Assumption Cathedral

The Assumption (Dormition) Cathedral (1559-85) is the Lavra's biggest church. The monastery's current walls were built in the mid-16th century, as was the Assumption Cathedral rising in the complex's center. Its 4 blue onion domes around a larger gold one may look familiar - they were inspired by the Assumption Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin. 

In the reign of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, who had a particular veneration for St. Sergius, the monastery was surrounded by a stone enclosure topped by 12 towers. After conquering the Tartars and the kingdoms of Kazan and Astrahan, the tsar began building a large and beautiful church for the Assumption of the Mother of God. The walls, pillars and vaults are covered with frescoes about the Church history. Most of the wall frescoes are dedicated to the Assumption of the Holy Virgin. On the pillars there are images of the most highly venerated saints of the Orthodox Church. The cathedral's magnificent frescoes were created in 1684 by 35 painters in 100 days. The frescoes cover the area of 500 m2. The 5-tier iconostasis consists of 76 icons dated back to the 16–17th-cc.. The celebrated 17th-c. painter Simon Ushakov, a royal isographer, took part in creating the iconostasis. 

The Assumption Cathedral consists of 2 temples with the holy relics of St. Filaret (Drozdov † 1867) and St. Innokenty (Veniaminov † 1879), Moscow metropolitans. By the western wall, to the right of the entrance, you can see the tomb of Makarius (Bulgakov † 1882), a Moscow metropolitan who created many outstanding works on the history of the Russian Orthodox Church and dogmatic theology.

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