Day 4: Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery & Suzdal
Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery
In the morning, we loaded onto our bus and drove to Sergiev Posad to see the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery. Sergiev Posad is a small town about 50 miles northeast of Moscow and was founded in the 14th century by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. It served as the administrative center of Russian Orthodoxy from the 15th century until its closing by the Bolsheviks in 1920.
The Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery is known for its architecture, including the Trinity Cathedral (1422-23), containing the relics of St. Sergius and an iconostasis painted by the workshop of the great icon painters Andrei Rublyov and Daniil Chyorny. Unfortunately, it was all under scaffolding while we were there and no photos are allowed inside. That part was a bummer. On the plus side, I saw a monks in traditional garb eating ice cream with their wives just outside the monestary. It was nice to watch them just as regular people. In the Russian Orthodox tradition, monks can be married if they were married prior to joining the priesthood. For more information about the monestary, click here.
Seven Sisters Skyscrapers
The building below is one of the Seven Sisters skyscrapers in Moscow, built in the Stalinist style. I believe it’s the building for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Another of the Seven Sisters skyscrapers is the Moscow State University, which I saw on day 1. I snapped a photo of it on the way to Sergiev-Posad.
In the afternoon, we traveled to Suzdal. It has been an independent city since its founding in the 11th century and avoided modern development during the late Imperial and Soviet periods. Accordingly, Suzdal has some of the most pristine examples of early Russian architecture and unspoiled fairytale-like qualities. Very peaceful. Below are photos of the Kremlin at sunset. The mosquitos were very active that night.
The Convent of the Intercession at dusk