Founded in the early mid-14th century by Russia’s most revered patron saint, Sergius of Radonezh, the Trinity Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad is the most significant Russian Orthodox monastery and one of the largest ever built in Russian history. From a small chapel built on a forest clearing on Makovets hill, the monastery grew and established a collection of over 50 architectural monuments from different periods within its fortified walls.
The oldest monument is the white-stone Holy Trinity Cathedral where the remains of St. Sergius rests and where frescoes created by master iconographers Andrei Rublev and Daniil Chernyi grace its walls. In 1744, it was bestowed the title of Lavra, the highest rank given to a monastery and is one of four Lavras in all of Russia.
The monastic ensemble is not only an outstanding illustration of Russian church art and architecture of the 15th to 18th centuries but also an incredibly well-built military fortress which had played a pivotal role many times in Russian history. Today, the Trinity of Sergius Lavra continues to be one of Russia’s main spiritual center and is the largest functioning male stauropegic monastery of the Orthodox church.
The city of Sergiev Posad where the Lavra is situated is part of the Golden Ring—a circle of eight cities northeast of Moscow which are known for their significance in Russian history and the establishment of the Russian Orthodox Church.