75km to the northeast of Moscow lies the town of Sergiev Posad (Zagorsk in the Soviet era). Although it is nowadays an industrial centre with a population of over 100,000, its fame rests on the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergii (a Lavra is the highest rank of Orthodox monastery, and there are only four in all Russia), the Russian Orthodox equivalent of the Vatican, which has a complex of medieval buildings to rival those of the Kremlin.
The monastery is named after St. Sergii of Radonezh, a 14th century monk from Rostov whose pious, ascetic existence attracted numerous followers to the hermit's retreat he had established in the forests around Moscow. The wooden monastery built by Sergii and his followers was razed by the Tartars shortly after his death, but his tomb survived and, in 1422, the year of his canonization, work began on the construction of the Trinity Cathedral.
This imposing, white-stone building, with unusual sloping walls and gold dome, became a blue-print for Russian church architecture and the inspiration for the Kremlin's Cathedral of the Assumption. In 1458 a brick chapel was added to house the tomb of Sergii's successor, Nikon of Radonezh. Inside the Cathedral there is a silver shrine containing the relics of St. Sergii, and an iconostasis with many works by Andrei Rublev.
In 1476, Ivan the Great instructed craftsmen from Pskov to build the graceful Church of the Holy Ghost, a rectangular structure of white brick, topped by a slender, blue and gold domed bell-tower, which also acted as a lookout post.
In the decade after 1540, the monastery's wooden fortifications were replaced with the mile-long brick walls that stand to this day. They were made higher in the mid 17th century, and tent-roofed spires were added to six of their ten defensive towers, as happened at the Kremlin at about the same time. The towers have names such as the Drying Tower and the Beer Tower, which refer to their former functions.
Ivan the Terrible's successful assault on Kazan in 1552 was prompted by the advice of Abbot Bassyan, head of the Trinity Lavra, and the Tsar expressed his gratitude by ordering the construction of the Cathedral of the Assumption. It was completed in 1585, during the regency of Boris Gudonov, who lies with his family in a modest tomb beneath the Cathedral walls. The Cathedral is similar in structure to its namesake in the Kremlin - and equally impressive - the major difference being in the colour scheme: Here the white walls contrast with four azure domes and a larger central gold one. Inside the Cathedral, a two-headed eagle stands as monument to the time in 1685 when the future Peter the Great took refuge here with his mother and brother from the marauding Streltsy. The boy Tsar was only saved by the sanctity of the place and the fortuitous arrival of a loyal cavalry regiment.
There are several other churches and chapels within and just outside the monastery walls, but the other main architectural attractions are the Refectory, a palatial building with intricate and brightly coloured decorations, completed in 1692, and the ornate Tsar Palace of the same period, which later became the Theological Academy.
Although the Russian capital moved to St. Petersburg, the Trinity Monastery remained the centre of the Russian Church until 1920, when the monastery was closed by the Bolshevik government, and the monks were sent off to labour camps. Stalin permitted the reopening of the monastery as part of victory celebrations in 1946, and it was the seat of the Russian Patriarch from then until 1988, when the honour was bestowed on the more central Danilov Monastery.
Ever since St. Sergii founded the monastery in the 14th Century, it has been a hugely popular destination for pilgrims, revered by all from Tsars to Soviet pensioners. If you have the chance to make only one day trip out of Moscow, then this is certainly where you should go.
Critiques | Translate
JFS (32459) 2010-06-20 9:04
What a wonderful scenery, it looks like unreal! The POV with the stone fence looks great and the domes all of different shapes and colors are superb. Very nitid and a really good depht of field. congratulations!
ikeharel (61549) 2010-06-20 9:08
Fabulous view over the monastery with it's colorful towers, I must say it is covers lot's of wide area and well manged into the frame.
great picture - well done.
francio64 (39655) 2010-06-20 9:46
un bel mix di colori e architettura per una foto che sembra un quadretto.
Ottime le prospettive. L'inserimento della ringhiera in primo piano conferisce un tocco di artistico alla foto.
Well done and TFS!
serp2000 (41700) 2010-06-20 9:50
Superb composition with excellent colours and lot of interesting objects. I like your Russian series.
Impressive colours! Great!
Greetings from Ural,
janusz2054 (2) 2010-06-20 9:54
Another beautiful view of this Sergiev Posad with amazing architecture.Great colours and sharpness.
Lovely and well composed shot.
yeln (11516) 2010-06-20 10:12
ja ujel sem resnično lepo nebo, saj veš, da nimam PS na pc-ju.
tale tvoja slika je kakor iz knjig s pravljicami, tako zelo ostra in topla, da bi jo kar prijel z roko.
izredne barve !!!! modra je fantastična. BRAVO!
p.s. ali si opazil, da je danes slab dan? jutri pridi na kavo! nujno!
sabermonajati (10093) 2010-06-20 10:23
a lot of tomb ,golden ,blue...together are splendid.
Gigsn (858) 2010-06-20 11:08
I like the fence in the front!
Colors, sharpness and the beautifully sky: everething fits perfectly!
greetings from GIGI
Silvio1953 (128528) 2010-06-20 11:30
Ciao Sasko, dreaming composition with fantastic architecture, superb sky, splendid colors and excellent clarity, very well done my friend, bravo, ciao Silvio
PaulVDV (24075) 2010-06-20 11:31
The stone balustrade on the foreground works very well for the composition.
The picture also has a good depth of field.
The most beautiful and impressive are of course the so many domes, golden and blue, and the several towers we get to see here.
I think your photo shoot of Moscow will have convinced many people to visit this city.
Best regards, Paul
giorgimer (34899) 2010-06-20 12:58
yours is absolutely the best gallery of Moscow I've ever seen. Very nice POV, I like the inclusion of the bottom part. Nice colors
npecanhuk (69208) 2010-06-20 13:08
That's a wonderful cityscape!
That's a very beautiful picture!
I specially enjoy the different shapes and colors of those domes!
Sharpness, exposure, pov, dof, colors, pp, contrasts, horizontal & rectangular format, black & white borders and composition are all excellent!
TFS - congratulations!
TOMLEVMB (1522) 2010-06-20 13:18
This railing is a nice foreground. The sky is also very nice. And the roof to play all the colors. Large concentrations of Orthodox churches in one place. Very good composition. Thank you for sharing.
macondo (18623) 2010-06-20 13:20
Wonderful composition! Great idea to place the low balustrade in the foreground. The buildings are brilliantly coloured and you have a wonderful sky. It looks truly a marvellous religious complex, and the combination of blue and gold is beautiful. Great work and interesting note.
dkmurphys (51573) 2010-06-20 13:32
they sure have a think for good and intense colors. Well composed, nice panoramic view.
vasilpro (41091) 2010-06-20 14:01
The colorful domes of the churches make your composition very picturesque, interesting architecture, excellent light management, very nice POV and very good DOF.
Have a nice week, Vasilis.
Budapestman (82620) 2010-06-20 15:24
a picturesque view with amazing details, the POV is very spectacular, beautiful colours and lights, fabled impression, Tfs! Have a nice week! Kellemes hetet kívánok!
edge (6765) 2010-06-20 19:12
Hello Sasko, Wow another fine grouping of stunning buildings from Russia. This monastary is unbelievably colorful and the domes of blue and gold are standouts for this picture. You were very successful in capturing all of this assemblage of buildings into on picture. Finally, the use of the white fence or railing is great creativity on your part. Outstanding picture. I must also add that the notes were most informative. Regards, Roger
romanaa (7966) 2010-06-21 3:04
a fairy tale place with all those blue and gold cupolas. I love your composition with the balustrade underlining the scene. The clouds only added maximum beauty.
SWEETFREEDOM (23280) 2010-06-21 9:35
Very nice p.o.v. with the balcony in foreground. I like the golden and blue domes of the monastery.
Very good colors and sharpness.
ciakgiak (30423) 2010-06-21 9:59
the panoramic view is superb, I like a lot the architecture of the colorful building and the idea of the element in FG that give a great depht to your image. Congratulations, TFS.
ManuMay (36083) 2010-06-21 10:44
Very beautiful view, excellent colours and contrasts and a very nice idea to frame with balaustrade, original and very good!!
Have a nice day...
JCG (35129) 2010-06-21 11:29
Good use of this balustrade to insulate this superb and interesting panorama on this coloured architectural unit. I like much the depth that gives to the image and the relief supported by this dynamic sky. A beautiful photograph and thank you for your instructive note which accompanies your composition, thank you Sasko.
With all my friendships and a very good evening,
kordinator (19844) 2010-06-24 7:46
Ova tvoja kompozicija po lepoti izgleda zaista bajkovito gotovo nestvarno.
Prelepa arhitektura I čega sve tu još nema pod prelepim nebeskim svodom.
Harmonija razlicitih nijansi boja.
Odlicna oštrina i svetlo.
Perfektan rad I propratni tekst.
mkamionka (32043) 2010-06-26 3:38
The architecture is spectacular itself but you also did a fantastic job here. Your photo looks like a painting, an illustration to a fairy tale. I like very much the framing with the attractive barrier, and you have also a very impressive sky.
The view is extraordinary and it seems to me that it may be one of the most impressive monasteries in the world.
I am so jealous.
I will keep repeating: your reportage reveals for me a completely new image of Russia. I did hear about this monastery before but this POV says everything without the words.
You have perfectly used the potential of this place and surely you make a great advertisement for anybody considering a trip to Moscow.
Have a good weekend,
- Copyright: Sasko Glavica (Fante) (5429)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2010-04-25
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm AF-S DX F3.5-5.6G ED VR
- Exposure: f/13.0
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2010-06-20 8:59