Sergiev Posad (Russian: Сергиев Посад) is a city in North Moscow Oblast, which is famous for its Troitse-Sergiev Monastery (Lavra), the spiritual home of the Russian Orthodox Church. It is often visited as a part of the Golden Ring around Moscow.
Prices listed on the page are from January 2017
All the laity should be aware that Lavra is the largest active monastery of Russia, the residence of the Patriarch, and on its territory must follow certain rules. Entrance to the monastery in T-shirts, shorts, mini-skirts and dresses of open forbidden, desirable women to wear a headscarf.
Trains leave every 30 minutes between Sergiev Posad and Moscow‘s Yaroslavsky train station. The station is located at Komsomolskaya metro station (red line). A ticket to Sergiev Posad costs 164 rubles (1.5 h, prices in 2017) and 210-260 rubles on express (5-6 times a day, 1 h). It is an easy day trip from Moscow.
Bus 388 is available at VDNKh (VVTs) for 200 (160 with “Strelka”, an universal travelcard) rubles every 15 minutes. However, be aware of jams about from MKAD to Pushkino almost always in rather extended rush hours.
To get to the town by car take Yaroslavskoe highvay from Rizhski Vokzal (Rizhski train station) or VVTs (VDNKh) – it takes approximately 2 hours to get to Posad: distance is 70 km (40 miles), however see above about jams. Construction of new intersection between Korolyov and Mytishchi simplified things with the jam a little, but parts of M8 highway before and after intersection are still crowded because of bottlenecks closer to MKAD and in Klyaz’ma village.
The main tourist spot is the monastery. It can be seen from station and can be reached by foot in about 10 minutes.
Of course, in the center of Posada no public transport is necessary – everything is within walking distance. But if you want – you can also use the buses – the main routes they fits perfectly for tourists, for example, between the trainstation and Lavra (the cost of 23 RUB (∼0.4 €).
However, to examine one of the attractions that are in the vicinity of the Lavra, will not work without buses or trains. Thus, in particular, to the desert of the Paraclite you’ll need bus number 38 to the village Smena. The same route is useful when you travel to Gethsemane monastery, but will have to get off at the stop “Povorot na Smenu” (the second option – to sit down on a minibus to the Farm). For Gremyachy spring look for bus number 120 or number 37 to stop “Shil’tsyl” in Abramtsevo or Khotkovo. In other case, it may also be useful bus number 388, which go to Moscow, some of them (not all specify!) I stop in Radonezh and Khotkovo. What is more convenient than the train, as the station is in Khotkovo located about a kilometer from the Pokrovsky monastery.
The main attraction – the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra, where comes pilgrims from around the world. Church is on the territory of the monastery, and in the streets. Three kilometers from the Monastery is located Chernigov Skete.
The reason why one should see the city is the world heritage listed monastery. The monastery of Sergiev Posad is one of the most beautiful monasteries in Russia and one of the principal spiritual centers of the Russian Church. It is a combination of a fortress and a monastery. The seminary of the Russian Orthodox Church is located in the buildings of the complex. There are several churches to see, a holy spring and in general the whole complex with its massive walls and gates is very picturesque. There are no admission price to pay except for the museum, which shows old religious objects and woven pictures of saints. At the weekend the monastery can get very crowded, as it hosts some very important icons (at least copies of them). In return it can be very interesting to observe the believers kissing the icons and praying for hours.
The grave of Boris Godunov (of Pushkin’s play and Russian history) and some family members is also located here.
In addition to the monastery in the city there are many museums. The most famous – The stables, Toy museum, Museum of local lore…
- To come to the monastery in the clear frosty morning, at 6 o’clock, to the peace and quiet, not rushed yet by the crowd of pilgrims, to venerate the relics of St. Sergius.
- Find in iron door of Trinity Church, leading to the southern chapel, the cannon core hole. It remained from the siege of the monastery of the Polish-Lithuanian troops in 1608-1610 years. (Hint: the right of the iconostasis.)
- Dial with a bread and grains and generously sprinkle this wealth to townsmen pigeons that are waiting for their meal at the main entrance to the monastery.
- View bookshop at the monastery, to buy a pile of books.
- And then in the refectory (dinning hall) – for a fragrant honey gingerbread. Buy it to all friends and acquaintances and shamelessly gobbled up a good half on the way home.
- To walk around the monastery walls on the perimeter, marveling at the power, grandeur and scale of the monastery of St. Sergius.
- Organise yourself and finally decide where to go from the outskirts of the Posad: the abode of art Abramtsevo, the holy spring Gremyachiy key or in the cozy Khotkovo.
Matryoshka dolls and Bears Bogorodskoye, feather scarves and magnets, mugs and dishes, products from birch bark, as well as paintings with views of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra – the main souvenirs of the city. Buy them can be in the large square in front of Lavra, which scatter their trays craftsmen from all over the surrounding area. Directly in Lavra is open big book and icon shop where you can buy a lot of literature – as a tourist (various guides and maps), as well as religious. There is a good selection of children’s books and literature, where, of course, affected by the topic of religion. Also here sell icons, crosses, christening spoon and more.
Excellent souvenirs from Posad can be bought in the refectory of the Lavra – is monastery brew and aromatic gingerbread, and the old willow-herb, or a keg of amber honey.
For the pilgrims the best souvenir will be water of Sava Storozhevsky spring. It is situated behind the Lavra – you need to get around the perimeter walls of the monastery, it’s best on the north side, through the Pharmaceutical lane. Here, by the way, you can take a bathe.
The highlight of Sergiyev Posad in gastronomic terms – is the abundance of restaurants with Russian cuisine: pancakes, sbiten, mead, dumplings and similar dishes are in stock and for every budget. Expensive and delicious dining options in one of the restaurants in town, decorated in Russian style – as a merchant tower or manor (from RUB 600 per person (∼10€)). Inexpensive meal can be directly in the walls of the laurels in the local refectory. All dishes are meatless, but very tasty and authentic. And what is baked pies and gingerbread!
There is a restaurant called Rusky Dvorik (Russian courtier) which is quite good, but also expensive taking into consideration the general price level of Russian province. It is located just in front of the entry of the monastery.
Inside the monastery (entering through the main gate and going to the left) there is a really good bakery-pastry, with local products that seem to be very popular among Russian visitors.
There is also a McDonald’s restaurant on the modern part of the town.
The average check for a room in Posad hotels is not small – it begins approximately from 2000 RUB (32€). If you wish to save, you can stay in a hostel (700 RUB per bed in a dormitory (11€)), or look for a hotel a little further away from the monastery, for example, in Khotkovo area. Apartment – another good way to stay close to the walls of the monastery and not to overpay, especially for large families or companies. For those who do not care about the thickness of the wallet – in Posada expanse are small and cozy mini-hotel with 10 rooms, and decorated in the style of Russian royal chambers, and even hotels with spa facilities.
Lavra is a major religious center of the country, where not only pilgrims goes, but also and servants of the Church. For them, in the territory of Posada are opened several hotels – hospice houses, where you can stay with for a pittance: 150-300 RUB (2-5 €). When there are empty cells, and the simple laity may allow (some – only men, in others – men and women separately). About the availability of beds is best to specify directly in the pilgrimage Help Center, which is located near the entrance of the gate of the temple in honor of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.
- Moscow — about 2 h by train or 2-3 by bus 388, which arrives to VVTs (VDNKh)for around 145 rubles, as of 12 June 2011.
- Pushkino — 1 h by train or bus (halfway to Moscow)
- Mytishchi and Korolyov — 1.5 h (between Pushkino and Moscow)
- Alexandrov is further 50 min by elektrichka and 40 min by express trains (about 5 a day).
- Torbeevo Lake – a picturesque recreation place on crossing M8 with A108 (second betonka) not far from the town. Not much in sense of infrastructure there, and there may be a lot of people in a good day, including those passing by the highway, but the views may be nice. Took local buses in direction to Bereznyaki (№№ 28,81,120, 15 minutes walk from Bereznyaki, or if you’re lucky – even closer from the next stop).
- Pereslavl Zalessky can be reached by bus (about 10 a day, some of them running rather late at night. Most of them are bound further to Yaroslavl, Kostroma or Rybinsk or by hitchhike – for hitchhike start either with local buses №26 to Krasnozavodsk up to the turn from the highway, every 10-15 min, or to Torbeevo lake, than to M8, or by train to Buzhaninovo station.
- A pearl in the “Savelovskii ends of the earth”, Kalyazin is also reachable by bus in 2.5 h, 4 times a day, you can also try buses going to Uglich, also 3-4 a day, but you’ll have to walk about 3 km, as buses pass town. Also easily hitchhikable, just get out of town or in the direction of Remmash (bus 42 or 49 to the Iudino stop)