When you need a day off from the sheer scale and pace of Moscow, you know it’s time for a day trip. There are a few excellent choices on hand, but one of most unusual (and easiest to reach) is the beautiful city of Сергиев Посад (Sergiev Posad).
As you enter the town, you’ll probably want to head for the Тро́ице-Се́ргиева Ла́вра (The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius). This ancient monastery is a Unesco World Heritage site, and has been astoundingly well preserved considering that the oldest building dates back to 1422!
Take your time, and enjoy the unique religious architecture and peaceful atmosphere. The lavish Cathedral of the Assumption is arguably the most impressive building of all, so be sure to marvel at its intricate carvings and azure domed roof scattered with stars. This grand building was funded by Ivan the Terrible and, unbelievably, dates back to 1585.
The only admission prices here are for the museum, which is perfect if you’ve been a little over-budget lately (it happens to us all!). This is well worth seeing, as it holds some fascinating religious artefacts along with stunning detailed tapestries.
The town’s role as the spiritual heart of the region isn’t the only reason for its fame. You might be interested to know that those traditionally styled wooden items you find in souvenir shops across the country are a proud part of the city’s heritage, and it is even claimed that famous Matryoshka nesting-doll was born here!
Getting here is no problem at all. The town sits roughly 70km away from Moscow, and is easily reached by train within just a couple of. The trains run very frequently, with one every 30 minutes, and the tickets are inexpensive. For more information on the monastery, see the official website: http://www.stsl.ru/languages/e