Sergiev Posad is located in the north of the Moscow region, and one of the cities included in the Golden Ring of Russia. It is, to some extent, a city of one attraction. The vast majority of travelers come here just to get to the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, the most status monastery in Russia, where thousands of pilgrims flock from all over Russia. The proximity to Moscow makes Sergiev Posad one of the most convenient options for a day trip from the capital. If you do not plan to do a pilgrimage, in addition to the Lavra, it is best to visit the toy museum as well as see the old buildings in the city center too. But, if you are one of the pilgrims who wish to make a spiritual trip to Sergiev Posad, read on for some of the things you should consider while making the visit.
The Pilgrimage to Sergiev Posad
Christians consider the city as a holy destination since there are many churches with the Holy Trinity Lavra of Saint Sergius as the core. Pilgrims from all over the world go there all year long to pray. Lavra is the actual center of the city. From the station it is clearly visible; the distance is less than a kilometer. Near the laurels, several quarters of pre-revolutionary buildings were preserved, in which almost all the sights of Sergiev Posad are located. Most likely, this will be enough for you, but if you have enough time, try to find the Chernihiv monastery and the church of Mary Magdalene in the village of Loza – both objects are located quite far from the city center.
Pilgirms are invited to take part in monastery services, in the Sacraments of Confession, Cathedral and Communion, to order the necessary church commemoration in the churches of the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra about the living and the dead, to get acquainted with the history of the monastery, its shrines and priceless artistic treasures.
How to get to the Lavra
1. By train: get from the Yaroslavl station (metro station “Komsomolskaya”) to the Sergiev Posad station or by electric trains to the Alexandrov or Balakirevo station. The trains are convenient with departure at 7:28 – for the late Liturgy and 14:31, 14:37 – for the All-Night Vigil. Travel time is an hour and a half.
2. By bus: get the no. 388 from the VDNH metro to Sergiev Posad. Buses depart at intervals of 10-15 minutes. Travel time without traffic jams is about a little than an hour.
3. Personal vehicles: use the Yaroslavl highway (M8 highway). At the point of 46 km, turn onto Sergiev Posad. Then, Central Street – Prospect of the Red Army – will lead you to the Lavra.
Where to Stay
If you decide to stay in the city for several days, we suggest you stay in one of these Lavra hotels:
- The Old Lavra Hotel (Avenue of the Red Army, 133) provides you with a choice of comfortable rooms with all amenities: single, double and multi-bed (triple and quadruple). You can reserve the room by phone or their website.
- Ascension Hotel (Voznesenskaya St., 3) provides four-, six- and eight-bed rooms with bunk beds for them who enjoy backpacking and simple style of stay. Booking can be done by phone.
How to Confess and Communion
In the Trinity Cathedral at 6:30 the Liturgy begins, in the Refectory Church or the Assumption Cathedral at 8:30 – the Liturgy, and at 17:00 – the All-Night Vigil.
You can confess on the second floor of the Gate Church of St. John the Baptist. The confession to the early Liturgy begins at 6 in the morning, and the latest – at 9 in the evening. Schedule of confession and services can be found through the Lavra’s website. Before confession, special prayers are read. Do not be late! Even if you weren’t preparing for Communion, it’s still worth coming to the beginning of the service. In any case, the time spent in the temple will be gracious and joyful for you. Before entering the temple, do not forget to turn off your mobile phones.
Where to Eat
On the territory of the Lavra there are two small cafes where you can have a quick and inexpensive meal. Hot tea, coffee, juices, monastery kvass and fresh bread are always available. Children will surely enjoy laurel pastries and sweets.
In a two-minute walk from the Lavra (through the underpass), an inexpensive dining-refectory is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is called “Ascension” with 120 seats, also hosting pilgrim groups. For the pilgrims and guests of the monastery “refectory chambers” are open at the Old Lavra Hotel. In the restaurant menu you can find a wide variety of dishes, there is also the opportunity to have a bite to eat in the hotel’s cafe.
If you have the time and want to try real ancient Russian cuisin, try the restaurant-museum of Russian gastronomic culture the “Guest Hut”, located just a two-minute walk away from the gates of the monastery in the direction of the Uchaia tower. The Guest Hut is open daily from 11:00 to 23:00. Every May 1, the Summer Veranda is open. It is better to reserve a table in advance by phone
Traditions of Russian and Orthodox cuisine are also laid down in the Krasnogorsk shopping arcade, where at the beginning of the 20th century there was a tavern of the merchant of the first guild S.G. Kogteva. The rich experience of predecessors is taken into account today in the tourist and pilgrimage complex “ARCHONDARIK”. It houses the Pilgrimage Center of the Lavra, a coffee shop, a restaurant, banquet rooms, and a conference room.
If you like, you can book a guided tour around Sergiev Posad, including the pilgrimage. Now you know the things to be considered for a spiritual trip to the city, it is now time to pack and get ready.