The Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra


The Chapel-over-the Well was built at the end of the 17th century over the spring, which shot up during the repair of the porch of the Dormition Cathedral in 1644. Many pilgrims were cured by this water, and people took it to the sick to heal them. The first was a blind monk, whose eyesight returned due to this miracle-working water. Till this day thousands of pilgrims use this water for cure and consolation in their troubles.

The colourful tent-like canopy over the cross-shaped fountain, which receives water from the spring, was built in 1872.

The Assembly Chambers with the church of St. Zosima and St. Sabbatius of the Solovets monastery, were constructed in 1635–1638 by the cellarer of the monastery Alexander Bulatnikov, who had come to the Lavra from the Solovets Monastery. Before 1917, the building was used as a hospital for sick monks and as an almshouse for old and disabled ones.

On the outside wall of the monastery stone kitchen, constructed in the 15th century by the eminent Russian architect V.D. Yermolin, there was an icon of the Mother of God ‘Our Lady of Smolensk’, carved in stone. When in 1730 a monastery monk, whose arms had been twisted by rheumatism, was ardently praying in front of it, a miracle took place — he was cured of his disease. In honour of this miraculous healing the Smolenskaya Church was erected on the site of the kitchen by order of the Empress Elizabeth in 1746–1748. The money for the construction was donated by Duke Razumovsky. The richly decorated miracle-working icon stood in the gilded carved iconostasis to the right of the Royal Gate.

In 1920–1930 the iconostasis was lost. To replace it, the iconostasis from one of the destroyed Moscow churches was installed here in 1956. The iconostasis was designed by architect Ukhtomsky. It is contemporary to the Church and is of the same style.

The Smolenskaya Church has no columns inside, and all its inner space is open up to the dome. The murals were painted in the 19th century. At present, the miracle-working icon ‘Our Lady of Smolensk’ is at the local museum. A plaster copy of it, bigger in size, is in the altar recess outside the church. The grave of Nicholas, Metro-politan of Petersburg, an outstanding hierarch, is in the cript of the church.


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