Inside The Assumption Cathedral (1559 - 1585)2

Jon Ayres

Moscow, Russian Federation

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Constructed by the order of Ivan the Terrible. Austere and monumental, it follows the forms of the Assumption Cathedral of Moscow Kremlin which was a symbol of the state power. The narrow high windows in two rows underline the impressively thick walls. The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is the most important Russian monastery and the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church. The monastery is situated in the town of Sergiyev Posad, about 90 km to the north-east from Moscow by the road leading to Yaroslavl. The monastery was founded in 1345 by one of the most venerated Russian saints, Sergius of Radonezh, who built a wooden church in honour of the Holy Trinity at the Makovets Hill. Until the end of the 17th century, when young Peter I twice found refuge within monastery from his enemies, numerous structures had been constructed there. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Soviet government closed the lavra in 1920. Its buildings were assigned to different civic institutions or declared museums. In 1930, monastery bells, including the Tsar-Bell of 65 tons, were destroyed. Pavel Florensky and his followers could hardly prevent the authorities from stealing and selling sacristy collection. Following Joseph Stalin’s temporary tolerance of the church during World War II, the Lavra was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1945. On April 16, 1946 divine service was renewed at the Assumption Cathedral. In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UN World Heritage List.

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