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    Sergiev Posad

The town of Sergiev Posad slowly grows around the Troitse-Sergiev monastery (the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius), the greatest Russian monastery, founded by Sergiy Radonezhsky (St. Sergius of Radonezh) in 1345. In 1380 the Troitse-Sergiev monastery becomes the place, where army of Dmitry Donskoy is blessed before the Battle of Kulikovo and gains the first significant victory in the fught against the Golden Horde.

In 1422 the first stone cathedral of the monastery is built its name is Troitsky (Troitsa in Russian means Trinity), which serves as the shrine of Sergiy Radonezhsky, and in 1450 building of first stone wall of the monastery begins. After a century of hard work the monastery becomes surrounded with a thick stone wall with 11 towers. Ivan the Terrible keps engineering works under his personal control and come to the monastery to inspect the course of raising the wall.

In 1682 walls of the monastery shelter young Peter the Great, Inav and Sophia, who escaped from Moscow during the Streltsy uprising of April-May 1682. In 1689 Peter returns to the Troitse-Sergiev monastery, seeking the place to hide from his reigning sister Sophia Alexeevna, and later sentences the Streltsy forces to public execution on the square in front of the monastery.

Military garrison settles in the monastery in 1710, and this is the time when villages and other settlements start actively appearing around it. The place now attracts not not only monks and pilgrims, but also peasants and other ordinary people. In 1743 the monastery opens its own seminary, and in 1744 it changes its status and is now titled Lavra. The Lavra possesses vast territories with significant state privileges, which create favourable conditions for trade and crafts development. Settlements finally form a circle around the monastery, and in 1782 the town appears, bearing the name Sergiev Posad.

Lavra dwellers are responsible for active capital construction, building monastery hotels, alms-houses, shops, houses for rent and etc. In 1845 a comfortable road is built, making human inflow to the area even stronger, and in 1865 a railroad connects Sergiev Posad and Moscow. Towns economic life almost totally depends on needs of the Lavra and its visitors towns craftsmen produce crosses, icons and candles. However, most popular objects of industry are toys of Sergiev Posad buying a toty near the Lavra walls means doing something pleasing to God since St. Sergius made wooden toys himself. Monks perform a lot of business activities they build brick works, paper factory and printing works, and lease them to wage workers.

In the beginning of the 20th century the Lavra undergoes serious changes, since communists come to power. In 1918 Soviet government decides to close the monastery. In 1919 the grave of St. Sergius is blasphemously opened. In 1920 the monastery becomes a museum. However, in 1946 Stalin permits to open the Lavra and religious educational institutions. Since that moment the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is the largest existing monastery of Russian Orthodox church.

Today Sergiev Posad has over 100 thousand citizens and boasts developed industry, science and tourism fields, being the jem of Russian Golden ring.




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Sergiev Posad
  (Moscow Region)

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    Pavlovsky Posad

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