Moscow Oblast: Sergiev Posad
Sergiev Posad is the first stop on the famous Russian Golden Circle, it is also most religiously significant, often called the Russian Vatican. Sergey Radonezhsky, a monk from Rostov Velikiy, built a wooden monastery here in 1340, Which was rebuilt in the 16th century to become the Trinity Lavra and the most revered religious spot in the whole Russia and the home of the Russian Orthodoxy. The religious complex includes several monasteries and cathedrals, all surrounded by fortress-like walls. Onion domes are shining bright gold everywhere and inside the churches – the fresco paintings and gold-covered altars are beyond glitzy. Unfortunately, the tourists, especially Chinese busloads, overrun the entire complex as it is the closest to Moscow – selfie sticks and selfie-taking making it an effort to even snap a good pic of the churches in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.