Alexander Nevsky Lavra

Aleksandro-Nevskaya Lavra

It was believed that on that site, where the Black River (today's Monastyrka) mouths into the Neva River, was it that Prince Alexander Nevsky defeated the Swedes in the Neva Battle of 1240. The legend has it that the spot for the construction of an orthodox monastery founded in 1713 was chosen by Peter I himself. The draft plan of the monastery was designed by Domenico Trezzini. The Church of the Annunciation, built as a Russian Baroque temple in 1717-1725, became the first stone temple in Saint Petersburg – the later ensemble of the Lavra was formed around it. This church is often being referred to as the first Russian Pantheon, as it served as a tomb of the royal family members and famed statespersons. Here lies Alexander Suvorov, a famous Russian war chief. In the late 18th century the Holy Trinity Cathedral featuring some amazing interior designs was constructed by architect Ivan Starov. In 1790 the relics of Prince Alexander Nevsky were moved to the Holy Trinity Cathedral. This is the main sacred object of the temple. In 1797 Paul I gave the cathedral the status of Lavra.

After the revolution of 1917 the monastery was not closed straight away, the last church was abolished only in 1936. The relics, taken from the cathedral, were stored in the Museum of the History of Religion until 1989. The silver sarcophagus made for the relics of Alexander Nevsky, gifted to the temple by Empress Elizabeth was transferred to the State Hermitage. Today the sarcophagus with the relics is located in the reliquary of the cathedral since its opening in 1957.

The Lavra architectural ensemble comprises several historical necropolises where many of the prominent Russian figures were buried, such as composers Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Mikhail Glinka, Modest Mussorgsky, Alexander Borodin, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, artists Ivan Kramskoy, Arkhip Kuindzhi, Boris Kustodiev, Ivan Shishkin, ballet master Marius Petipa, writer and historian Lev Gumilyov, historian Nikolay Karamzin, writer Fyodor Dostoevsky, the first Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov, famous sculptors and architects who created the "City of Peter", Carlo Rossi, Giacomo Quarenghi, Mikhail Kozlovsky, Ivan Martos, Peter Clodt and many other prominent figures.

Address: Embankment of Monastyrka river, 1 (Reki Monastyrki naberezhnaya, 1)
Opening hours: Lavra daily 6 am – 8 pm; 18th cent. Necropolis daily 9.30 am – 6 pm, ticket office till 5.30 pm; winter schedule 11 am – 4 pm; Necropolis of the fine arts masters: summer schedule Mon-Wed, Fri-Sun 9.30 am – 9 pm, ticket office till 8.30 pm, Thu 9.30 am – 6 pm, ticket office till 5.30 pm; winter schedule daily 11 am – 4 pm; the Annunciation church crypt 11 am – 5 pm, ticket office till 4.30 pm, closed on Mon, Thu.; Lazarev cemetery 11 am – 12.30 pm, 1 pm – 4.30 pm, closed on Wed, Thu.
How to reach: Ploschad Alexandra Nevskogo metro station
Coordinates: 59.921163, 30.389023