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Old November 19th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #2221
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6.3. GOLDEN GATE IN VLADIMIR:

The Golden Gate of Vladimir, constructed between 1158 and 1164, are the only (albeit partially) preserved instance of the ancient Russian city gate. A museum inside focuses on the history of the Mongol invasion of Russia in the 13th century.

The Golden Gate existed in the holiest cities of Eastern Orthodoxy - Jerusalem, Constantinople, and Kiev. On making Vladimir his capital, Andrew the Pious (Andrey Bogolyubsky) aspired to emulate these structures, commissioning a lofty tower over the city's main gate to be erected in limestone and lined with golden plaques. According to ancient Russian chronicles, the masons were invited from Friedrich Barbarossa. The main arch used to stand 15 meters tall. The structure was topped with a barbican church dedicated to the Deposition of the Virgin's Robe and symbolizing the Theotokos's protection of Andrew's capital.

The gate survived the Mongol destruction of Vladimir in 1237. By the late 18th century, however, the structure got so dilapidated that Catherine the Great was afraid to pass through the arch for fear of its tumbling down. In 1779, she ordered the detailed measurements and drawings of the monument to be executed. In 1795, after many discussions, the vaults and barbican church were demolished. They constructed two flanking round towers in order to reinforce the structure and then reconstructed the barbican, following the drawings made in 1779.

Golden Gate of Vladimir (1158-1164, rebuilt in 1795-1810):

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Old November 19th, 2010, 12:52 AM   #2222
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SUZDAL is a town in Vladimir Oblast, Russia, situated north-east of Moscow, 26 kilometers (16 mi) from the city of Vladimir, on the Kamenka River. Population: 10.875 (2010).

The history of the town dates back to at least the year 1024. For centuries it functioned as the capital of several Russian principalities. It forms part of the Golden Ring. It was granted city status in 1777.

After a decline in political importance, the town rose in prominence as a religious center with numerous monasteries and a remarkable ratio of churches to citizens: at one point, forty churches for four hundred families. Today, the town operates as an important tourist center, featuring many fine examples of old Russian architecture — most of them churches and monasteries. Walking through the town one might get the feeling that every third building is a church. Although having over ten thousand residents, Suzdal still retains the look and feel of a small village with streams and meadows everywhere nearby, and chicken and livestock a common sight on the city streets, some of which are unpaved. This juxtaposition of stunning medieval architecture with its pastoral setting lends Suzdal a picturesque charm, and in the summer artists and easels are a common sight.

Belfry (17th century) and Church of the Resurrection (1695) of the Alexander Monastery (founded in 1240) in Suzdal:

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Old November 19th, 2010, 12:53 AM   #2223
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6.4. SUZDAL KREMLIN WITH THE CATHEDRAL OF THE NATIVITY:

The Suzdal Kremlin is the oldest part of the Russian city of Suzdal, dating from the 10th century. Like other Russian Kremlins, it was originally a fortress or citadel and was the religious and administrative center of the city. It is most notably the site of the Cathedral of the Nativity. Together with several structures in the neighboring city of Vladimir, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

While archeological evidence suggests that the Suzdal Kremlin was settled as early as the 10th century, the fortress itself was built in the late 11th or early 12th century. The fortress was strategically located on a bend of the Kamenka river on three sides and a moat to the east. It was surrounded by earthen ramparts that remain to the present day. A settlement (posad) to the east became home the secular population - shopkeepers and craftsmen, while the Kremlin proper was the home of the prince, the archbishop, and the high clergy.

From the 13th to the 16th centuries, several monasteries and churches were constructed, including the Cathedral of the Nativity, the Convent of the Intercession, and the Monastery of Our Saviour and St. Euthymius.


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Old November 19th, 2010, 12:59 AM   #2224
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The Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady in Suzdal is a World Heritage Site. It is one of the eight White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal. One of the most complex monuments of Russian medieval architecture. It was originally constructed during the reign of Vladimir II Monomakh during the late 11th century.

The Cathedral of the Nativity is surrounded by a ring of earthen walls in an oxbow of Kamenka River. It is notable for being the first city cathedral not built for the exclusive use of the knyaz or his relatives. The cathedral contains the remains of a son of Yury Dolgoruky, knyazes of the Shuisky family and others.

The cathedral was originally built during the reign of Vladimir II Monomakh. In 1222, on the orders of Yury II of Vladimir the dilapidated building was taken down and replaced by a new one built of white stone. Thus it remained until 1528, when the white stone walls above the arcade are replaced by brick. In the 17th century, the previously three-domed cathedral was given five domes and the interior was partially repainted. Thus the cathedral survives to this day with numerous changes throughout its history, both in the exterior, and the interior, where the wall frescoes are of 13th, 15th and 17th century origin. The cathedral has also endured fire several times.

Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady in Suzdal (1222-1225):

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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:01 AM   #2225
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6.5. MONASTERY OF SAINT EUTHYMIUS IN SUZDAL:

The Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius is a monastery in Suzdal, Russia.

The monastery was founded in the 14th century, and grew in importance in the 16th and 17th centuries after donations by Vasily III, Ivan IV and the Pozharsky family, a noble dynasty of the region. Among the buildings erected during this period were the Assumption Church, the bell tower, the surrounding walls and towers, and the seven-domed Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour. The cathedral was built in the style of the Grand Duchy of Vladimir-Suzdal. Its interior contains restored frescoes by the school of Gury Nikitin of Kostroma, dating from 1689. The tomb of Dmitry Pozharsky (Rurikid prince, who led Russia's struggle for independence against Polish-Lithuanian agression in 1611-1612) lies by the cathedral wall.

The monastery also contains a prison, built in 1764, which originally housed religious dissidents. The prison continued in use during the Soviet period, and among its better known prisoners was field marshal Friedrich Paulus, who was incarcerated here for a time after his surrender at Stalingrad. The prison now houses a museum about the monastery's military history.

Assumption Church with refectory (1525), Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour (1594) and Bell tower (16th-17th century):

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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:02 AM   #2226
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Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour (1594) and Tomb of Dmitry Pozharsky (1577-1642):

Sergey A
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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:03 AM   #2227
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6.6. THE CASTLE OF ANDREW THE PIOUS IN BOGOLYUBOVO:

Bogolyubovo is an urban-type settlement in Suzdalsky District, Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located some 10 kilometers (6 mi) north-east of Vladimir. Population: 4.218 (2002 Census).

Bogolyubovo was once the residence of the Prince Andrey Bogolyubsky (Andrew the Pious). It was built between 1158 and 1165 by the order of Andrey Bogolyubsky at the mouth of the Nerl River (where it flows into the Klyazma River). Great Prince Andrei spent 17 years of his reign in Bogolyubovo before he was murdered in 1174.

Russian Orthodox Christians believe that Bogolyubovo was founded on the spot where in 1155 Andrey Bogolyubsky saw a miraculous vision of the Theotokos (meaning "God bearer", Virgin Mary). The Theotokos appeared to him in a dream-like vision holding a scroll in Her right hand, and commanded him to build a church and monastery on the place of the vision. On that spot, the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl was built. It is on the World Heritage List of UNESCO since 1992.

Great Prince Andrey Bogolyubsky also commissioned an iconographer to paint the icon of the apparition of the Theotokos to him. This icon has been known as the Bogolubskaya Icon of the Theotokos. After Prince Andrey's death, Bogolyubovo was ravaged and ransacked by Prince Gleb of Ryazan in 1177. In 1230s, the Mongols destroyed its fortifications.

St. Bogolyubovo Monastery (founded in 1155) - Bogolyubo Cathedral (1855-1866, Konstantin Thon) and Gate Assumption Church with bell tower (1841):

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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:04 AM   #2228
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Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady (1751-1758) with the remains of the castle of Andrew the Pious (1158-1165):

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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:06 AM   #2229
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6.7. CHURCH OF THE INTERCESSION ON THE NERL IN BOGOLYUBOVO:

The Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin on the Nerl River is an Orthodox church and a symbol of mediaeval Russia. The church is situated at the confluence of Nerl and Klyazma Rivers in Bogolyubovo, 13 km north-east of the ancient capital of Vladimir.

The church was commissioned by Andrey Bogolyubsky (Andrew the Pious). It is possible to meet in literature that it was built in 1165 to commemorate Andrey's slain son Izyaslav. But Izyaslav died in autumn 1165, and the temple could not be built before the winter. The actual date of the church construction, based on the analysis of ancient Russian Chronicles by Professor Sergey Zagraevsky, is 1158.

The monument is built in white stone, has one dome and four columns in the interior. Its proportions are elongated on purpose to make its outline seem more slender, although this architectural solution made its interior too dark for holding divine services.

For centuries, the memorial church greeted everyone approaching the palace at Bogolyubovo. In spring, the area would be flooded, and the church appeared as if floating on water. The church itself has not been touched by later generations, only the dome's shape slightly changed, and galleries-porches were built in 12th-century, rebuilt in 18th-century and then demolished. The walls are still covered with 12th-century carvings.

In 1992, the church was added to the UN World Heritage List as part of the site White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal.

The Church of the Intercession on the Nerl (1158):

ann-39
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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:07 AM   #2230
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6.8. THE CHURCH OF BORIS AND GLEB IN KIDEKSHA:

Kideksha is a village (selo) in Suzdalsky District of Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Kamenka and Nerl Rivers, 4 kilometers (2 mi) east of Suzdal.

Kideksha used to be a town, but, after having been destroyed during the Mongol invasion of Rus, it degraded to a small village. Kideksha is a part of the Golden Ring of Russia and, since 1992, is one of Russia's World Heritage Sites.

Kideksha - the church of Boris and Gleb (1152-1157), Leaning Bell tower (18th century) and Church of St. Stephen (1780):

Sergey A
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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:08 AM   #2231
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The Church of Boris and Gleb is a church built in 1152, on the orders of Prince Yury Dolgoruky, in Kideksha on the Nerl River, "where the encampment of Saint Boris had been". It was probably part of the princely (wooden) palace complex, but was only used by Dolgoruky for a few years before he left to become Grand Prince of Kiev in 1155. The village, four kilometers east of Suzdal, was an important town before it was destroyed by the Mongols and declined in stature.

The church, built in limestone probably by architects from Galicia, is a four piered, three apse church. It is one of the oldest in the district and one of the few churches built by Dolgoruky that is still extant. It retains fragments of frescoes dating back to the twelfth century. In the medieval period it was the site of a monastery and was then a parish church. The building has been significanly altered over the centuries. It lost its original vaulting and dome (the current roof and small dome date to the seventeenth century) and the apses are thought to be half their original height (their tops too were lost with the roof); a porch was added in the nineteenth century.

The church is a part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site "White Monuments of Vladimir and Suzdal" along with the seven other medieval monuments located in Vladimir and its surroundings (The Vladimir-Suzdal Museum-Preserve), and belongs to the monuments of the Golden Ring of Russia.

The church, along with other structures built around it in later centuries (namely the St. Stephen's Church and bell-tower) appears on a three-ruble silver commememorative coin struck by the St. Petersburg Mint in 2002.

The church of Boris and Gleb in Kideksha (1152-1157):

Nick
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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:09 AM   #2232
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This World Heritage Site does not include, for reasons unknown, several closely related white monuments of Zalesye:

KNYAGININ CONVENT IN VLADIMIR:

The Knyaginin Monastery is actually a convent (the Russian word monastyr is used for both monasteries and convents), founded in Vladimir in the 13th century.

Maria Shvarnovna (1171-1205) was the first wife of Vsevolod III "Big Nest", and gave birth to twelve children (hence Vsevolod's sobriquet of "Big Nest".) Four of her sons, Konstantin, George, Yaroslav and Svyatoslav, succeeded their father as Grand Princes of Vladimir, and Yaroslav went on to become Grand Prince of Kiev around the time of the Mongol Invasion. As Yaroslav's mother, she is thus the paternal grandmother of Alexander Nevsky, whose son, Daniel of Moscow, founded the Muscovite branch of the Rurikid Dynasty.

Maria's origins are disputed. Some sources say she was Ossetian or Alan and tied to the Georgian royal house, while others, such as the Uspensky Sbornik (a thirteenth century text now housed in the Russian State Museum in Moscow) say she was Moravian. M. Shchepkina posited the idea that the Sbornik was compiled for Maria in 1199-1206, and thus the claims that she was Moravian might be more believable than the other claims, but Caucasian chronicles claim Vsevolod traveled to Tbilisi in 1170 (from Constantinople), where he was married to Maria at the suggestion of the Georgian King. The date of her death is also uncertain, as March 19, 1205 is also given in some accounts. The Novgorod First Chronicle mentions her death under the year 1205, but does not give an exact day. As it is mentioned after her son, Konstantin's, arrival in Novgorod on March 20, it would seem she died after that, perhaps in May.

Maria is venerated as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church and is credited with founding several convents, most notably the Convent (or female monastery) of the Assumption, known as the Princess' Convent (Knyaginin Monastery) in Vladimir on Kliazma. According to several accounts, the monastery was founded in 1200 and Maria took the schema and the name Marfa (although this would have required her to have ended her marriage with Vsevolod, who outlived her by six years). She, along with her sister, Anna, were buried in the convent and her relics, along with those of several other saints, including Aleksandr Nevsky's first wife, Princess Alexandra, and his daughter, as well as others, are still housed in the monastery.

Assumption Cathedral (early 16th century) of the Princess' Convent (founded in 1200):

Alex-Raduga (Алексей)
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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:11 AM   #2233
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INTERCESSION CONVENT IN SUZDAL:

The Convent of the Intercession was founded in 1364. Its structures date back to the XVI-XVII centuries, and its walls - to the end of the XVII century. The crypt of the Cathedral of the Intercession contains the tombs of royal and high-ranking women banished to the convent. Alexandra - daughter of Ivan III, Solomonia Saburova - wife of Vasily III, Anna Vasilchikova - wife of Ivan IV (the Terrible) were buried here. Evdokia Lopukhina - first wife of Peter the Great spent nineteen years of her life in the convent.

Today it is a working convent. Small cell-houses that replaced the old ones in the 1970s provide accommodation for tourists. The Refectory hall houses a stylized restaurant. This is how the church and secular life combine behind the walls of the convent.

Intercession Cathedral (1510-1518):

Angeleto
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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:11 AM   #2234
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Intercession Cathedral (1510-1518) and Bell tower (16th century) of the Intercession Convent (founded in 1364):

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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:12 AM   #2235
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SAVIOUR'S CATHEDRAL IN PERESLAVL-ZALESSKY:

Pereslavl-Zalessky or Pereyaslavl-Zalessky (could be translated as "Pereslavl, which is located behind the woods"), is a town in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia. It was called Pereyaslavl until the 15th century. The town is located on the southeastern shore of the Lake Pleshcheyevo at the mouth of the Trubezh River. Population: 42.199 (2010). The town is located 140 km to the northeast of Moscow on the main Moscow Yaroslavl road and on the shores of Pleschevo Lake.

Pereslavl-Zalessky was founded in 1152 by Prince Yury Dolgoruky as a projected capital of Zalesye. In 1175–1302, the town was the center of the Principality of Pereslavl (Zalessky). In 1302, the town became a part of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Pereslavl-Zalessky had been devastated numerous times by the Mongols between the mid-13th century and the early 15th century. In 1611–1612, it suffered from the Polish-Lithuanian agression.

In 1688–1693, Peter the Great built his famous "fun flotilla" on Lake Pleshcheyevo for his own amusement, including the so-called Peter's little boat, which would be considered the forefather of the Russian fleet. The Botik (small boat) museum chronicles the history of the first Russian fleet and keeps one of the original model boats.

In 1708, Pereslavl-Zalessky became a part of Moscow Governorate. In 1894, Vladimir Lenin came to the village of Gorki not far from Pereslavl-Zalessky and typed his work entitled "Who are the 'friends of the people' and how do they fight Social Democrats?" on a hectograph. The town included in Golden Ring of Russia.

For 850 years now, on Red Square, a white single-domed church has stood out against the background of the old town ramparts. The Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Savior, the most ancient church of Vadimir-Suzdal architecture school, was erected between 1152 and 1157. It is built of white limestone, has walls that are one and a half meters thick and stands 34 meters high. Initially, the church was intended for the needs of the Prince’s court and the town fortress’s guards. The cathedral was the main church of Pereslavl and a burial place for its Princes, Dmitry Alexandrovich and Ivan Dmitrievich (1294-1302). Preserved until the present day are the temple icon “Transfiguration” of the 14th century, which you can see now in the Tretyakov Gallery, and the silver cup of the 12th century, exhibited in the Armory Chamber. Unfortunately, the ancient frescoes of the 12th century have not survived. The marble iconostasis was installed in the 19th century. Nowadays, the Cathedral is a monument of national significance and a branch of the Pereslavl-Zalessky Museum-Preserve.

Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Savior (1152-1157) and bust of Alexander Nevsky (1220-1263), who was born in the city:

elkozh
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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:14 AM   #2236
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CATHEDRAL OF SAINT GEORGE IN YURYEV-POLSKY:

Yuryev-Polsky is an old town and the administrative center of Yuryev-Polsky District of Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located in the upper reaches of the Koloksha River, 68 km northwest of Vladimir. Population: 19.444 (2010).

Yuryev-Polsky was founded by Yury Dolgoruky in 1152. First part of its name derives from Yury's patron saint, St. George. The second part is derived from the word polsky meaning "in the fields". This specification was needed in order to distinguish the town from the earlier established fortress of Yuryev (nowadays Tartu), at the time located in the woods in what is now Estonia and then the biggest Russian settlement in the territory of the Chuds.

Upon Vsevolod III's death in 1212, the town was assigned to one of his youngest sons, Svyatoslav. It was that prince who personally designed the town's chief landmark, the Cathedral of St. George (1230–1234). It is the latest pre-Mongol construction in Russia, unprecedented in abundance of stone sculptures, and also the model for first stone churches in the Moscow Kremlin. In the 1460s, the cathedral's dome collapsed, thus burying most of unique sculptures which had adorned the cathedral walls. The collapsed roof was sloppily restored by a well-known Muscovite artisan, Vasily Yermolin, in 1471.

The great Battle of Lipitsa was fought near the town in 1216. In 1238, Yuriev was sacked by the Mongols. A century later, it was incorporated into Muscovy. The chief monument of the Muscovite period is the walled Monastery of Archangel Michael, originally founded in the 13th century and containing various buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Several miles from Yuryev, on the bank of the Yakhroma River, stands the Kosmin Cloister, whose structures are typical for the mid-17th century.

Cathedral of Saint George (1230-1234) was the last stone church built in Russia before the Mongol invasion:

Anarinke
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Old November 24th, 2010, 01:28 AM   #2237
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THE LIST OF RUSSIAN WORLD HERITAGE SITES:

7. (UN #657; 1993) ARCHITECTURAL ENSEMBLE OF THE HOLY TRINITY-ST. SERGIUS LAVRA IN SERGIYEV POSAD (15th-18th century):

Brief UNESCO's description: "This is a fine example of a working Orthodox monastery, with military features that are typical of the 15th to the 18th century, the period during which it developed. The main church of the Lavra, the Cathedral of the Assumption (echoing the Kremlin Cathedral of the same name), contains the tomb of Boris Godunov. Among the treasures of the Lavra is the famous icon, 'The Trinity', by Andrey Rublev".

Sergiyev Posad is a city and the administrative center of Sergiyevo-Posadsky District of Moscow Oblast, Russia. It grew up in the 15th century around one of the greatest of Russian monasteries, the Troitse-Sergiyeva (Trinity) Lavra established by St. Sergius of Radonezh. The town became incorporated in 1742. As the town's name, alluding to St. Sergius, had strong religious connotations, the Soviet authorities changed first to just Sergiyev in 1919, and then to Zagorsk in 1930, in memory of the revolutionary Vladimir Zagorsky. The original name came back into official use in 1991. Population: 105.800 (2010).

Tourism associated with the Golden Ring plays a role in the regional economy. There is also an important factory of toys. The Moscow – Yaroslavl railway and highway pass through the town. Sergiyev Posad Bus Terminal is located in the city.

Sergiyev Posad:

Mosobl
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Old November 24th, 2010, 01:30 AM   #2238
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TRINITY LAVRA OF ST. SERGIUS:

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is the most important Russian monastery and the spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church. The monastery is situated in the town of Sergiyev Posad, about 70 km to the north-east from Moscow by the road leading to Yaroslavl, and currently is home to over 300 monks.

The monastery was founded in 1345 by one of the most venerated Russian saints, Sergius of Radonezh (1314-1392), who built a wooden church in honour of the Holy Trinity on Makovets Hill. Sergius was originally baptized with the name Bartholomew (Varfolomei). His parents Kirill and Maria became impoverished and moved to Radonezh together with their three sons: Stefan, Bartholomew and Peter. Although an intelligent boy, Bartholomew had great difficulty learning to read. His Life states that a starets (spiritual elder) met him one day and gave him a piece of prosphora (holy bread) to eat, and from that day forward he was able to read. Orthodox Christians interpret the incident as being an angelic visitation.

"Vision to the Youth Bartholomew" (1889-1890, Mikhail Nesterov):

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Old November 24th, 2010, 01:32 AM   #2239
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Upon his parents' death, Bartholomew went to Khotkovo near Moscow, where his older brother Stefan was a monk. He persuaded Stefan to find a more secluded place to live the ascetic life. In the deep forest at Makovets hill they decided to build a small cell and a church dedicated in honor of the Trinity. Thus started the history of the great Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra.

In time, Stefan moved to a monastery in Moscow. Bartholomew took monastic vows, taking the name Sergius, and spent more than a year in the forest alone as a hermit. Soon, however, other monks started coming to him and building their own cells. After some time, they persuaded him to become their hegumen, or father superior, and he was ordained to the priesthood. Following his example, all the monks had to live by their own labor. Over time, more and more monks and donations came to this place. Nearby, there appeared a posad, which grew into the town of Sergiyev Posad, and other villages. Early development of the monastic community is well documented in contemporary lives of Sergius and his disciples. In 1355, Sergius introduced a charter which required the construction of auxiliary buildings, such as refectory, kitchen, and bakery. This charter was a model for Sergius' numerous followers who founded more than 400 cloisters all over Russia, including the celebrated Solovetsky, Kirilov, and Simonov monasteries.

St. Sergius supported Dmitry Donskoy in his struggle against the Tatars and sent two of his monks, Peresvet and Oslyabya, to participate in the Battle of Kulikovo (1380). At the outbreak of the battle, Peresvet died in a single combat against a Tatar bogatyr. Russian victory in the Battle of Kulikovo was the early signal of the end of the "Mongol yoke" (vassalage), which officially ended with the great standing on the Ugra river a century later. Its spiritual importance for the unification of the Russian lands was even more important. As historian Nikolay Karamzin said, the Russians went to the Kulikovo Field as citizens of various principalities and returned as a united Russian nation.

"Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra" (1907, Ernest Lissner). Sergius of Radonezh blessing Dmitry Donskoy before the Battle of Kulikovo:

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Old November 24th, 2010, 01:33 AM   #2240
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The monastery was devastated by fire, when a Tatar unit raided the area in 1408. In 1422 St. Sergius was declared patron saint of the Russian state. The same year the first stone cathedral was built by a team of Serbian monks who had found refuge in the monastery after the Battle of Kosovo (1389). The relics of St. Sergius still may be seen in this cathedral, dedicated to the Holy Trinity. The greatest icon painters of medieval Russia, Andrey Rublev and Daniil Chyorny, were summoned to decorate the cathedral with frescoes. Traditionally, Muscovite royals were baptized in this cathedral and held thanksgiving services here. In 1476, Ivan III invited several Pskovian masters to build the church of the Holy Spirit. This graceful structure is one of the few remaining examples of a Russian church topped with a belltower. The interior contains the earliest specimens of the use of glazed tiles for decoration. In the early 16th century, Vasily III added the Nikon annex and the Serapion tent, where several of Sergius' disciples were interred.

It took 26 years to construct the six-pillared Assumption Cathedral, which was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in 1559. The cathedral is much larger than its model and namesake in the Moscow Kremlin. The magnificent iconostasis of the 16th–18th centuries features Simon Ushakov's masterpiece, the icon of Last Supper. Interior walls were painted with violet and blue frescoes by a team of Yaroslavl masters in 1684. The vault contains burials of Boris Godunov, his family and several 20th-century patriarchs. As the monastery grew into one of the wealthiest landowners in Russia, the woods where it had stood were cut over and a village (or posad) sprang up near the monastery walls. It gradually developed into the modern town of Sergiyev Posad. The cloister itself was a notable centre of chronicle-writing and icon painting. Just opposite the monastery walls St. Paraskeva's Convent was established, among whose buildings St. Paraskeva's Church (1547), Introduction Church (1547), and a 17th-century chapel over St. Paraskeva's well are still visible.

In 1550s, a wooden palisade surrounding the cloister was replaced with 1.5 km-long stone walls, featuring twelve towers, which helped the monastery to withstand a celebrated 16-month Polish-Lithuanian siege in 1608–1610. A shell-hole in the cathedral gates is preserved as a reminder of Wladyslaw IV's abortive siege in 1618. By the end of the 17th century, when young Peter I twice found refuge within the monastery from his enemies, numerous buildings had been added. These include a small baroque palace of the patriarchs, noted for its luxurious interiors, and a royal palace, with its facades painted in checkerboard design. The refectory of St. Sergius, covering 510 square meters and also painted in dazzling checkerboard design, used to be the largest hall in Russia. The five-domed Church of John the Baptist's Nativity (1693–1699) was commissioned by the Stroganovs and built over one of the gates. Other 17th-century structures include the monks' cells, a hospital topped with a tented church, and a chapel built over a holy well discovered in 1644.

In 1744, Empress Elizabeth conferred on the cloister the dignity of the Lavra. The metropolitan of Moscow was henceforth also the Archimandrite of the Lavra. Elizabeth particularly favoured the Trinity and annually proceeded afoot from Moscow to the cloister. Her secret spouse Alexey Razumovsky accompanied her on such journeys and commissioned a baroque church to the Virgin of Smolensk, the last major shrine to be erected in the Lavra. Another pledge of Elizabeth's affection for the monastery is a white-and-blue baroque belltower, which, at 88 meters, was one of the tallest structures built in Russia up to that date. Its architects were Ivan Michurin and Dmitry Ukhtomsky. Throughout the 19th century, the Lavra maintained its status as the richest Russian monastery. A seminary founded in 1742 was replaced by an ecclesiastical academy in 1814. The monastery boasted a supreme collection of manuscripts and books. Medieval collections of the Lavra sacristy attracted thousands of visitors. In Sergiyev Posad, the monastery maintained several sketes, one of which is a place of burial for the conservative philosophers Konstantin Leontiev and Vasily Rozanov.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Soviet government closed the lavra in 1920. Its buildings were assigned to different civic institutions or declared museums. In 1930, monastery bells, including the Tsar-Bell of 65 tons, were destroyed. Pavel Florensky and his followers could hardly prevent the authorities from stealing and selling the sacristy collection but overall many valuables were lost or transferred to other collections. In 1945, following Joseph Stalin's temporary tolerance of the church during World War II, the Lavra was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church. On April 16, 1946 divine service was renewed at the Assumption Cathedral. The lavra continued as the seat of Moscow Patriarchy until 1983, when the patriarch was allowed to settle at the Danilov Monastery in Moscow. After that, the monastery continued as a prime centre of religious education. Important restoration works were conducted in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UN World Heritage List. The Lavra has a number of "outreach offices" (podvorie) in its vicinity and throughout Russia. The Lavra's hieromonks have manned a number of sketes at remote locations (such as the Anzer Island in the Solovki Archipelago in the White Sea), as well as the Trinity Church on the King George Island in the Antarctic.

Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius (founded in 1345):

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