A thunderstorm over Trinity Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. Being situated in the town of Sergiev Posad about 70 km to the north-east from Moscow, it is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, “the pearl” of the Russian church architecture, was founded in the first half of the 14th century (1337) by the monk Sergius of Radonezh, a great abbot of Russia and one of the most venerated orthodox saints. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.
Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established.
Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style.
The Architectural Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra includes both buildings and constructions inside the wall and a complex of buildings near the monastery. It represents the key element of town-planning of Sergiev Posad. - in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/657