Sergiyev Posad: One of the most magical sights in Russia is the monastery of Troitsko – Sergieva Lavra (The Trinity – St Sergius Lavra) in the town of Sergiyev Posad (formerly Zagorsk). Onion domes in gold and bright blue with gold stars come into view from the last rise in the road from Moscow. The monastery is one of Russia's most important pilgrimage sites and one of only four in the Russian Orthodox Church to have the honorific 'Lavra'. It is part of the Golden Ring, a group of ancient Russian towns to the northeast of Moscow that are, in effect, open-air museums. The monastery complex, begun in the 1340s by St Sergius of Radonezh (the Russian Orthodox Church's greatest saint), comprises churches, cathedrals and monastic buildings that are once again in use. Troitsky Sobor (Trinity Cathedral) is the oldest (1422-23) and finest of the churches and its iconostasis included paintings by Rublyov, some of which are now visible in the Tretyakov Gallery. The monastery (tel: (095) 284 3164 or 281 6020) is 80km (50 miles) north of the city and can be reached by train from Yaroslavsky Vokzal station in Moscow. It is open daily 0800-2000 and admission to the church is free (the monastery itself is not open to the public).
Excursion to Sergiev Posad. It is the monastery houses the Russian Patriarch's temporary residence. In the monastery you will visit St.Trinity Cathedral where the shrine with St.Sergey's relics is stored, and the Assumption Cathedral that repeats its form after the Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin. The most beautiful part of the monastery is represented by two similar constructions one of which is the Ecclesiastical Academy and Seminary and the other the Refectory with the Church of St.Sergiy.
Sergiev Posad is located in 70 km to northeast from Moscow. The city has grown around Trinity monastery founded, roughly in 1337, the most well-known Russian sacred Sergiy Radonezhsky. In 1774 to a monastery the honourable title laurels is given. To a Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Laura is one of the centers of Russian Orthodoxy, a place where many believers make pilgrimage.
Per 1993 ensemble to the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Laura have been included in the List of the World heritage of UNESCO.
The tour to the famous Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra, which was founded in 14th century by venerable St. Sergius of Radonezh, who till nowadays considered to be the patron saint of whole Russia. During centuries, from Medieval times till present time this monastery played important role in history of Russian Orthodox church and state.
Ar the end of the 17th century, when young Peter I several times found refuge within monastery from his enemies, numerous structures had been constructed there and one of them was Refectory Chambers with St. Sergius church built in 1686-1692 in the style of baroque.
Here you can see interior of the main Refectory Chamber, which is connected with another chamber from one side (on this pic.: the view on the entrance from the small chamber) and with Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh from opposite side. The huge construction of the Refectory, which used to be the largest hall in Russia, is 86 meters long and with the area of 510 square meters and it was intended for sumptuous ceremonies and receptions. Small chamber, for example, was used for everyday meals of the monks.
After Soviet revolution 1917 this monastery was closed and in 1920s they made museum on the grounds of this monastery. The building of the Refectory the Bolsheviks decided to use for a club and they eliminated all beautiful frescoes on its walls, whic were replaced with slogans, propaganda of new soviet state of workers and farmers... very sad... After WWII by Stalin order this monastery was opened and became center of Orthodox religion till during the soviet times and the residence of our Patriarch till 1991, starting democracy here. In 1950s the soviet architects and artists repainted in oil the Refectory chambers. On the threshold of the 1000th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity in Russia (1988) the Provincial Council of the Russian Orthodox Church was held. In 1988 inside this chamber were held the sessions of the Provincial Council of the Orthodox Church in honor of the 1000th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity in Russia.
As usual it is hard to take pictures inside the churches, or here in Refectory, where is pretty dark and not so much light without tripod. I used wide angle lenses and ISO 800 here and tried to reduce some nose in Photoshop then. Hope you like my note and this picture.