The Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra / 2014
The main place to visit in Sergiev Posad is the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra. In 1993 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The architectural complex including a working monastery is composed of numerous churches and other buildings erected in different centuries, monuments and graves (for example, the Shrine of the Godunovs).

For the celebration of the 700th anniversary of St. Sergius of Radonezh birth, information boards were installed in the town telling about his life. One of them is pictured below.

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I duplicate the text from the stand: Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh

People often call St. Sergius an all-Russian prior. A humble hermit alien not only to pride, but also to irritation, anger, sadness...

Cloister of the Holy Trinity

He was born in 1314 in a family of Kirill and Maria, devout Rostov boyars. By the holy baptism, he was given the name of Varfolomei (Bartholomew).

The birth of Varfolomei was preceded by a miraculous event: in the church, during the liturgy, a baby, being in Maria’s womb, cried three times – this way one of the greatest of Russian saints declared himself.

When Varfolomei was seven years old, he and his brothers were given to a sacristan for education. But the Reverend studied poorly. Neither trying, nor praying helped him to lay down the letters into words. And then there was another miracle. Once, Varfolomei met a hermit monk in the field, told him of his sorrow and asked him to pray to God for the help in teaching. The old man handed a piece of prosphora to him: "This is a sign of God's grace and understanding of Scripture given to you. Child, do not grieve on the literacy: you should know that now the Lord gives you a good knowledge of letters, greater than that of your brothers and peers".

Search for a secluded place

Varfolomei had an extremely early desire to asceticism. Twenty-three year-old Varfolomei, together with his elder brother Stefan, retired to the forest tract in the vicinity of Radonezh. On a small hill covered with forest, Makovets mount, the brothers made a small church later consecrated in honor of the Life-giving Trinity.

Unable to withstand that hard life in the desert full of privations, Stefan went to Moscow Monastery of the Epiphany. Varfolomei stayed alone in the hermitage spending his days in works, abstinence and prayers. Some time later, he took vows in the angelic image and was given the monk name of Sergius.

Be a servant to everyone

Sergius’ loneliness lasted no more than two years, after which people began coming to him for spiritual help. The fame of the ascetic spread throughout the county. There were people willing to share the hermitage with him. A curious fact: for a long time, the number of Sergius’ student monks was 12 - exactly as the apostles of Christ. The abode started growing; the brothers continued its further arrangement, axes knocked... The Reverend labored along with all the rest.

Peasants began coming to Sergius for advice and blessings, some of them settled nearby. Sorrowful circumstances of the Mongol-Tatar Yoke forced people to seek protection behind the walls of the formed monastery.

Wonderworker of the Russian land

Miracles in the monastery did not stop. How many of them Sergius made – no one can count! Sometimes, he raised the dead. Largely due to him nearly all the Russian princes acknowledged the primacy of Dmitry Ivanovich by the time of the Kulikov battle. On the eve of the battle, the latter went for a blessing, not just anywhere - to the Holy Trinity Monastery. The abbot foretold the victory to our army and sent two monks of a princely family - Peresvet and Oslabya.

First keep the fear of God

St. Sergius of course knew about his coming death and said the words on the day of September 25 (October 8, New Style), 1392 to the monks: "Take heed to yourselves, brethren. First keep the fear of God, purity of soul and unfeigned love..." 30 years later, on July 18, 1422 his relics were found incorrupt.

The Introduction Church (1547) and the Church of St. Paraskeva Pyatnitsa (1675 - 1700).
View from the South on Pyatnitskaya tower of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.
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Holy Gate – the main entrance to the monastery.
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Detail of the painting "The Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh"
Having found a place in the forest with water for the construction of the monastery, St. Sergius prays in front of the cross.
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Detail of the painting "The Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh"
After building a hut, audrina and cells, St. Sergius started to build a church.
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Both paintings pictured above are inside the passage of the Holy gate of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.

Bright and Beautiful Gate Church of St. John the Baptist (built in 1692 - 1699).
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Detail of the painting "The Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh" inside the archway under the Gate Church of St. John the Baptist.

Many animals were in the forest then. One bear was used to come to the Reverend constantly. Seeing this and realizing that the beast comes to him not with malicious intent, but to get something edible, the Reverend brought small pieces of bread to him putting them on the stump. When it happened, that the Reverend had only one piece of bread, he divided it into two parts, one leaving for himself and the other one putting for the beast.
Refectory, located at the south side of the monastery. Built in 1686 - 1692.
Trinity Cathedral. Built in 1422 - 1423.
The main cathedral church and the oldest surviving building of the Trinity Monastery, the first stone building of the monastery.
The relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh are stored in this cathedral.
To the left — The bell tower of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, build from 1741 to 1770.
To the right — Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, built in 1476 - 1477.
A spring in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.
To the left (white color) — the Church of St. Zosima and Savvaty at hospital wards, built in 1635 – 1637.
To the right — the Church of the Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God, built in 1746 - 1753.
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1559 – 1585 years built. Laid at the behest of the king Ivan IV the Terrible. By the way, Ivan Vasilievich, the future Tsar Ivan the Terrible, was baptized at the Trinity-Sergius Lavra on September 17 (September 4, Old Style), 1530.
According to the Border Guard Service, in 2014 the Chinese took the first place in the number of tourists visiting Russia. I readily believe, I saw a large number of Chinese tourist groups at St. Sergius Lavra.
Monument to St. Sergius of Radonezh, installed in October 11, 1992.
Authors: sculptor Valentin Chuharkin and architect Viktor Zhuravlev.
Parents of St. Sergius of Radonezh, venerable Kirill and Maria.
Also, their sons Stefan, Varfolomei (Sergius’ name before the monasticism) and Peter.
The sculpture was installed in June 2014 in front of the Lavra Saint gates, across the street.
The author of the composition is sculptor Constantin Cherniavsky.
Classic view of the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra from the lookout on Mount Blinnaya.
In the foreground there is a composition "Miracle of the Birds" dedicated to the legend of St. Sergius’ life.
Installed on June 25, 2014, the author of the work is Maria Tikhonova.

Continuation :
Railway station

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