They say you will never really understand Russia until you’ve been to a small Russian town. If you can, visit Sergiev Posad, which is one of the most historical and cultural towns of Russia. Explore 8 Facts about Sergiev Posad.
Sergiev Posad is included into the list of Golden Ring cities and towns and is the closest to Moscow of all of them. It is famous for its religious meaning given to it by Saint Sergius Holy Trinity Lavra. Around 100 thousand people live in the town. Annually this place is visited by thousands of pilgrims and tourists; each of them wants to feel the sacredness of the functioning convent.
All good things start with a list, so here is a list of facts that might motivate you to add Sergiev Posad to your bucket list from our Moscow guide Angelina:
- Lavra is a common name, which means a religious place or a convent of a special meaning, open to tourists and ordinary people as well.
- Saint Sergius Holy Trinity Lavra is one of two larvas on the territory of Russia and one of five larvas in Russia and Ukraine. The rest are Alexander Nevsky Lavra in Saint Petersburg, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra in Kiev, Holy Dormition Pochajiv Lavra in Pochajiv and the Holy Mountains Lavra in Svyatogorsk.
- Ivan the Terrible was baptised in this Lavra. At that time baptism could be compared to having passports nowadays – every person had to be baptised right after birth. It guaranteed protection by an angel throughout the life.
- Life of a tsar, and Ivan the Terrible wasn’t an exception, was quite transparent for people. Tsar and Tsarina lived in separated palaces and when a tsar went to visit a tsarina a bell started ringing and people started praying for a birth of an heir.
- The theological seminary on the territory of the convent was built due to the order of Peter the Great after he had been twice protected by the monks of Lavra. There was a riot when he was 9 and a plot against him when he was 17. He was chased by sharpshooters and the monks saved him behind the walls of the monastery and didn’t let the riot leaders kill or even catch him.
- The Lavra is titled after a saint St. Sergius, called Bartholomey before he was baptized. He was born in the city of Rostov in a religious family, he attended messes but couldn’t read, this fact upset him, particularly because he couldn’t read the Bible. Once he was shepherding horses and saw an old man, who gave him a piece of holy bread. Since then he started reading, which motivated him to leave his hometown after his parents died and build a tiny wooden church, which later became Lavra.
- St. Sergius of Radonezh became the saint when he was still alive. He played a huge role in politics. That was St. Sergius who blessed the-then duke Dmitry Donskoy before one of the most important battles throughout the history of the Russian nation – the battle over Tatar-Mongols on the Kulikov field, which ended successfully for the Russian side. He is also the patron saint of all who study.
- A number of paintings are dedicated to the personality of St Sergius. The miracle mentioned before is depicted on a famous painting “A miracle to a child Bartholomey” by Nesterov, which is now kept in Tretyakov gallery. Also, the gates to Lavra are painted with different stories from the life of St Sergius. The most famous painting contains an image of a bear and St Sergius giving a piece of bread to the bear, which is the most recognizable topic of his life.
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