100 days
- see the iconostasis, consisting of 40 icons by Andrey Rublev of the 15th century which has been preserved