We had a tour guide in Moscow that had a driver take us to the Trinity Monastery of St Sergius. We went early to get in when they opened so there were not many people there at the time. I have read review on this site that it was crowded when they went. We did not have that problem. My 13 year old quickly discovered that there is free wifi at this Monastery, which I found funny. But that did not stop us from using it! Since we had a private tour guide he was able to translate our Russian guide that we hired at the monastery. it was easy to take in all the buildings and surroundings at a leisurely pace. I would think a few hours here is good to take it all in.
The best timing to visit is in the early morning. There are several mass held in the different church and it is very interesting to see what Russian people do in their religious ceremony. The day I visited had three masses on 05:30, 06:30 and 08:30, time duration was half an hour. The basement of the assumption church only opened until 10 in the morning, but it was worth to visit. The Lavra was so beautiful in the winter. I really enjoyed my nice walk. There were several shops which sold some religious stuffs and souvenirs and they were very amazing and cheap. Don't forget to fill your bottle with holy water.
I liked the Sergiev Posad lavra. It's a remarkable ensemble of different churches and other buildings. However for me it's not a place for a whole day trip from Moscow, you can see the main sights within two hours if you don't insist on taking guided tour which might not be that interesting if you're not visiting the monastery for spiritual reasons. I would recomend visiting in winter instead of summer when tourists are herded inside from large tour buses and the place can be super crowded. Even in winter there are many people, but you'll be left with much more breathing space. And just read some guide or you might easily get bored with narrative that has much more to do with religion than history and culture. Some of the sings are quite amusing, such as: In this church, you can only pray for health.
Beautiful churches and glimpse into Russia's less talked about history. Worth the short commuter's train ride from Moscow. And try the kvas!!!! Super cheap and the best in the whole country!!
What a beautiful place! If you have some spare time away from Moscow attractions to spend on Sergiyev Posad - it is defo worth an effort. The journey takes 1-1,5 h one way from Yaroslavsky railway station (depending on a chosen train) and costs around 6 pounds both ways. The walk from the train station to the site is approx 10-15 min. The place is truly awesome, well preserved, decorated, colorful - altogether a true delight. Great selection of souvenirs, delicious bread from monastery bakery and kvas (Russian traditional drink that is worth a try). You won't need more than 2 hours in there (incl. queuing for holy water), so the whole trip can take a little more than a half-day. Comes highly recommended once you have some time to spare!
I went there with my 5 year old son. The place is crowded: the tourists come by bus-loads! There is not enough benches to sit and the bathrooms smell terrible. My son got bored in 5 minutes so I had to entertain him by buying hand-made toys. They are expensive though: a wooden sword for 15 dollars. The only nice shop there is a pastry stand: everything is freshly made and delicious!
It's the most luxury looking monastery around Moscow. Walls are looking as the Great wall in china. Cathedral buildings inside are brilliantly decorated. So beautiful.There is holy spring which is famous in medical effects as it's known. Long line to take holy water into bottle. So famous place near Moscow, everytime full of people.Before Petersburg was built, Moscow was the capital and this monastery was the main church for Russian emperior. King and queen visited this monastery often on the way to go to their dacha near there. You can see 1917 revolution memorial statue near and you can enjoy good time baking shashilik in the thick beautiful forest near there. You need to think about traffic jam from/to Moscow, especially on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon. So many moskovites go to and from their dacha, road is fullfilled with cars. Anyhow really good place to see and feel Russian othordox church atmosphere. Some kind of active and luxury.
We agree with others this a magnificent site, and worth the day trip from Moscow. You can pay a lot for someone to take you there on a tour, or do what we did and take the suburban train from Yaroslavsky Train station (take the Metro line 1 to Komsomolskaya, exit the metro, turn right for 1 long block and cross the road to the train station). Look for English signs for the suburban trainlines and buy your ticket from kiosk. The trains leave about every 30 minutes and take from 66 to 90 minutes (local for 165 rubles vs. express for 210 rubles each way) to reach Sergiyev Posad. Exiting the train station, turn right, stay on the main road (pass the Burger King) and continue for 10-15 minutes until you see the distinctive blue and gold domes. The main entrance is up the hill across the road. We had the excellent Eyewitness Travel Moscow book, which provided plenty of information as well as a useful map of the monastery complex. We visited all the open sites for free (they are still working hard for the upcoming 700th Anniversary in July of the Saint's birth). We were surprised that everyone was taking photos inside the churches, and no one seemed to monitor whether women's heads were covered (though I did out of respect). A wonderful day out of the city.
We decided to take a day trip to Sergiev Posad from Moscow. The trip was super easy--took the train and walked to the monastery. Beautiful Monastery!! Lots of great history and many beautiful photo opps. Remember that women are supposed to have their heads covered and mean cannot wear shorts. It's a beautiful sight to see if you have time in your itinerary!
Not to be missed, this place became a holy site in the 1300s. The lavishly decorated Holy Trinity Cathedral houses the remains of the most revered Saint Sergius. Priests chant at the foot of his relics in 2-hour shifts daily. Often a small choir chants near the south wall as well. The apse with the reliquaries is very interesting, but it is necessary to respect the piety of the faithful who come to pray. People also bring jugs to fill with curative water from the spring, but it's difficult to wiggle your way near to a spout. The academy buildings still educate priests and monks. It's best to come by train; driving on a Saturday when everyone leaves Moscow for their country Dachas creates a massive traffic jam.
A nice two hour drive towards Yaroslav takes you to this small but picturesque town.We drove on a saturday but that also did not help as we encountered traffic snarls both while going and coming back. The road seems to be under construction for a small stretch outside Moscow...!The Monastery is stunningly beautiful....a true gem to visit if you are a believer in the faith or even otherwise. We went with our six month old for a day trip and it was worth it.The small stalls outside sell souvenirs at reasonable rates (especially if you compare them to Moscow).Parking is a major issue and the official parking is not allowed for tourists. You can either leave your car outside on the road or put it in paid parking (certainly damn cheap ).
You will be fascinated: in spite of all Russian nationalistic and populistic idiosincracies, this is a true gem to visit. The mainsay of the Golden Ring of Russia. It is worth-visiting this year in particular, when the monastery is celebrating the 700 anniversary of the birth of its patron saint, Sergiy from Radonezh.
This Monastery is simple wonderful, I was two times , one in summer and one time in winter with snow blue sky and temperature near -20°, in any case just beauty! Only one suggestion, ask for the restoration work, to avoid seeing only scaffolding.
I was lucky enough to visit this place during Orthodox Christmas. The place is magnificient. A must see.
Went there yesterday. Took 2 hrs of traffic to get there only to see scaffolding covering almost every building. Many were closed and there was really very little to see. The churches were very decorated inside, but no different to others we have seen in Moscow. Unless this place has religious significance to you it is not worth the traffic. Took us 3 hrs to get back. Hint. If you want a real toilet not the pit style, really smelly ones on the way in, wait till you get to the church of the trinity. There is one you pay 10 R for but it has a seat, is clean and does not smell right near entrance to the church. Don't bother with photography pass, not much to photograph. I am sure this place looks stunning when you can see all the buildings. It is being renovated for its 700 anniversary next year. Go after that!