Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius (Svyato-Troitskaya Sergieva Lavra)
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius has been the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church since the mid-14th century. In the small town of Sergiev Posad along Russia’s Golden Ring, the monastery complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an architectural marvel, capped with blue and gold onion domes and surrounded by castle-like walls.
A pilgrimage to the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a popular choice for a day trip from Moscow. Start your visit at the Trinity Cathedral, home to the tomb of St Sergius and a number of works by painter Andrei Rublev, then explore the rest of the complex. Additional highlights include the Cathedral of the Assumption, where you will find the tomb of Boris Godunov; the Chapel Over the Well, where pilgrims flock to drink the holy water; and the Monastery Museum, which is filled with icons, tapestries, jewels, and robes, all gifted to the monastery over the centuries.
Things to know before you go
- Trinity Lavra is one of the highlights of Russia’s famous Golden Ring sightseeing route, which can be explored on overnight or multi-day tours from Moscow.
- Trinity Lavra is a working monastery and place of worship; visitors should dress modestly, with knees and shoulders covered. Women should cover their hair, so bring a scarf.
- Admission to the monastery is free, but there is an admission fee to visit the museum.
- The monastery is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
How to get there
Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is located in the town of Sergiev Posad, about 45 miles (73 kilometers) northeast of Moscow. Regular trains run from Moscow’s Yaroslavsky train station to Sergiev Posad station, a 1.5-hour journey. From the station, it’s about a 10-minute walk to the monastery or you can hop in a taxi.
When to get there
The monastery is open daily and it can get busy, especially in the peak summer season. Tour groups typically arrive from 10am, so get their earlier if you can—the site opens at 8am. If you want to see everything, visit from Tuesday to Friday—the museum is closed on Mondays and the churches are closed on weekends except for services.
Russia’s Golden Ring
The Golden Ring is a sightseeing route that links eight historic cities northeast of Moscow. The entire loop covers about 435 (700 kilometers) and it’s a scenic 2- or 3-day itinerary, filled with architectural landmarks, sacred monasteries, and beautiful churches. Along with Sergiev Posad, highlights include the towns of Suzdal and Vladimir; the Transfiguration Cathedral in Pereslavl-Zalessky; the Rostov Kremlin in Rostov Veliky; and UNESCO-listed Yaroslavl.
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