Tsarroad
History
This hiking route follows in the steps of modern and ancient pilgrims to the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, the resting place of the relics of St Sergius. After he founded the monastery in the 14th century thousands of believers would take that road in a carriage, a cart or on foot.

Centuries ago there was no monastery there; it was a wild dense forest where Sergius had come to live as an hermit, far from vanity or city life. Here, in its silence, he wanted to devote his life to serving God. However, as his fame spread, drawing more people searching for a simple life to his side, Sergius founded what would become one of the greatest Russian monasteries.

Since then for centuries people all over Russia, the highborn and the low, wealthy or poor, have taken to the road to bring their hearts filled with love or pain, fear or hope, to St Sergius. They went for spiritual strength, for blessing, for forgiveness, wearing out their body for grace and purifying their soul by prayer to have their voices heard.

On this road of miracles all you need is just a bit of inner silence and concentration. You can cover the whole route in one go or do its parts one by one. If you decided to go, just "walk and ye shall reach!"

St Sergius
St Sergius is one of the most venerated Russian saints. Besides being the founder of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, he was a mentor to many monks who later founded their own cloisters all over Russia, sometimes in some completely wild and unexplored corners.

St Sergius became a spiritual ideal for his contemporaries and for generations to come. Being one of the most educated Russians of his time he is also known now as the patron saint of learners. He did a lot to help bring about peace and unity to his countrymen as well. Russia was nearly devastated and depopulated by the Mongol invasion and torn apart by internecine wars - brother fighting against brother in the struggle for the throne. Sergius's dedication to the cause of peace and humanity did a lot to heal the hurts, helping the people to come together against the Mongol horde and for the future of the country.

Trinity-Sergius Lavra
This is the largest monastery in Russia with about 200 monks and 50 buildings of different epochs. There is also a Seminary and a residence of the Patriarch. Lavra was a title given only to the largest monasteries with a special historical and spiritual meaning. There are only two of them in Russia. The monastery is on the UNESCO Heritage List.
Tzars' road
The first ruler to make a pilgrimage to the Trinity Lavra was the Great Prince Dmitry of the Don, a contemporary of St Sergius. He went to Sergius for confession, time and time again. The Prince also did so before setting out to the decisive battle against the Mongols to the Kulikovo Field, a name as famous in Russia as Hastings or Gettysburg is in the West. There, on the bank of the river Don, Sergius's blessing helped Dmitry to gain a historic victory over Mongols; thereafter he was always known as Dmitry of the Don.

Thus was laid the foundation of a tradition: the tzars would visit the Lavra before any important undertaking. These frequent and sumptuous processions, the royal pilgrimages, were especially spectacular in the 17th century.

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