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Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius Historical Facts and Pictures
More than 300 monks currently occupy the most remarkable monastery in Russia, the Trinity of Lavra. Located 70 km. northeast from Moscow, in the town Sergiyev Posad, this monastery is the spiritual core of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Structure and Design
Founded by Sergius Radonezh in 1345, the church was at first a wooden structure on Makotev Hill built in honor of the Holy Trinity. The monastery displays impressive military features, as it was part of the defensive system around Moscow in 16th century. Built in 1420, the 4-pillar single-domed Trinity Cathedral with three apses is the heart of the Trinity Lavra monastery. Topped with gold domes, this gleaming-white cathedral contains the holy relics of St. Sergius.
Interiors of Trinity Cathedral
Decorated with frescoes by Andrei Rublev and Chernyi the interior of the cathedral contains oil-lamps and a gilded dome, which was built in 1556 by Ivan the Terrible as a symbol of celebratin for seizure of Kazan.
A vestry is located behind the cathedral, containing the rich treasures of jewel-encrused vestments, solid-gold chalices, total donations over 600 years, fine tapestries, etc.
Another important church within the monastery is the Cathedral of Assumption, structured accordingly to the church bearing the same name in Moscow. Built in 1559 this 6-pillar structure took 26 years to construct under the commission of Ivan the Terrible. Outside the west door there is the grave of Tsar Boris Godunov.
Located nearby over a miraculous spring, is the Chapel-at-the-Well, topped by a 5-tiered ornate bell tower. The winter services are hosted in the huge block-shaped Refectory Church of St. Sergius. Decorated with lavish interiors and wallpaper-like paints it was once the dining hall for the pilgrims.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is an excellent specimen of Russian architecture and in 1993 it was included in the World Heritage list of UNESCO.