Friday, June 22, 2012

Photo Nostalgia = Moscow, Days 6 and 7 (Russia 2009, Days 16 and 17)

My last two days in Moscow were fairly simple = Day 6 featured a trip to Sergiev Posad, home of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius (the most important monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church), as well as an evening circus performance at the Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard.  Day 7 was even more relaxing = I went to church and walked around the Patriarch's Ponds, made famous by the novel The Master and Margarita, before taking my night train to Kiev, Ukraine.  Here are the photos:

 On Saturday, I headed towards the Sergiev Posad bus stop outside of the center of Moscow.  I saw this church on the way.

 Behind this swooping monument is the Ostankino Tower, the 4th highest tower in the world.  It's just barely visible.

 The All-Russia Exhibition Centre was right near the buses to Sergiev Posad.

 After about an hour bus ride (maybe longer - can't recall), I arrived in Sergiev Posad and made my way to the Trinity Lavra.

 Birds linger at the entrance to the monastery.

 Religious artwork about St. Sergius of Radonezh, one of the two most venerated saints in Russia (the other being St. Seraphim of Sarov).

 Looking back through the entrance once inside the monastery.

 Assumption Cathedral (16th century).

The belltower (18th century).

The grave of Boris Godunov and his family members.

 Whether you're Orthodox or not, I highly recommend visiting Sergiev Posad.  For one, the architecture is above par.  Two, it's in the Golden Ring, which is a ring of cities around Moscow that are touted amongst tourists for various historical reasons.  Three, it's fascinating to see a slice of Russian religious life, since this is one of the busiest (if not THE busiest) place of pilgrimage in Russia.

 The Trinity Cathedral in the background houses the body of St. Sergius.  The lines seen here are for various purposes; the one in the far background is to venerate the body of St. Sergius.

 Pilgrims getting water from a well spring (I believe).

 I'm rather fond of this photo.

 I got into the line to venerate St. Sergius.  I knew I couldn't take a photo close to his shrine, but this should give an idea.

 I barely made it back to Moscow in time to catch the circus.  No photos were allowed, but you know me...

 Russian circuses aren't like American circuses in many ways; I have to say they're much superior to ours.  Don't miss out if you're in Moscow.

 My last day in Moscow was a Sunday.  Appropriately, I had to go to church.  This church, the Church of the Savior on the Sands (interesting name), was just a few blocks from my hostel, off of Arbat Street.

 Next it was off to see the Patriarch's Ponds, which is actually just one pond now.  The area around the pond is fairly affluent, and features embassies galore (including a Cuban embassy, something I've never seen, since I'm American).

 The pond was pleasant enough.  I confess, I haven't finished The Master and Margarita (only made it a few chapters before getting distracted by life), but I wanted to make mental notes for whenever I actually tackle the novel.

 This building was on one side of the pond.

 The ducks had their own home of sorts.

My last picture in all of Russia = soldiers leaving town.  Just like I was.

More old trip photos (Greece, Istanbul, Luxor) coming up soon.  Stay tuned.

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