Submitted by Oliver Bramwell on Mon, 06/20/2022 - 05:50am
Moskovskaya oblast', RU
114.54 km
Vertical Gain
1,102 m

One of the main pilgrimage routes in Russia, the footpath to the Trinity-Sergius Lavra (monastery) is the successor to the historical road to St. Sergius of Radonezh, and later to the Trinity Church. For many years this road was followed by powerful kings and destitute beggars. People came to the Trinity-Sergius Monastery to ask for a better life and to atone for sins. In memory of the fact that Sergius did not ride horseback, it was customary to make the pilgrimage on foot from Moscow to the Lavra.

Where are we going? To the Trinity Sergius Lavra (or monastery)
The largest monastery in Russia and a real symbol of Russian Orthodoxy is the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. There are only two Lavras in Russia. The title "Lavra" is given only to the largest and only to male monasteries of special historical and spiritual significance. Over the centuries, a unique ensemble of multi-temporal buildings has developed on the territory of the Lavra, which includes more than fifty buildings and structures. It is a UNESCO monument. The Lavra is in the Moscow Region city of Sergiev Possad, roughly 1-1,5hrs by train from Moscow on a regular basis, as well as buses (and taxis), and is a good spot for a little local tourism after completing the route.

On the way to the Lavra, you will see many iconic sights. For example, the village of Radonezh, and Khotkov Monastery. Visit the museum-reserves of Abramtsevo and Muranovo. You can pray in temples and draw water from holy springs.

Starting point - the first section of the "Road to the Lavra" originates from the "Kilometer Zero", next to the Resurrection Gate and the Historical Museum near Red Square, Moscow.

Once we leave Moscow, this is then followed by one of the more picturesque sections of the trail, running (sic) through the Pirogovsky forest park and passed the Pirogovsky reservoir. Dense forests, rivers and beaches are the main attractions of this section. Further on we find natural sources of drinking water, reservoirs, river crossings, bridges, embankments and old summer cottages, and before getting to our finish line - we pass the famous old Russian estates of Muranovo and Abramtsevo.

The final section of the route passes through the most significant spiritual centers of the Moscow region. Pokrovsky Khotkov Monastery, the village of Radonezh and the spiritual heart of Russia - the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. Our finish line is the main entrance to the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.

It's approximately 115km with a very gentle 1100m of elevation gain, plenty of smaller towns and villages on the route for supplies if necessary. Certainly easy to 'do' in the Spring through Autumn rather than winter given the longer days, and lower likelihood of getting wet feet.

GPS Track