New photos by Anton Verstakov in our Panorama series
Sergiyev Posad (Russian: Ð¡ÐµÑ€Ð³Ð¸ÐµÐ² ÐŸÐ¾ÑÐ°Ð´) is a city and administrative center of Sergiyevo-Posadsky District, Moscow Oblast, Russia. The city grew up around the greatest of Russian monasteries, the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra or "Trinity". The town was incorporated in 1742. As its name had strong religious connotations, the Soviet authorities changed it to Zagorsk (in memory of the Russian revolutionary Zagorsky) in 1930. The original name, literally meaning "Settlement of Sergius" in honor of St. Sergius of Radonezh, came back into official use in 1991. According to the 2002 Census, the town had a population of 113,581 (down from 114,696 recorded in the 1989 Census).
Tourism associated with the Golden Ring plays an important role in the regional economy. The city is also known for its toy factory.
Sergiyev Posad is part of Russia's Golden Ring. The Golden Ring is a group of ancient towns northeast of Moscow which played a significant role in the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius (Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra) was founded in 1345 and is the most important Russian monastery and the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church
Lenin - paradoxically - is not far from the entrance to Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra
There are plenty of newer apartment buildings...
...and older ones.
The historic center of the city (Old Town). There is so much snow that no one takes it out of the street, but no one complains either - that's just winter in Russia!
Locals feed pigeons and sparrows - a vital lifeline for birds in -20 C (-4 F) temperatures
The restaurant offers a set "Business Lunch" for 200 rubles ($8)
The central square is laid out in the Soviet-style - elm-trees next to the local government building. Surprisingly, there is no Lenin statue in front of it - but as you already know, he's over at the church.
Town outskirts are blanketed with ancient Orthodox cathedrals.
Wood chapel by a creek, not far from the Trinity Lavra
Locals heading out to work in the morning
There are many new homes...
...and the Real Russian crane! (Not all of them are in Moscow or Shanghai these days)
These pictures and comments were contributed by Anton Verstakov, an independent documentary producer, founder of AVProductions Creative Group, and a long time friend. In the past five years, Anton has worked as a News Editor for Russia Today TV and as a broadcast journalist/producer for the Rossija (RTR) television channel.