Religious Sites

When taking a religious pilgrimage, Russia may not be high on the list of destinations, but with so many beautiful and historic religious sites, Russia should be at the top of the list of pilgrimage sites. Russia has a long and diverse religious history, from Greek and Celtic religious influences to Christianity. While Christianity is the most prominent religion in Russia today, Christianity is not the only religion thriving in Russia. B
Ivolginsky Datsan is a Buddhist monastery in Russia located in Eastern Siberia. The monastery consists of seven temples, a Buddhist University, priests houses, a museum of Buddhist art and a hotel. The main temple is protected by elaborately decorated tigers and the inside of the temple is an explosion of colors. While the architecture and landscape of Ivolginsky Datsan are beautiful and intriguing, the main draw to the Buddhist temple is the remarkably preserved body of the 12th Khambo Lama: Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov. Itigilov was born in 1852 and started his religious education at age 16. In 1911 he was appointed the 12th Khambo Lama and is credited with starting a Buddhist revival in Russia. For helping to care for wounded soldiers in World War I, Itigilov was awarded the St. Anna Award, and at the age of 75 Itigilov entered into a deep meditation and died.
The Holy Trinity Lavra or the Holy Trinity Monastery started out as a small wooden church founded by St. Sergius of Radonezh in 1345, but soon grew to be the richest monastery in Russia. In 1422 Sergius was declared the patron saint of the Russia state and was entombed in the Cathedral of Holy Trinity at the monastery. Ivan the Terrible also has a hand in the monastery’s history. In 1559 Ivan the Terrible commissioned the Assumption Cathedral to be built as penance for killing his son and construction took 26 years to complete.

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