Sergiev Posad and its outskirts. Not by dome alone
Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius — Open-air museum «Konny dvor» — The Museum of toys — Bogorodskaya toy factory — Gremyachy Spring

Among all the cities, which were renamed in the Soviet times, SergievPosad was probably the luckiest. Its cozy name Zagorsk was associated with something truly Russian, folk (literal translation is «behind hills»).

The name is very Soviet though — the city as named after a famous Bolshevik Lubotsky, who had a pseudo name Zagorsky. The original name — SergievPosad — was given back in 1991. It is by the way the only town in Moscow Region, which is included in Golden Ring. 

This is how the name appeared: in 1340s two brothers, Bartholomew and Stephan, built a cell and a small church in honor of Blessed Trinity. It was at the junction of the Konchura river and a forest stream Vondyuga. Bartholomew soon took the vows and changed his name to Sergius, a small monastery appeared near the church, which later turned into a small town. 

Today Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius (Troitse-Sergieva Lavra) is a center of piligrimage. Tourists from Russia and all over the world come here to listen to the bells ringing and get some peace atmosphere. Posad is knowingly called the heart of Russian orthodoxy: this was the place where AndreyRublev painted his famous picture Trinity and Saint Sergius blessed Dmitry Donskoy for Kulikov Battle. All in all, there are plenty of reasons to get to know the city founded by a «wonder-worker of All Russia».

1. Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius (Troitse-SergievaLavra)
  • Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius (Troitse-SergievaLavra)
Painting "Andrei Rublev and Daniil Cherny", author N. Chernyshev
The center of Sergiyev Posad  is Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius: once you get in the town, you can’t miss it. It is both a museum and one of the biggest functioning monastery of Russia nowadays. When getting arranged for this trip, remember not to wear short skirts or shorts. 

The monastery includes more than 50 buildings. The architectural pearl is Troitsky cathedral, which was built instead of an old wooden church and painted by AndreyRublev and DaniilCherny. In this very cathedral there is a shrine with hallows of SergiusRadonezhsky.

Uspensky cathedral, decorated with frescos, has got the hallows of Saint Innokentiy and Venerable MaksimGrek. Having bought a ticket, you get the access to the sacristy, have a look at the famous embroideries of Russian handy women, valuable chalices, see a golden icon setting of Rublev’s «Trinity». And it is strongly recommended to observe Duck tower with a high spire, crowned with a stone duck. You will probably spend the whole day in Lavra — there are that many treasures here, both material and spiritual.
2. Open-air museum «Konny dvor» (stable yard)
  • The museum of the history and art of the city
Konny dvor is a large collection of rarities
But the monastery didn’t have enough room for all the interesting things, so the rest of them is in «Konny dvor», right in front of Lavra, across KrasnoyArmii avenue. There are no horses here, despite the name («konnyy» means «horse»), but there is a museum of the history and art of the city — a large collection of rarities, made by monarchs through the long history of Lavra. 

Inserted books, monastery registrations, tsars’, grand dukes’, apanage princes’ and boyars’ gifts, golden utensils — there are more than 120 000 exhibits in the museum — more than enough.
3. The Museum of toys
  • Not all of the Posad’s treasures are icons and gold
Scientific Research Institute of Toys
However, not all of the Posad’s treasures are icons and gold. There is also something completely different. For example, Scientific Research Institute of Toys. It was founded after the Second World War. Its staff was very thorough: they re-invented a famous tumbler toy, making a mass production of it. 

All the toys of the Institute can be found in the Museum of Toys. But it is just a small part of the museum’s exposition: in a red-brick building on Volokusha hill in front of Lavra there are about 30 000 exhibits from all over the world. Wooden Red Army men, matryoshkas, Artificial Intelligence Machines from Europe and Japanese demons with rolling eyes — it is very impressive for adults, let alone little children!
4. Bogorodskaya toy factory
  • The toys are cut from lime-tree
The best of them are sent to the shops and even museums.
In the childhood of Soviet kids there were no transformers or ninja turtles, yet there were enough Bogorodsk toys. Hens, pecking seeds, a man with a bear, cutting a log with an axe, funny articulate acrobats, balancing between two strips of board — this children’s delight is made in Bogorodskoe village, 27 km from SergievPosad. 

As in old times (the craft was founded in the beginning of the 16th century by local peasants), the toys are cut from lime-tree and they are in a really popular demand. The best of them are sent to the shops and even museums. There is a museum and a souvenir shop attached to the factory.

How to get there

From Sergiyev Posad  bus station to Bogorodskoe by bus 49. By car through Novouglitchskoe highway, turning to Shemetovo.
5. Gremyachy Spring
  • The temperature is about 6 °C the whole year
This waterfall is quite a famous place
There is also a small waterfall not so far from Posad. According to the legend, it appeared after the SergiusRadonezhsky’s prayer, when he and his follower lodged there for the night on their way to Kirzhach. You can find Gremyachy Spring on the 80th kilometer of Yaroslavskoe highway, when you turn to Nizhny Novgorod before traffic control post and then go further until you see the sign «Botovo, Gremyachy Spring»).

The waterfall is really wonderful — the water springs through limestone from the bank filling a big wooden font with ice-cold water. The temperature is about 6 °C the whole year. There is a temple and a chapel next to it, but the pilgrims come here not only on Epiphany.

This waterfall is quite a famous place, people come to pray here all the time, though the path to the spring leaves much to be desired — in autumn or spring you will have to walk 5 kilometers — if you don’t have a high-capacity off-road car, tractor or IFV.

Where to stay

There is no shortage go hotels. «RusskyDvorik», «Kovcheg», «Tsentralnaya», «Pravoslavnaya», «Posadsky» — choose according to your preferences and budget.

Where to eat

The majority of good cafes are in front of Lavra, at an intersection of KrasnoyArmiiavenue with Karl Marks street. There is a very fancy restaurant «TrapezanaMakovtse» for very respectable gentlemen.

How to get there

By car: about 70 km from Moscow on the north-west on Yaroslavskoe highway.
Public transport: suburban train from Yaroslavsky railway station. Directions: SergievPosad, Aleksandrov, Balakirevo, The journey time is about an hour and a half, the ticket costs 140 roubles. You can also take the bus 388 from VDNKH metro station.

Author: Daniil Kolomiychuk

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