Orthodox Russia /Orthodox Capitals

Monastery of Moscow and St. Petersburg. 9 days/8 nights

Group tour for minimum 15  persons.

1 DAY. Arrival in St. Petersburg.

Meeting with local guide at the airport, transfer to the hotel, check-in, dinner at the hotel.

2 DAY. Monday. Breakfast in the hotel.

In the morning: City sightseeing tour with a visit to Alexander Nevsky Lavra, Kazan Cathedral, Smolensk Сemetery with the Сhapel of Blessed Xenia of St. Petersburg, and Catholic Church of St. Catherine. Alexander Nevsky Lavra is one of the first monasteries in St. Petersburg. The monastery was the main spiritual center of the city for several centuries. For a long time the cemetery on the territory of the Lavra was a burial place for prominent representatives of St. Petersburg society, generals, politicians and famous Russian artists such as Dostoevsky, Mussorgsky, and Tchaikovsky. Nowadays, the Lavra functions as a monastery, a museum, and is home to a Theological Seminary.

Kazan Cathedral, one of the main cathedrals of St. Petersburg, is a magnificent temple that has no analogues and similarities with other Orthodox churches in Russia. The main facade of the Kazan Cathedral is framed by a huge semicircular colonnade, resembling the colonnade of             St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The cathedral hosts the miracle-working “Kazan Icon of the Mother of God”, one of the main symbols of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is considered to be Russia’s main protector.

Saint Blessed Xenia Chapel is located on the Smolensk Cemetery of Vasilyevsky Island in St. Petersburg. Every day hundreds of pilgrims come there to show reverence and ask Blessed Xenia for help.

Lunch in the city.

St. Catherine’s Cathedral, one of the oldest Catholic temples in Russia, is most famous among six Catholic cathedrals in St. Petersburg.

St. Isaac’s Cathedral was once the main orthodox cathedral of the city, the fourth largest domed temple in the world, known for its luxurious interiors.

Return to the hotel. Dinner at the hotel.

3 DAY Breakfast at the hotel.

Check-out of the hotel and trip to Alexander-Svirsky Monastery in Leningrad Oblast.

Monk Alexander, founder of the Alexander-Svirsky Monastery, was born in the 15th century. Alexander lived in the forests as a hermit for many years. During his hermit years he had a vision of the Holy Trinity, by whose command he built two oak chapels, one of which was dedicated to the Holy Trinity, the other to the Transfiguration of the Lord. These chapels were the beginning of the Alexander-Svirsky Monastery.

The founder of the monastery, Alexander Svirsky, died on August 30, 1533, and was buried in the Transfiguration Cathedral. The Church Synod canonized Alexander of Svir in 1547, and a new venerated saint appeared in Russia. The miracle-working relics of Alexander Svirsky are still kept in the monastery to this day.

Lunch at the monastery or lunch box.

Arrival at the Russian village “Verkhnie Mandrogi”(about 270 km from St. Petersburg)

Tour of the village. Verkhnie Mandrogi is a village reconstructed in traditional Russian style, located on the bank of the Svir River, which connects the two largest lakes of Europe – Ladoga and Onega. There are several traditional houses (izba) in the village, where you can get acquainted with traditional Russian peasant culture.

Dinner at the village restaurant, which is famous for its traditional Russian cuisine.

Accommodation in the hotel, designed in traditional rustic style.

4 DAY. Breakfast at the hotel. Departure for the Vvedeno-Oyatsky Monastery.

The Vvedeno-Oyatsky Monastery is one of the oldest in the Northwest of Russia, its founding date is not exactly known.

On the territory of the monastery there is a holy well, which ceased to function after the closure of the monastery in the 20th century. After the reopening of the monastery in 1993, the source revived again.

Visit to Old Ladoga – the first capital of Russia. Old Ladoga, founded almost 1250 years ago, was a major commercial and craft center and was considered the first ancient capital of Russia in the 9th century. On the relatively small territory of this city, about 160 architectural monuments of the 8th -20th centuries are still preserved.

Visit to one of the three active monasteries of Old Ladoga.

Lunch in Old Ladoga.

Arrival in St. Petersburg, hotel accommodation. Dinner at the hotel.

5 DAY. Breakfast at the hotel.

In the morning: Visit to the Hermitage, one of the greatest museums in the world, which collection includes masterpieces by Leonardo Da Vinci, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Rodin.

Departure for Vladimir by train.

Arrival in Vladimir, meeting with local guide at the railway station, transfer to the hotel, check-in, dinner (lunch box). Overnight in Vladimir.

6 DAY. Breakfast at the hotel. Tour of Vladimir, Bogolyubovo and Suzdal.

A sightseeing tour of Vladimir with visiting the Golden Gate (without entrance), the Assumption and St. Demetrius Cathedrals. Vladimir, one of the oldest Russian cities, is now considered one of the main cities of the Golden Ring. Along with many other attractions in the city, there are three monuments from the UNESCO World Heritage List: the Golden Gate, the Assumption Cathedral and the  St. Demetrius Cathedral.

Visit to Bogolyubovo – a suburb of Vladimir (14 km).

Orthodox Russians believe that Bogolyubovo was founded on the site where Grand prince Andrei Bogolyubsky had a vision of the Virgin Mary. She appeared to him with a scroll in her right hand and ordered to build a church and a monastery on the site of her appearance. Andrei Bogolyubsky also ordered an iconographer to paint an icon of the apparition of the Mother of God. This icon became known as the Bogolyubsky Icon of the Mother of God. The monastery was built on this site in the 13th century and is now a functioning convent.

Lunch in Suzdal. Tour of Suzdal with a visit to the Kremlin, the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin, the Bishopric Chambers, and the Saviour Monastery of St. Euthymius. In the Middle Ages Suzdal was a religious center with a remarkable ratio of churches to citizens, at one time the city counted 40 churches for 400 families. Today, Suzdal is one of the most important tourist centers, where you can find excellent examples of ancient Russian architecture.

Dinner and overnight at a hotel in Suzdal.

7 DAY. Breakfast at the hotel.  Continuation of the tour in Suzdal. Departure to Sergiev Posad.

Visit to the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. The Trinity-Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad is an outstanding example of Russian architecture from the 14th to 18th centuries. The monastery is considered the main educational and religious center of Russia, once served as the residence of the Patriarch of All Russia. After extensive restoration work in the 70s of the 20th century, the monastery was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Lunch in Sergiev Posad. Departure to Moscow. Check-in and dinner at the hotel.

8 DAY. Breakfast at the hotel

In the morning – sightseeing tour of the city with a visit to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Novodevichy and Andronikov Monasteries.

The Andronikov Monastery was built in the 14th century as part of the outer protective ring of Moscow. The most famous monk of this monastery was an outstanding iconographer of the 14th century – Andrei Rublev.

Nowadays, the monastery houses the Andrei Rublev Museum, which also includes a separate exhibition of decorative and applied art, as well as an exhibition of jewelry, goblets, coins, and vestments.

Red-white towers, crenellated walls and golden domes of the Novodevichy Convent make it one of the most beautiful monasteries in Moscow. Most of the capital’s monasteries were built in the 13th -16th centuries not only as religious centers, but also as defensive fortifications against raids by Tatars and Poles.

The Novodevichy Convent was founded to commemorate the liberation of Smolensk from the Lithuanians in 1514. The main cathedral of the monastery was consecrated in honor of the Smolenskaya Icon of the Mother of God, which according to the legend was painted by the Apostle Luke himself.

Lunch in the city.

In the afternoon: Visit to the Moscow Kremlin, returning to the hotel.

Dinner at the hotel, overnight in Moscow

9 DAY.  Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport.

NB: The sequence of visits and excursions is subject to change.

 

Orthodox Russia /Orthodox Capitals
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