Founded by Peter the Great in 1710 to commemorate the Russian military leader who stopped the advance of the Germans and Swedes in the 13th century, the Alexander Nevsky Monastery (Александро-Невская лавра) is not just a tribute and final resting place to one of Russia’s great leaders, but home to many of Russia’s historical icons.
Upon entrance through the main gate you will notice the Lazarev and Tikhvin Cemeteries on either side, known together as the Necropolis of Masters of Art (Некрополь мастеров искусств) where the ornate tombs of Leonhard Euler, Mikhail Lomonosov, Nikolay Karamzin, Modest Mussorgsky, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Fyodor Dostoevsky reside.
The monastery also includes 2 baroque churches, the Saint Nicholas Church (Никольская церковь), and the majestic Holy Trinity Cathedral (Троицкий собор), one of the very few churches given permission to carry out sermons during Soviet rule. Even though much of the monastery’s structures have undergone sporadic reconstruction, the baroque style that dominates much of the complex is still intact.
With the revival of the monastery and the liturgical life of the abbey, upon visiting the monastery, you can also see an active revival of handicrafts and art, which always been a trait amongst Orthodox Christians. Once there be sure to look out for Russian paintings, cabinets, jewelry, and even Christian pewter miniatures.
The Alexander Nevsky Monastery is accessible by taking the metro to Ploshchad Alexandra Nevskovo (Площадь Александра Невского).