Sergiev Posad, Russia
When you pronounce the name of the city of Sergiev Posad, whatever one may say, the majestic monastic complex, an important spiritual center of our country, the monastery of St. Sergius of Radonezh – the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, rises before your eyes. It is difficult to avoid platitudes and clichés when mentioning this monastery, and is it worth it? Yes, it is protected by UNESCO. Yes, this is the only city in the Moscow region included in the Golden Ring of Russia route. And again, yes, it is Posad that is visited every year by up to half a million pilgrims. All these facts speak better than the most beautiful words about the significance of this place for Russian people. Once upon a time, prominent figures of Orthodoxy worked here – Pavel Florensky and Alexander Men, gathered with thoughts Vasily Rozanov and Konstantin Leontiev. Today it is a large lively city, where on weekends there are noisy shops with toys and souvenirs, the rattling of glasses with mead is heard from restaurants, clumsy tourist buses are buzzing from the avenues. Only one picture does not change – this is a dense stream of pilgrims to the Trinity Cathedral, which never dries up. There, like many years ago. See JIBIN123 for Russia customs regulations and visa requirements.
All laity should remember that the Lavra is the largest active monastery in Russia, the residence of the patriarch, and certain rules must be observed on its territory. Entrance to the monastery in T-shirts, shorts, mini-skirts and open dresses is prohibited; women are advised to wear a headscarf.
How to get to Sergiev Posad
From Moscow, you can get to Sergiev Posad by train, bus or private car. Of course, the first option is preferable, because in this case it will be possible to avoid traffic jams on the Yaroslavl Highway, and they rarely happen there. On the other hand, a car provides complete freedom (I want to go, I want to make a stop), and the bus is for those who do not want to steer themselves or endure the peculiar romance of trains. In a word, both methods of transportation have both advantages and disadvantages.
Of course, no public transport is needed in the center of Posada – everything is within walking distance. But if you wish, you can also use buses – their main routes are quite suitable for tourists, for example, between the railway station and the Lavra (the cost is 23 RUB).
However, one of the sights that are located in the vicinity of the Lavra cannot be visited without buses or trains. So, in particular, to the Paraclete desert you will need bus number 38 to the village. Change. The same route will come in handy when traveling to the Gethsemane Skete, but you will need to get off at the Turn to Change stop (the second option is to take a minibus to the Farm). To Gremyachiy Klyuch, look for bus No. 120 or No. 37 to the Shiltsy stop, in Abramtsevo or Khotkovo – by train to the stations of the same name (15-20 minutes on the way). In the latter case, bus number 388, which goes to Moscow, may also come in handy, some of them (not all, check!) Call in Radonezh and Khotkovo. Which is somewhat more convenient than the train, since the station in Khotkovo is located about a kilometer from the Intercession Monastery.
Sergiev Posad Hotels
The average check for a room in Posada hotels, to put it mildly, is not small – it starts at about 2000 RUB. If you want to save money, you can stay in a hostel (from 700 RUB per bed in a dormitory room), or look for a hotel a little further from the Lavra, for example, in the Khotkovo area. Apartments are another good way to stay closer to the walls of the monastery and not overpay, especially for large families or companies. For those who do not care about the thickness of the wallet, there is expanse in Posada: there are cozy small mini-hotels with 10 rooms, and royal chambers decorated in Russian style, and even hotels with spa services.
Lavra is a major religious center of the country, where not only lay pilgrims aspire, but also ministers of the Church. For them, on the territory of Posad, several hotels were opened at once – hospitable houses, where you can stay for mere pennies: 150-300 RUB. When there are free cells, then ordinary lay people can be admitted (in some – only men, in others – men and women separately). It is best to check the availability of free beds directly at the pilgrimage information center, which is located next to the entrance to the Gate Church in honor of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.
Souvenirs of Sergiev Posad
Nesting dolls and Bogorodsk bears, down scarves and magnets, mugs and plates, birch bark products, as well as paintings with views of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra are the main souvenirs of the city. You can buy them on a large square in front of the Lavra, where craftsmen from all around spread their trays. Directly in the monastery there is a large book and icon shop where you can buy a lot of literature – both tourist (all kinds of guides and maps) and religious. There is a good selection of books for children and fiction, where, of course, the topic of religion is touched upon. They also sell icons, crosses, baptismal spoons and much more.
Excellent souvenirs from Posad can be bought in the refectory of the Lavra – this is the rich monastery kvass, and fragrant gingerbread, and old willow-tea or a barrel of amber honey.
For pilgrims, the best souvenir will be water from the spring of Savva Storozhevsky. It is located behind the Lavra – you need to go around the perimeter of the walls of the monastery, it is most convenient from the north side, through the Aptekarsky Lane. Here, by the way, you can take a bath.
7 things to do in Sergiev Posad
- Come to the Lavra on a clear frosty morning, by 6 o’clock, so that in peace and tranquility, until crowds of pilgrims pour in, bow to the relics of St. Sergius.
- Find a hole from the core in the iron door of the Trinity Church leading to the southern aisle. She remained from the siege of the monastery by the Polish-Lithuanian troops in 1608-1610. (Hint: to the right of the iconostasis.)
- Pick up bread and grain with you and with a generous hand scatter this wealth to the townspeople’s pigeons that are waiting for their meal at the main entrance to the Lavra.
- Go to the bookstore on the territory of the monastery to buy a pile of books.
- And then to the refectory – for a fragrant honey gingerbread. Buy it to all your friends and acquaintances, shamelessly gobbling up a good half on the way home.
- Go around the monastery walls along the perimeter, marveling at the power, grandeur and scope of the monastery of Sergius.
- Pull yourself together and finally decide where to go from the outskirts of the suburbs: to the monastery of art Abramtsevo, to the holy spring Gremyachiy Klyuch or to cozy Khotkovo.
Cafes and restaurants in Sergiev Posad
The highlight of Sergiev Posad in gastronomic terms is the abundance of restaurants with Russian national cuisine: pancakes, sbiten, mead, dumplings and similar dishes are here in assortment and for any budget. You can have an expensive and tasty lunch in one of the restaurants of the city, decorated in Russian style – like a merchant’s tower or a manor (from 600 RUB per person). You can have an inexpensive bite to eat right within the walls of the Lavra, in the local refectory. All dishes will be lean, but very tasty and authentic. And what kind of pies and cakes are baked here!
Entertainment and attractions of Sergiev Posad
The heart of the city is the bright monastery of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. Here you can safely spend the whole day exploring the local museum collections, walking along its imposing walls, looking at ancient frescoes and canonical faces looking from the icons. Even the most inquisitive will not be bored: there are more than 50 buildings on the territory of the monastery. But the main place of attraction for all pilgrims is, of course, the Trinity Cathedral, where the relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh are located. Pay attention to the unique horizontal iconostasis of this temple, which dates back to the 15th century and includes more than 40 icons. It is worth visiting inside the elegant Refectory Church, walking through the noisy suite of rooms of the “royal palaces” and in the Hospital Chambers with the Church of Zosima and Savvaty – this is the only tent temple on the territory of the monastery. The highest building of the Lavra is a five-tier baroque bell tower (1740-1770).) with chiming clocks and the largest bell in Russia. And, in the end, if you have time and energy left, you can go to the Sacristy – the best works from the monastery collection are stored here – contributions, icons, books. With the territory of the Lavra, it seems that everything, it’s time to inspect otherssights of Sergiev Posad.
For example, the famous Gethsemane Chernigov Skete with cave temples or the House of Pavel Florensky, a famous thinker, philosopher and theologian. A special pleasure is to take a walk to the Kelarsky Pond, on the hill near which stands the openwork Ilyinsky Church. Finally – a whole galaxy of places in the vicinity of Posad, which oblige to visit: the estate of the philanthropist Mamontov Abramtsevo, the Gremyachiy Klyuch spring, the springs of which opened thanks to the prayer of St. Sergius, the Intercession Monastery in Khotkovo – one of the oldest monasteries in Russia or the deserts of the Paraclete, which is valued for some special, blissful silence.
Not only Lavra: Sergiev Posad as a center for family tourism.
Museums of Sergiev Posad
Surprisingly, this exceptionally pilgrimage city is famous for its museum collections. The main one, of course, is located in the monastery sacristy. But for many decades, the famous Sergiev Posad Historical and Art Museum-Reserve has been under the second number, the collection of which includes more than 120 thousand exhibits. These are ancient icons, medieval manuscripts and early printed books, monuments of facial and ornamental sewing, church utensils, gold and silver items, paintings, drawings, folk and modern arts and crafts.
It is also worth visiting the charming Museum of Toys, whose touching collection will conquer even the most callous “rusk”. Standing apart here is the exposition of children’s portraits of very venerable authors – Tropinin, Makarov, Tyurin and other artists. Finally, you can look into a small but authentic museum of peasant life “Once upon a time”. Tourists with children will especially like it here: samovars, trays, a real epic oven and a lot of tales, stories, legends and fairy tales as a reward to everyone who ordered a tour of the original collection is guaranteed.