Take a day trip to Sergiev Posad
21 October 2015
If you are looking for a unique opportunity to be immersed in Russian day-to-day life then look no further than a day trip to Sergiev Posad on our Moscow & St. Petersburg holiday. Sergiev Posad is a vibrant, spiritual hub centred around the Russian Orthodox Church. The town's name, alluding to St. Sergius, has strong religious connotations. The town is a historical site of stunning magnificence with the main attraction being the monastery, Trinity Lavra of St Sergius. Founded in the 14th century, the monastery has retained the charm of old times. At this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can witness impressive, white-stone buildings, with unusual sloping walls and golden domes, contrasting with the intricate and brightly coloured decorations on the buildings. This complex of beautiful, medieval buildings rivals those of the Kremlin!
Sergiev Posad has been an important religious site through the past seven centuries. Though modern development is changing the urban scenery of Sergiev Posad, it is still possible to feel a sense of ancient Russia in the Trinity Lavra of St Sergius. In spite of Russia's turbulent history, not much has changed here since the old times. Ancient trades and crafts are still thriving, and pilgrims still hurry to the Lavra for church services. Church services are conducted every day according to the Orthodox calendar. During the service, anyone is free to join the parish for prayer & to listen to the chorus. While I was at the monastery, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to listen to some chanting in one of the chapels. Three women sang in beautiful harmony while people queued to pray at the beautifully decorated altar.
As well as learning about the religious history of Russia, I also had the opportunity to find out about their ancient craftsmanship. The famous Russian nesting doll known as the Matryoshka Doll is considered to be born in Sergiev Posad. These famous wooden Russian dolls are renowned for their bright traditional dress and endless pattern variations. There is a colourful craft market that sits in front of the Lavra's main entrance. Here you can find various souvenirs, including these beautifully decorated Matryoshka Dolls as well as varnished, painted boxes, Russian-style shawls along with wooden and fur items and other keepsakes. I was sure to treat myself to some lovely traditional souvenirs to take home with me.
After exploring the monastery and the local markets, I enjoyed a typical Russian lunch at the restaurant where our Travel Department customers visit. The lunch consisted of four courses – salad, soup, a main and dessert – plenty of fuel to keep you sustained for a full day of sightseeing! Russian cuisine is diverse, as it derives its varied character from the vast and multicultural expanse of Russia. The highlight for me was the traditional style of soups known as “borscht”, seasoned with a generous helping of dill. For those who feel like breaking away from the busy city of Moscow, a day trip to Sergiev Posad is the perfect opportunity to visit the scenic Moscow neighbourhoods. Witnessing women and young girls with veils covering their heads as they queue up to enter the churches of worship is a wonderful cultural experience. You get to see with your own eyes the strong faith of the Russian people as they light candles, sign hymns and kiss the holy relics in the various churches throughout the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius.
Experience a day trip to the famous Sergiev Posad on our Moscow & St. Petersburg guided holiday.
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