The Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, Sergiev Posad, Russia

The Holy Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius (Russian: Тро́ице-Се́ргиева Ла́вра) is the most important Russian monastery and the spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church. The monastery with a centuries-old history is situated in the town of Sergiyev Posad, about 70 km to the north-east from Moscow by the road leading to Yaroslavl.

The life of a hermit was very difficult and required a good deal of perseverance and will. Stephen could not take the rigours of winter and the scarcity of food. He preferred life in an urban monastery and left Bartholomew for Moscow. For about two years Bartholomew remained alone in the desert, and in silence and prayer he prepared himself for his monastic vows. After taking them with the name of Sergius, he lived even more austere ascetic life in solitude, reading the Bible, working in his garden and unceasingly praying. They built for themselves a cell and a small church, which they dedicated to the Lifegiving Trinity. That was the birth of the monastery, which later served as a source of pride and inspiration to the people of Russia.

Despite the distance of his hermitage, word concerning the exemplary ascetic life of St. Sergius soon spread everywhere and pious monks began coming to him in search of guidance. Later farmers and city dwellers used to come from all over for St. Sergius` blessing and advice and the n settled in the area of the monastery.

In the Middle Ages the monastery played an important role in the political life of North-Eastern Russia; was the support of power and the people. According to accepted historiography, he took part in the struggle against the Tatar-Mongol yoke; opposed the supporters of the false governments.

Monastery at Sergius of Radonezh:
In 1337 the future Reverend Sergius of Radonezh, then still bore the worldly name Bartholomew, and his elder brother Stefan, the monk of the Pokrovsky monastery of the Pokrovsky monastery, settled on Makovets hill, ten versts from Khotkov. This event is considered the date of the founding of the Trinity-Sergius desert. Soon the brothers put a small wooden church in the name of the Holy Trinity (was consecrated in 1340). The first monastic constructions – the temple of the Holy Trinity and several cells – occupied only a small part of the modern territory of the Lavra, located in its south-western corner. After Stephen’s departure to the Epiphany Monastery in Moscow, St. Sergius struggled alone for several years, but over time other monks began to settle around his cell. About 1340 the deserts turned into a separate monastery. The Patriarch of Constantinople Philotheus in his first (1353-1354 years) or the second (1364-1376) patriarchate blessed the Monk Sergius to introduce a dormitory charter. The territory of the monastery was divided into three parts – residential, public and defensive. In the center of the monastery there is a new wooden church of the Holy Trinity and a refectory surrounded by cells on four sides; behind the cells there were vegetable gardens and household services. The whole monastery was enclosed by a wooden fence (tyn). Above the gate was another wooden church, in the name of Dimitry of Thessalonica. The plan of the monastery, established then, in general terms has come down to our days. Hegumen of the monastery was firstly the abbot Mitrofan, who tonsured Bartholomew into monks under the name of Sergius. After the death of Mitrophan, St. Sergius of Radonezh became abbot of the monastery.

Soon Troitsky monastery became the spiritual center of the Russian lands, the support of the Moscow princes. Here in 1380 the Monk Sergius blessed the army of Prince Dmitry Ivanovich, who went to battle with Mamai. September 8, 1380 during the Kulikovo battle on the battlefield in violation of the charter of Orthodox monasticism, with the blessing of St. Sergius, the monks-heroes of the Trinity Monastery – Peresvet and Oslabya – came out. In 1392 the Monk Sergius reposed and was buried in the Church of the Holy Trinity; six months before his death, Sergius handed over the leadership of the monastery to his beloved disciple Nikon of Radonezh.

Monastery in the XV-XVI centuries. The first stone structures:
In 1408 the monastery was looted and burned by the Tatar Khan Yedigei, but the next 200 years of his history were almost cloudless. The Trinity Monastery was rebuilt, developed, became one of the main Russian shrines. The monastery for several centuries was the cultural and religious center of the Russian state. Chronicles were written in the monastery, manuscripts were copied, icons were written; in the XV century here was created “Life of St. Sergius of Radonezh”, one of the largest monuments of Old Russian literature, a valuable historical document.

In 1422, on the site of the wooden church (which was moved to the east), the hegumen Nikon of Radonezh built the first stone building of the monastery – the Trinity Cathedral, built by Serbian monks from Kosovo, who took refuge in the monastery after the battle on Kosovo Field [the source does not indicate 1385 days]. During the construction of the cathedral, the relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh were recovered. In the painting of the temple, prominent icon painters Andrei Rublev and Daniil Chyorny took part; for the iconostasis of the cathedral, the famous Trinity of Trubets was written. The Trinity Cathedral was revered by the Moscow princes: here molebens were performed before the campaigns and on their successful completion (for example, Vasily III mentioned a moleben for a successful march to Pskov in 1510, and Ivan IV the Terrible performed a moleben in honor of the successful capture of Kazan in 1552) The “crowning” clasped contracts, the baptism of heirs to the throne.

One of the most dramatic events of internecine wars in Moscow Rus is connected with the Troitsky monastery. In 1442 in the monastery at the coffin of Sergius reconciliation of Basil II with cousin Dimitri Shemyaka took place, which ended the long years of civil strife. However, two years later Dmitry violated this oath; the people of Shemyaki seized Vasily, who was praying at the tomb of Sergius, and was sent to Moscow under escort, where two days later Vasily was blinded and exiled to Uglich. The clergy of the Trinity Monastery condemned the actions of Dmitry Shemyaka (the first in the church condemnation of Shemyaki is the signature of the Troitsky hegumen Martinian), and the liberated Basil II in 1450-1462 gave the monastery a number of letters of commendation.

The Trinity Cathedral was for a long time the only stone structure of the monastery. In 1469, under the leadership of the Moscow architect Vasily Yermolin, a stone refectory was built in the central square. It was a two-story building consisting of two chambers: a “small meal of the fathers” (refectory for the brothers) on the first floor and the “royal chamber” on the second floor. The type of one-pillar chamber, first applied in the Trinity Monastery, was later used by the builders of the Faceted Chamber in Moscow, after which it became widespread. In the 18th century, a modern bell tower was built on the place of the refectory. Near the refectory on the project Eromolov built a stone kitchen. In 1476 near the Trinity Cathedral Pskov masters built the Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit.

In 1530 in the Trinity Cathedral the sacrament of baptism of the long-awaited son of Prince Vasily III, the future tsar Ivan IV the Terrible, was performed. In 1547, when lavish celebrations were held in Moscow on the occasion of the wedding of Ivan IV, the young king and his wife went on foot to the Trinity Monastery, where he spent a week praying daily at the grave of Sergius. Later, the Tsar often went to the monastery, performed prayer services on the occasion of the greatest victories of the Russian troops; during the reign of Ivan IV invested in the development of the monastery at least 25 thousand rubles. Under Ivan the Terrible, the monastery was redeveloped. Since the 1540s, the construction of white-stone walls around the monastery was conducted. In the 1550s, the belt of walls in the form of an irregular quadrilateral with a length of about one and a half kilometers was built. It was then that the monastery territory acquired the existing dimensions. Simultaneously with the construction of the walls in the three ravines adjoining the monastery, dams were built, and on the south side a large pond was excavated. The Trinity Monastery turned into a powerful fortress. In 1561 he received the status of archimandrite.

In 1559, in the presence of the tsar, a new large cathedral was founded, which was named Ouspensky. The construction of the temple stretched for many years; in 1564 it was interrupted due to a major fire, during which “the Troitsky Sergius Monastery was burnt out, the monastic meals and monasteries in the Chambers, and many bells were poured and poured, and the guests were yard, and served the courts …”. The consecration of the cathedral took place after the death of Ivan the Terrible, in 1585, in the presence of the new Tsar Fedor Ioannovich. After that, in 1585-1586, at the behest of the royal couple, extensive artwork was carried out. This was due to the fact that Tsar Fedor Ioannovich and Tsarina Irina Feodorovna Godunova had no children, although the wedding took place in 1580. It was not an isolated case – expensive gifts were given to the famous monasteries and temples of the state “in prayer” about caring. In the Assumption Cathedral was built a chapel of Theodore Stratelates and the holy Great Martyr Irina, who were the namesake saints of the royal couple.

By the end of the XVI century, the Trinity Monastery became the largest monastery in Russia; in his property there were 2780 settlements, active trade was conducted – merchant ships of the monastery went to foreign countries.

The last time the monastery saw under its walls the enemy in 1618, during the campaign against Moscow Polish king Vladislav. The time of prosperity of the monastery has come; the number of peasant households belonging to the monastery reached 16.8 thousand, exceeding the number of peasant possessions of the tsar and the patriarch. Own brickworks of the monastery provided continuous construction work. In the monasteries surrounding the ponds, monks bred fish, fruit gardens were set up along their shores, and windmills were set up.

In 1682, during the Streltsy rebellion, the monastery served as a refuge for the princess Sophia Alekseevna, princes Ivan and Peter. In 1689 Peter the Great escaped from Moscow escaping from the monastery. It was in the Trinity-Sergius Monastery that the supporters of Sophia were tortured, hence the already sovereign ruler Peter went to Moscow. When he arrived in the monastery appeared a magnificent baroque refectory with the church of St. Sergius of Radonezh, the so-called Refectory church. With the construction of a new refectory, the architectural appearance of the central square of the monastery was almost completely completed. Over the eastern wall of the monastery at the expense of the Stroganoffs, in 1699 the gate church of the Nativity of John the Baptist was built.

At the beginning of the 18th century, construction on the territory of the monastery froze. Russia entered the Northern War (for military needs, Peter I took from the monastery treasury 400 thousand rubles); then began the construction of a new capital of Russia – St. Petersburg – in connection with which the tsar was banned for the construction of stone buildings throughout Russia. Only in 1708 the construction of the monastery was expanded: because of the threat of penetration of the Swedish army deep into Russia, Moscow and nearby fortresses, including the Trinity-Sergius Monastery, were decided to be strengthened. The Assumption and Red Gates were built stone bridges; Under the monastery walls, deep moats and bastions appeared. The ditches lasted until the 1830s, and the earthworks near the corner towers are still preserved.

The successors of Peter the Great on the Russian throne did not show much interest in the fate of the monastery; there were even plans to move the monastery closer to the new capital, but they were not destined to materialize. In 1738, the monastery management system changed: he began to obey the Spiritual Council.

The Rise of the Lavra
After the accession to the throne of Elizabeth Petrovna, a new period of the monastery flourished. October 1, 1742 by the decree of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna in the Trinity-Sergius Monastery was opened theological seminary (later, in 1814, the monastery was transferred to the Moscow Theological Academy, one of the largest religious educational institutions in Russia). Soon (in 1744) the Trinity-Sergius Monastery was awarded the honorary title of the Lavra; the head of the monastery was confirmed by Metropolitan of Moscow.

Elizaveta Petrovna often visited the Lavra. Each of her arrival was accompanied by a festival – fireworks, cannon firing and lavish meals. In the summer there were amusements in the monastery; behind the monastery walls was built a magnificent entertainment palace Korbukha, surrounded by greenhouses and a park in the French style. The building was also developed on the territory of the monastery itself. In 1738, the Moscow architect Ivan Michurin was commissioned to draw up a master plan for the monastery territory. The plan was drawn up and sent to St. Petersburg, but was approved only in 1740; along with the plan came the project of a new monastery bell tower, designed by the court architect Schumacher. The St. Petersburg architect proposed to place the bell tower in the geometric center of the main square. However, Michurin believed that in this place the bell tower would be blocked by other structures and “from such a short distance … people can not be seen much”; Michurin managed to move the construction site to the north. In 1741, the belfry was laid; construction stretched for almost 30 years and was completed only in 1770. For the new belfry, a king-bell weighing 4065 poods was cast directly on the territory of the monastery.

In the XVIII-XIX centuries the Trinity-Sergius Lavra became one of the richest monasteries in Russia, it was one of the largest landowners (in 1763, on the eve of the large confiscation of church lands, the Lavra owned more than 100,000 souls of peasants). Active trade (grain, salt, household goods) contributed to the multiplication of the monastery’s wealth; its financial position in the XVII-XVIII centuries. characterized by great strength; the donations of the monastery were great in favor of the Russian army (in 1812 – about 70 thousand rubles), the militia (see Dionysius of Radonezh). The importance of the Lavra as a cultural center also increased; in 1814, here from Moscow was transferred to the Spiritual Academy, located in the building of the royal palaces. In connection with the deployment of the academy, a number of buildings were rebuilt, new buildings appeared – all this, according to some researchers, led to a violation of the integrity of the architectural complex.

By the beginning of the 20th century, the Lavra was run by a printing house (it featured works by philosophers, clergymen – PA Florensky, Kliment Ohridsky and others), two hotels on the territory of Sergiev Posad (old and new), workshops (the production of toys, candlesticks, crosses and the like, woodcarving), benches, horse yards. A brisk trade was conducted near the laurel walls, shopping arcades, hotels and lucrative houses appeared near the monastery. In the 1910s, more than 400 monks lived in the laurels. To the Trinity-Sergius Lavra were attributed some small monasteries and monasteries.

The shrines of the monastery: the relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh (in the Trinity Cathedral), the relics of the Monks Nikon and Micah of Radonezh, St. Serapion of Novgorod, Metropolitan Joasaph, Archimandrite Dionysius, the Reverend Maxim the Greek, the icon of the Holy Life-Giving Trinity of the work of Andrei Rublev (now in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow) attracted thousands of pilgrims from all parts of Russia.

The most famous abbots of the laurels in the XIX century were Metropolitan Platon (Levshin), who was actively building, St Philaret of Moscow, who corresponded with Alexander Pushkin and founded the Gethsemane Skete near Lavra, and Saint Innocent (Veniaminov), who was the first Orthodox bishop of America ..

The history of the monastery in the XX century:
In the first years of the 20th century, construction continued on the territory of the monastery, new cells and buildings were built, farm buildings, trade rows; in 1905 the Lavra printing house was organized.

Restoration of the Lavra:
By the end of the 1930s, some of the Lavra’s monuments were partially rebuilt and adapted to housing and other economic needs not peculiar to them.

The ensemble of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra was formed over the course of four centuries, from the 15th to the 18th century inclusive, and along with the development of the ensemble, the appearance of its individual structures also changed. The task of the restorer was to find the artistic optimum for each monument, that is, the moment of its highest artistic flowering – for this reason, the beginning of the work was not preceded by the creation of project documentation, during the creation of the project, full disclosures were made. The purpose of the restoration was not to return the ensemble to a certain “optimal year”, but, on the contrary, to show it as an integration or a synthesis of all artistic development.

In the work of IV Trofimov, his father, the artist VP Trofimov, took a great part. Picturesque canvases Vikenty Pavlovich “Refectory of the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra”, “View from the bell tower of the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra”, “In the former Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra” and others give an opportunity to see the monuments immediately after the restoration.

Despite the numerous difficulties of the military and post-war time, it was possible to liquidate the emergency condition of a number of monuments, to carry out the capital restoration of the Hospital Chambers with the Church of Zosima and Savvatia of the Solovetsky of the 17th century, the Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit of the 15th century, the white stone pedestal of the Belltower, the eastern part of the relics of the Refectory Church of the late XVII in., Metropolitan chambers, partially Royal palaces and significant sections of fortress walls and towers. Particularly significant work was done on the Hospital Chambers, built-up with new facilities and literally returned from oblivion (however, the dismantling of the refectory of the XVII-XVIII centuries, attached to the church of Zosima and Savvatia, was recognized as insufficiently substantiated). At that time, these were the largest restoration and restoration works in the USSR. Around the walls of the monastery was organized a 30-meter prohibited for the construction of a security zone.

After 1950, the restoration work, mainly based on monuments transferred to the Moscow Patriarchate, was started by the former student-trainee Trofimov V.I. Baldin, in 1963, together with A. G. Ustinov, proposed a complex restoration project for the ensemble of the Lavra. During the restoration in 1956-1959, all the buildings and structures of the monastery were freed from the foreign institutions that occupied them. By 1970, the bulk of the restoration work was completed. The results of the restoration carried out by Baldin were assessed ambiguously, in particular, Trofimov noted the fundamental mistakes and damage to individual buildings and the whole ensemble of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra as a whole. Restoration continued in the 1970s – a number of objects were recreated under the guidance of architects Yu. D. Belyaev and Yu. N. Shakhov.

In 1993, the architectural ensemble of the laurels entered the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Russia.

In the 1990s and 2000s, a number of buildings were returned to the original painting of the walls, the roofs of the churches were repaired, the murals were restored; scale restoration of the bell tower. In the spring of 2004, the newly-cast Tsar Bell was raised to the bell-tower, which the parishioners heard for the first time on May 30 of the same year, on the feast of Pentecost.

Religious life:
Revival monastic life of the monastery belongs to the beginning of 1946. Patriarch Alexy I became rector, the first governor of the opening was Archimandrite Gury (Egorov). The Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra remained the main residence of the patriarchs until 1983, when the residence was transferred to the Moscow Danilov Monastery.

In the memoirs of the archbishop of Yaroslavl and Rostov Mikhey (Kharkharov) it is stated that the head of St. Sergius of Radonezh, hidden during the closing of the monastery, was returned to his relics by the schiarchimandrite Hilarion (Udodov), who kept it from 1941 to 1945 in the altar of the church of the Vladimir Icon of God Mother in Vinogradov.

The relics of St. Sergius were transferred to the governor in the evening of April 20, 1946 and transferred to the Assumption Cathedral, which was returned in the same year to the Patriarchate. The first Liturgy was performed at the Assumption Cathedral on the night of Easter, April 21, 1946. In the memoirs of one of the eyewitnesses of the revival of the laurels, Protodeacon Sergius Boskin, there are many references to Father Ilarion, who, together with Archimandrite Guriy, headed the first divine services after a 26-year absence in the monastery of monastic life. According to the testimony of Archpriest Vladimir Zhavoronkov, the first liturgical cry after the opening of the laurels was made by Father Hilarion.

In August 1946, Archimandrite John (Razumov) became governor.

On November 21, 1946, Patriarch Alexy I consecrated the Refectory Church of St. Nicholas the Great. Sergius of Radonezh, who was closed to worship since 1921.

In late 1946, the Lavra was shown to the son of the President of the United States Franklin Roosevelt – Elliott Roosevelt (Elliott Roosevelt) with his wife, whom the viceroy, Archimandrite John met with the brotherhood. In subsequent years, before the collapse of the USSR, such demonstrations of religious freedom in the USSR became common practice.

In 1949, within the walls of the laurel, the Moscow Spiritual Academy, re-established in 1946, resumed its activities.

Holy Trinity Cathedral:
The earliest structure in the monastery is the four-pillared cross-domed Trinity Cathedral made of white stone, built in 1422-1423 on the site of the wooden church of the same name; one of the few surviving examples of the Moscow white-stone architecture of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries (the closest to the time constructions are the Assumption Cathedral in Gorodok and the Christmas Cathedral of the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery in Zvenigorod, as well as the Spassky Cathedral of the Andronikov Monastery in Moscow). Around the Trinity Cathedral gradually formed the architectural ensemble of the Lavra. The cathedral was built by the successor of the founder of the monastery Nikon “in honor and praise” to St. Sergius of Radonezh, and laid in the year of the glorification of the latter in the saints. The Trinity Cathedral is a four-pillared temple with three apses and one head; white-stone walls of the temple are completed with semi-girders of keeled zakomars, the outlines of which repeat two rows of taller than kokoshniks. The temple is crowned with a tower-like drum with a helmet-shaped dome. The walls of the cathedral are lined with blocks of white stone; The only decoration of the facade is the three ribbons of “wicker” ornament. A feature of the cathedral is a mismatch between the facades of the organization of the interior space (for example, portals are placed not along the axes of the central zakomar, the drum is shifted towards the altar); in the opinion of the architect VI Baldin, the builders went on to violate the architectural canon for creating the most comfortable interior of the church. The interior of the temple is characterized by a unity of space and a pronounced aspiration upward. Thanks to the use of optical corrections during construction, the strict regularity in the construction of each element of the interior (the main sections of the cathedral correspond to each other in height as 3: 5: 8, which corresponds to the proportions of the golden section), the steep form of arches and vaults gives the impression of greater height in the temple than in real. Above the arches of portal portals have a slope inward, reaching 45 cm.

Buildings XVI-XVII centuries:
The second oldest church in the Lavra – Dukhovsky (or the temple of the Descent of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles) – was built in 1476. According to the testimony of the Moscow chroniclers, the temple was erected by architects from Pskov. It ends with a low blue-bell tower (the type of the temple is “under the bells”). The temple is decorated richer than the Trinity Cathedral; Noteworthy patterned frieze, covered with glazed tiles with colored glaze. The apse of the temple is decorated with vertical ropes-half-loops, in the upper part with connected white-stone garlands with inserts in the form of “crabs” or “bugs”. The murals of the church were made in 1655.

The largest structure of the monastery – the Assumption Cathedral – was erected in 1559-1585 on the model of the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The cathedral is distinguished by the laconicism of the forms and the simplicity of the decor of the walls, adorned only with the arcapolar-columnar belt characteristic of the Vladimir-Suzdal architecture. The blades, dividing the north and south walls into parts, resemble buttresses. The cathedral is crowned with a massive five-domed cathedral. Extensive works on the arrangement of the church were carried out at the behest of the Tsar’s family Feodor Ioannovich and Tsarina Irina Feodorovna Godunova. They were held in 1585-1586, at this moment the chapel of Theodore Stratelates and the holy Great Martyr Irina were built, which were the namesake saints of the royal couple. Simon Ushakov took part in the work on the iconostasis, frescoes were performed in 1684 by Dmitry Grigoriev and others. The mural painting of the Assumption Cathedral is subordinated to the strict canon and is unusually integral; all the pictures unite the general background color, calm lilac-purple scale of the picture. In the XVIII century the cathedral was partially rebuilt; so, the domes were replaced by bulbous, the windows were expanded.

The walls of the monastery were built in the 16th century and built in the 17th century; their appearance has hardly changed to the present day. The walls have three battle levels, on the outside of the third tier there is a narrow parapet with vertical archers; There are openings of hinged machine-guns between the strelnitsa. The high corner towers of the fortress, octagonal in plan, were laid out in the 17th century on the site of the original towers. The remaining towers are built in the XVII century, they are lower and rectangular in terms of, in the lower part of these towers preserved elements of the towers of the XVI century. Noteworthy is the architecture of the corner tower; on the octagonal base of the tower in the second half of the 17th century a decorative superstructure was built, crowned by a spire with a stone bird. The red brick tower is decorated with a lot of white stone details.

One of the architectural dominants is the monastery refectory (the Refectory Chamber) with the church of St. Sergius of Radonezh (built in 1686-1692), the so-called Refectory Church, in the southern part of the monastery – is considered one of the best examples of Moscow baroque. This is a long (more than 85 m) structure on a high, surrounded by a cul-de-sac, on the second floor. The walls of the refectory of the church are exceptionally richly decorated: nearly all the surface is occupied by patterns, half-columns and cartouches of complex patterns, made in 1778-1780. Masters, who created the exterior decoration of the Refectory Church, chose bright blue, yellow, green and red colors for the building’s coloring. Adjoining from the west side to the Refectory church, the refectory hall of 500 m2 was intended for solemn receptions; it also has a rich decor. The hall is covered with a semicircular arch with a height of almost 10 m, decorated with relief inserts with floral ornaments. The paintings inside the refectory date back to the 19th century. After the opening of the monastery in 1946, the refectory room was used as a continuation of the Refectory of the Temple. It is separated from it by a lattice gate. The carved gilded iconostasis (XVII) in the Sergius Church was erected in 1948, from the ruined Moscow church of St. Nicholas “Great Cross”, which is near the Ilyinsky Gate. In 1956, in the Refectory Chamber, the chapels were consecrated: the north – in honor of St. Joasaph of Belgorod and the southern – in honor of the Monk Seraphim of Sarov. In the podklet of the building in 2006, a huge two-pillared chamber was reconstructed, which is now a fraternal refectory. There are also a cook and a prosphorony.

The royal palaces (second half of the 17th century) near the northern wall of the Lavra served as chambers in which Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich lived during his visits to the monastery. The halls, like the Refectory Church, are a richly decorated building. The walls of the palaces are decorated with glazed tiles. At the heart of the interior of the building are two enfilades (one of the first examples of such a layout of rooms in Russia), decorated – dialing floors, tile stoves, stucco molding – by the middle of the 18th century. Initially, the halls, as well as the refectory, were surrounded by a walk-through (dismantled in 1814). By the XVII century also belonged to the brotherly cells in the southeast of the monastery (1640, the Predtechensky and Varvarinsky buildings) and the Economic building.

Buildings of the XVIII-XX centuries:
A number of interesting buildings were created on the territory of the Lavra in the 18th century. This is a small Mikheevskaya church next to the Refectory Chamber, erected in 1734 over the burial place of Micah of Radonezh. Another building of the XVIII century – the octagonal Baroque Smolensk church (Odigitrii Church), built, probably, by the architect Ukhtomsky in 1746-1748 with the funds of Count A. Razumovsky (tradition linked her building with the secret marriage of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna with the latter) – has four wide stone staircases, located along the perimeter, and stone balustrades. The iconostasis set in the Smolensk church after the restoration of the Lavra was from the destroyed church of St. Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, which is on Pyatnitskaya Street.

The three-story Metropolitan Chambers, which were the residence of the Moscow bishops, were completely rebuilt in 1778; they received decoration in the form of pilasters, cartouches and figured casings; The balcony of the building is surrounded by a graceful wrought-iron lattice. The architecture of the Metropolitan Chambers, characteristic of civil constructions in the mid-18th century, has survived to the present day in an unchanged form. The architecture of the Equestrian Court built in the late 18th century was also noteworthy. This structure with powerful walls and a spacious courtyard, which appeared on the shore of the White Pond, was reminiscent of a medieval castle. Towers at the corners of the Equestrian Court were crowned with high spiers with images of horsemen. On the sides of a rectangular in the plan of the court there were economic services (stables, carriage sheds, etc.). The original appearance of the Equestrian Court was not preserved: the building was subjected to numerous alterations, in 1909 the second floor was built up.

Educational institutions on the territory of the monastery:
From 1742 until the beginning of the 19th century, the Trinity Lavra Seminary was functioning on the territory of the monastery.

In 1814, the Moscow Theological Academy opened on the basis of the Moscow Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy, which was located in the building of the “Royal Palaces.” In 1870 in the eastern part of the “palaces” was arranged academic Pokrovsky temple. In the XIX century, near the “palaces” for the Moscow Theological Academy with the Church and Archaeological Cabinet built additional buildings (classroom, inspector, library, refectory, hospital). At the end of 1917 the Moscow Theological Academy in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra was closed.

Since 1949 the Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary, opened in Moscow in 1946, were transferred to the Lavra and began to occupy their historical premises. Since 1989, the Moscow Theological Seminary is located in the building of the former hospital, located to the west of the walls of the laurels and is connected with the laurel by a passage.

In the mid-1980s, a new assembly hall of the Academy and a wooden dormitory were built. The fire on September 28, 1986 destroyed the latter, caused the collapse of the floor of the assembly hall and threatened the building of the “halls”. However, the pre-revolutionary buildings could be protected from fire. Five students of the Moscow Theological Seminary became victims of the fire.

Among the listeners of the academy, it should be noted the philosophers Vladimir Solovyov and Pavel Florensky.

The modern life of the monastery:
The Brotherhood of the Lavra has about 200 monks.

Vicar of the Lavra – November 30, 1988 Feognost (Guzikov), now Archbishop of Sergiev Posad, vicar of the Moscow diocese, appointed by the decree of the archbishopric of Lavra, Patriarch Pimen, and succeeded Archimandrite Alexy (Kutepov). According to the Charter of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia is the sacred archimandrite of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.

The collegiate governing body is the Lavra’s Spiritual Council (since 1897).

In the monastery there is an Orthodox publishing house (the Patriarchal Publishing and Printing Center of the Holy Trinity Sergius Lavra) and a pilgrimage center, regular tours for visitors.