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Sergiev Posad, Russia

Sergiev Posad is located about 45 miles northeast of Moscow and is named after Saint Sergey Radonezhsky - Russia’s patron saint. Sergey, a revered monk from Rostov, founded a small wooden temple deep in the Russian forest in 1345. His followers helped him establish a settlement nearby, forming the famous Trinity Monastery.

The wooden monastery, constructed by Sergey and his followers, was destroyed by the Tartars shortly after his death. Nevertheless, his tomb survived and the Trinity Cathedral was built in 1422 - the year when Sergey was canonized. The greatest icon painters of medieval Russia, Andrei Rublev and Daniil Chyorny, were invited to decorate the cathedral with frescoes. Its walls were made of white stone, had unusual sloping walls and a gold dome, inspiring the many churches of a similar design later built all across the country. The Trinity Cathedral is also the oldest building of the complex still standing today.

Nowadays the monastery carries the name of Trinity Lavra of St. Sergey. It is considered the "Russian Vatican" and is home to the Russian patriarch. For centuries the monastery has been the greatest and biggest religious, spiritual and cultural center of the country and is the cradle of Russian Orthodoxy. Moreover, the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergey has been a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site since 1993.

The complex encompasses a series of medieval buildings, and the Trinity Lavra’s unique combination of a fortress and monastery house the seminary of the Russian Orthodox Church. Another beautiful church on the grounds of Sergiev Posad is the 1585 Cathedral of the Assumption, which is easily recognized by its blue star-spangled domes. Other notable buildings include the stunning 18th century baroque bell tower and the 1692 Refectory Church of St. Sergius. The museum is also worth a visit, here old religious objects, woven pictures of saints and other relics are on display.

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Sergiev Posad, Russia

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Sergiev Posad, Russia

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