Sergiyev Posad is a historic Russian town built around the Trinity Lavra which is Russia’s most significant monastery of Orthodox Christianity. The town lies to the north east of Moscow and is an hour and a half away from Moscow, by train. Being the holiest centre of Orthodox Christianity over centuries, it is a place of pilgrimage in Russia. The town has a beautiful lake, a quaint atmosphere and houses that have smoke that emits from their chimneys. One seems to be transported back through the centuries on the walk up to the Lavra. As Sergiyev Posad integrated the changing political and social dynamics of Russia over the centuries, it lost its holy importance, even its name, but now Sergiyev Posad stands as it deserves to stand, with the recognition it deserves and with respect for its history. Its churches are beautiful and for a peaceful day, it is a perfect location to be transported to, to witness Russia’s orthodox history, enjoy the afternoon with a traditional Russian meal and return to Moscow in the evening.
The shadow of communism has faded but during the Soviet Union the identity of the town had been dismantled, it now is resurrected and if you do visit Moscow, Sergiyev Posad should be on your list of places to visit. I was lucky enough to be taken there by a friend of mine from Moscow.
A Passage Through Time
Whether in their vodka or women, the strength of Russian society never fades. It is a country that when visited one would never come away thinking that was a peaceful trip. They have lived through unimaginable hardship since the day of their formation. If Russia was to be adapted into Milan Kundera’s Unbearable lightness of being, its soul would be anchored and fall. The facets endless. Brace yourself and fall through their souls. At a certain point, I came to believe that Russia would be nothing without that hardship, without the darkness in their souls. It is through adversity that our race has always risen to their greatest and Russia is the rising sun in relentless epochs of darkness that bear testament to that fact, for at each moment of true devastation they have resurrected themselves and reincarnated their ways to produce sublime pieces unrivalled in the world, whether in art, music or literature. Their style is oft misunderstood and that has always been created by an illusion of Russia, never through experiencing Russia. Russia will always be a mistaken enigma and as much as it seems to take away from them it inspires them to surge on and create magnificence in the name of their land alone, a holy gift, a repayment in gratefulness.
The architecture in Russia covers the spectrum, from St.Peterburg stunning architecture along Nevsky Prospect, the gardens and fountains of Peterhof, Russia’s numerous palaces to Stalin’s seven sisters, the glory couples with sadness and death in as simple a fashion as it can. Yet they continue to rise as one. There is no other country in this world that we know, which possesses the depth, culture, brilliance, strength that Russia does, and without it, there would be an ignorant void that no one would ever be able to fill.
In Russia, the sceptics speak the greatest ill of their own land but when asked if they would leave, they couldn’t. It is a land enchanted by their own soul and spellbound into eternity for the words that are penned from their souls have never been rivalled. One cannot write in that vein without being born into it. The conflux, the contrast, the darkness will always live but there is only one Russia and that will always stand. At Sergiev Posad another of those dimensions will be opened to you.