The name of the town Sergyev Posad is directly linked to the name of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh (Sergey Radonejsky) who was a spiritual leader and monastic reformer of Russia at the Middle Ages.
The biography says that in his childhood Bartholomew (the baptismal name of Sergius) met a monastic elder who gave him proshora (holy bread) and predicted his future. Since then he decided to become a monk.
After the death of his parents he persuaded his brother to leave the terrestrial life and find a place for seclusion. In the deep forest they built a cell and a church dedicated in honor of Trinity. A little bit later other monks came to live nearby. Thus the history of Trinity St-Sergius Lavra and the town Sergyev Posad started.
The importance of Sergey Radonejsky in the Russian history and culture is very high. He became a spiritual authority both for simple people and princes. He blessed the prince Dmitry Donskoy for the Battle of Kulikovo which put an end of the Mongol-Tatar Yoke (1380). And even now many pilgrims are coming to Trinity St-Sergius Lavra to bow to the saint which relics are conserved here in the Saint-Trinity cathedral.
The Dormition cathedral is the most majestic church of the whole architectural complex of the Trinity St-Sergius Lavra. Its blue domes with stars are well-recognized from everywhere. Ivan the Terrible revered much Sergey Radonejsky and visited the monastery quite often. It was him who founded the cathedral in 1559 but it was consecrated after his death.
The monastery has always been the main sacred place of Russia, Ivan IV the Terrible patronized it. He was baptized in the Trinity cathedral and donated much for its development and construction. Powerful walls were erected and the monastery became a fortress.
Other Russian tsars also visited the Lavra and took shelter here.
There are more than 50 buildings of the architectural complex of Trinity St-Sergius Lavra: churches, towers, cells and a bell tower.
Numerous treasures are stored in the sacristy – these are unique decorative and applied art objects, gifts of the tsars and nobles. The Lavra library keeps Russian chronicles and unique early printed books , historical documents.
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