Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is the most important Russian monastery and the spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church; the monastery is situated in the town of Sergiyev Posad, about 70 km to the north-east from Moscow by the road leading to Yaroslavl, is home to over 300 monks. The monastery was founded in 1337 by one of the most venerated Russian saints, Sergius of Radonezh, who built a wooden church in honour of the Holy Trinity on Makovets Hill. Early development of the monastic community is well documented in contemporary lives of Sergius and his disciples. In 1355, Sergius introduced a charter which required the construction of auxiliary buildings, such as refectory and bakery; this charter was a model for Sergius' numerous followers who founded more than 400 cloisters all over Russia, including the celebrated Solovetsky and Simonov monasteries. St. Sergius supported Dmitri Donskoi in his struggle against the Tatars and sent two of his monks and Oslyabya, to participate in the Battle of Kulikovo.

At the outbreak of the battle, Peresvet died in a single combat against a Tatar bogatyr. The monastery was devastated by fire, when a Tatar unit raided the area in 1408. St. Sergius was declared patron saint of the Russian state in 1422; the same year the first stone cathedral was built by a team of Serbian monks who had found refuge in the monastery after the Battle of Kosovo. The relics of St. Sergius still may be seen in this cathedral, dedicated to the Holy Trinity; the greatest icon painters of medieval Russia, Andrei Rublev and Daniil Chyorny, were summoned to decorate the cathedral with frescoes. Traditionally, Muscovite royals were held thanksgiving services here. In 1476, Ivan III invited several Pskovian masters to build the church of the Holy Spirit; this graceful structure is one of the few remaining examples of a Russian church topped with a belltower. The interior contains the earliest specimens of the use of glazed tiles for decoration. In the early 16th century, Vasily III added the Nikon annex and the Serapion tent, where several of Sergius' disciples were interred.

It took 26 years to construct the six-pillared Assumption Cathedral, commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in 1559. The cathedral is much larger than its namesake in the Moscow Kremlin; the magnificent iconostasis of the 16th–18th centuries features Simon Ushakov's masterpiece, the icon of Last Supper. Interior walls were painted with violet and blue frescoes by a team of Yaroslavl masters in 1684; the vault contains burials of his family and several 20th-century patriarchs. As the monastery grew into one of the wealthiest landowners in Russia, the woods where it had stood were cleared and a village sprang up near the monastery walls, it developed into the modern town of Sergiyev Posad. The cloister itself was a notable centre of icon painting. Just opposite the monastery walls St. Paraskeva's Convent was established, among whose buildings St. Paraskeva's Church, Introduction Church, a 17th-century chapel over St. Paraskeva's well are still visible. In 1550s, a wooden palisade surrounding the cloister was replaced with 1.5 km-long stone walls, featuring twelve towers, which helped the monastery to withstand a celebrated 16-month Polish-Lithuanian siege in 1608–1610.

A shell-hole in the cathedral gates is preserved as a reminder of Wladyslaw IV's abortive siege in 1618. By the end of the 17th century, when young Peter I twice found refuge within the monastery from his enemies, numerous buildings had been added; these include a small baroque palace of the patriarchs, noted for its luxurious interiors, a royal palace, with its facades painted in checkerboard design. The refectory of St. Sergius, covering 510 square meters and painted in dazzling checkerboard design, used to be the largest hall in Russia; the five-domed Church of John the Baptist's Nativity was commissioned by the Stroganovs and built over one of the gates. Other 17th-century structures include the monks' cells, a hospital topped with a tented church, a chapel built over a holy well discovered in 1644. In 1744, Empress Elizabeth conferred on the cloister the dignity of a Lavra; the metropolitan of Moscow was henceforth the Archimandrite of the Lavra. Elizabeth favoured the Trinity and annually proceeded afoot from Moscow to the cloister.

Her secret spouse Alexey Razumovsky accompanied her on such journeys and commissioned a baroque church to the Virgin of Smolensk, the last major shrine to be erected in the Lavra. Another pledge of Elizabeth's affection for the monastery is a white-and-blue baroque belltower, which, at 88 meters, was one of the tallest structures built in Russia up to that date, its architects were Dmitry Ukhtomsky. Throughout the 19th century, the Lavra maintained its status as the richest Russian monastery. A seminary founded in 1742 was replaced by an ecclesiastical academy in 1814; the monastery boasted a supreme collection of books. Medieval collections of the Lavra sacristy attracted thousands of visitors. In Sergiyev Posad, the monastery maintained several sketes, one of, a place of burial for the conservative philosophers Konstantin Leontiev and Vasily Rozanov. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Soviet government closed the lavra in 1920, its buildings declared museums. In 1930, monastery bells, including the Tsar-Bell of 65 tons, were destroyed.

Pavel Florensky and his followers prevented the authorities from stealing and selling the sacristy collection but overall many valuables were lost or transferred to other collections. In 1945, following Joseph Stalin's tem


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Canadian Museum of Flight

The Canadian Museum of Flight is an aviation museum at the Langley Regional Airport in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. The museum has over 25 civilian and military jets, piston driven engine aircraft and helicopters on display, six of which have been restored to flying condition. Other displays include aviation artifacts; the museum's Handley Page Hampden is the last of its type in existence. The aircraft was used in coastal patrol on the BC coast in World War II and crashed offshore in 1942, it was restored over a twenty-year period. The rare aircraft is stored outdoors, on 26 December 2008, an heavy snowfall broke the left wing spars; this caused the wing to separate from the fuselage. Over the Summer of 2012, a rebuilt replica wing was fixed to the root and is now open for public display once again; the Museum is affiliated with: CMA, CHIN, Virtual Museum of Canada. Organization of Military Museums of Canada List of aerospace museums Military history of Canada Canadian Museum of Flight website