14 November 2006

Invasion Report: Assault to Sergiev Posad

Last month, me and Mr. Refig, Tamer Gulsac, The Wiseguy and Oguz 2-Run went to Sergiev Posad. It is about an hour from Moscow by car (if you don't stumble in a traffic jam of dacha travellers)

Backside of the Church of the Holy Ghost

Bell Tower view from The Refectory

Oguz 2-Run in his favourite pose

Sergiev Posad (Zagorsk in the Soviet times, named after one of the greatest cartoon heroes Zagor, who is an ardent communist indeed in the tropical jungles of Abenaki and fights the capitalist evil abenaki indians who try to exploit the Darkwood Soviet) is one of most interesting towns in the Moscow Region.

The terrace of the Refectory

Tamer Gulsac, The Wiseguy and Oguz 2-Run in the terrace, trying to find a way inside

The garden near Trinity Cathedral

Undoubtedly, we were attracted to Sergiev Posad mainly by the Trinity-St. Sergius Laura (the Greek word "laura" means monastery), that is responsible for the fame of the town as the capital of the Russian Orthodox church. Just like what Vatican means to catholics (or what Amsterdam means to Mr.Refig)

Mr.Refig near the Bell Tower (this pose will ruin his political career)

Bell Tower and Tsar Palace

The monastery was founded in the 1340s by Reverend Sergius of Radonezh, whose name was given to the town. Sergius of Radonezh, Father Superior of the monastery, played a major role in consolidating the lands of Rus under the leadership of Moscow Prince Dmitry Donskoy who won a significant victory over Khan Mamay at Kulikovo Field in 1380.

Distant view of Gateway Church

Patio to Tsar Palace

For centuries the monastery has been the biggest religious and cultural center of the Russian state. Icon painters Andrey Rublev and Daniel Chorny worked there, they decorated with frescoes the main church of the monastery - the Trinity Cathedral. The cathedral keeps the imperishable relics of Reverend Sergius. For many centuries his tomb has been the place of pilgrimage for orthodox believers. Still, this religious site is full of modern pilgrims from all over the slavic reign.

The Bell Tower, with 42 bells, is 88 meters high

Fountain with holy water (?)

It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the monastery and its founder for the history of Russia. It is the basis that supports Russian spirituality, statehood, and national character. The Trinity-St. Sergius Laura grounds inclide the biggest Russian monastery, the monastery necropolis and the Moscow Ecclesiastical Academy and Seminary. There remains a historical and architectural XV-XIX century ensemble of churches, belfries and chambers.

The magnificent Assumption Cathedral

Today Sergiev Posad is a district center of the Moscow Region. Its population is 229,000. It is a small, grey and a fairly dirty town, just like other russian cities.

Oguz 2-Run and Mr.Refig in a joyous moment (that ended up in a sporadic clash between them)

Oguz 2-Run, relaxing after a day's walk in the monsatery, in a private dining hall with red lights

Tamer Gulsac,the Wiseguy, listening carefully

Field Commander, after a big treat of shaslik

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