History of the Lavra

Trinity-Sergius Lavra

The monastery was founded in the 14th century. In 1380, before the Kulikovo Battle, the army of Prince Dmitry Donskoy was blessed there. Ivan the Terrible asked for the blessing in the monastery before heading for Kazan. In 1408 the Tatar khan Yedigei burned the monastery. But in 1411 the monastery was rebuilt to became even more beautiful. In 1540-1550 Ivan the Terrible surrounded the monastery surrounded with a stone wall and 12 towers. During the Polish-Lithuanian invasion the monastery walls withstood the siege of 30-thousand enemy army. The Holy Trinity Monastery became one of the strongholds of the militia of Minin and Pozharsky. And in 1682 the walls of the monastery hid young Peter I and his brother Ivan as well as the princess Sophia during the sterlets uprising. In 1742 the monastery opened the seminary. In 1744 it received the title of Lavra monastery. In 1814 the Spiritual Academy was opened there. For centuries the monastery gathered the unique manuscripts and printed books, on the basis of which a rich library was set up.

In 1919-1946 the monastery was closed. The churches were closed, the monks dispersed, or repressed. The revival of the monastery began in 1946. The revived monastery played a prominent role in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church. Thousands of pilgrims flock here from all over the world. Today, Lavra monastery is considered the center of spirituality of the Russian people. The architectural complex of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra is included into the UNESCO World Heritage List.