In Russian language the word «lavra» denotes the most important religious center of a country, for example, Troitse-Sergieva Lavra in Sergiev Posad and Alexandro-Nevskaya Lavra in St. Petersburg. However, the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra is undoubtedly the oldest and most important center.
The monastery was founded in 1337 by a monk Sergiy called Radonezhskiy, which was one of the most venerable Russian saints (together with Seraphim Sarovskiy of Diveevo Monastery).
The monastery is 72 kilometers of Moscow, in the town of Sergiev Posad. You can get there by car on Yaroslavl Highway, or take a local train at Yaroslavl Station. It takes an hour and forty minutes to get to Sergiev Posad by rail.
The main church of the monastery (built in 1422), Trinity Cathedral, houses relics of Sergius Radonezhskiy. While alive he blessed Dmitry Donskoy to the Kulikovskaya Battle, and after death he was canonized as the «patron saint of Russian Land». The Cathedral is considered one of the main religious sanctuaries of Russia, as well as pilgrimage center.
The largest temple of Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, Assumption Cathedral, was built in the reign of Ivan the Terrible, during 1559-1585. A huge Refectory Chamber is considered to be one of the best examples of Moscow baroque. There is also a church in the cathedral.
The tallest construction of Lavra, bell tower, was erected in 1741. It height is 88 meters. You must climb it to see the entire Monastery from above. During its existence it survived several sieges thanks to strong walls with 11 towers.