Alexander Nevsky Monastery

Also known as the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, the Alexander Nevsky Monastery was laid down in 1710 in the name of the legendary Prince Alexander’s victory over the Swedes in 1240. This religious complex symbolises the height and triumph of Russia’s medieval history.

The monastery’s construction was entrusted to architect Domenico Trezzini. The work lasted for almost a century.
The remains of Alexander Nevsky were transferred from the Vladimir Monastery in 1724.
At the order of Paul I the monastery was renamed to the Alexander Nevski monastery (the Lavra) in 1797. The Lavra is the name given to large monasteries with many buildings and streets (the lavra means “the street” in Greek).

The architectural ensemble has the shape of a hexagon formed by 2-storey stone buildings where the cells were situated as well as service buildings, a library and seminary. The centre of the complex is the Saint Trinity Cathedral. It is one of few preserved religious Neo-Classical buildings. The inside of the building represents the Latin cross in its plan and is very spacious. The paintings on the vaults and the dome were made in 1806 according to the drawings of G. Quarenghi. They survived to the present day. There are several cemeteries that are integral parts of the Monastery complex. The oldest one is the Lazorevskoye Cemetery where many Russian statesmen, scientists, writers and architects are buried. To the east of the cathedral there is the newer Nikolskoye Cemetery with the Saint Nicholas church.

Following the Revolution of 1917 the monastery was closed. At the present time the Lavra is a functioning monastery.
Apart from the Lavra the following institutions form the architectural ensemble: the Ecclesiastical Academy, the Ecclesiastical Seminary, the Technical teacher-training college etc. If by chance you choose to visit this place, one of the great Orthodox sanctuaries of Russia, you can see why the Alexander Nevsky Monastery is sometimes called “the soul of Petersburg”. Tour to st Petersburg