Around 1313, Friedrich von Meysenburg had a chapel built on the site of current Trinity Church. In 1602, the Dominicans built a monastery around the church. When the Jesuits established themselves nearby and built the Athénée de Luxembourg and the Jesuit church, which is now Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Dominicans moved to the Fishmarket, and in 1628 sold the monastery and church to the Congrégation Notre-Dame des chanoinesses de Saint-Augustin. This order was founded in 1597 in the Duchy of Lotharingia by Alix Le Clerc and the abbot Pierre Fourier.
During the siege of the city by the troops of Louis XIV in 1684, the church and monastery were bombarded and destroyed, but then rebuilt. In 1737 the cornerstone of a new church was placed on the foundations of the old church. This new church, very similar to St. Paulinus' Church in Trier, was the first large Baroque building in the city. In 1745 the church was consecrated to the Holy Trinity by the suffragan bishop of Trier, Lothar Friedrich von Nalbach. It received its first altars in 1770. These are now in Saint Michael's Church, and in the churches of Baschleiden and Everlange. A large painting by Jean-Pierre Sauvage is now in the church of Hellange. These pieces of art from Trinity Church had to be brought to safety in 1795 from French Revolutionary troops.
Until this time, a crypt under the church was used as a burial site. In two rows on top of each other, as in the Roman Catacombs, 32 graves are located, in which 125 canonesses are buried. In the crypt, there are also two grave stones, of the founders of the monastery, namely Anne-Marie von Mansfeld (1585-1657) and Marguerite von Busbach (1579-1651). The crypt was only rediscovered in 1939, under Public Works Minister René Blum, while the church was being renovated.
During the time of the French Revolution, the church was used as a fodder store, a theater, and a decadal temple. After the Congress of Vienna, the Dutch King William I became Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 1815. By royal decree on 20 October 1817, the congregation church was rebuilt by the State as a garrison church for the Protestants among the Prussian garrison troops. Around this military community, a Protestant civil community emerged, composed of civil servants, soldiers, craftsmen, and guest workers.
In 1890, after the Nassau-Weilburg dynasty took over the Luxembourg throne with Grand Duke Adolphe, Trinity Church became the church of Luxembourg's ruling dynasty. The Grand Duke therefore donated three stained-glass windows in 1901 on the east wall. The altar, the sacristy, the pulpit, the monarch's box, the baptismal font and the chandelier were also donated by the Grand Duke.
The organ was built in 1877 by Stumm of Rhaunensulzbach. Donations for the organ came, amongst others, from the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar. The organ, renovated in 1998, has 1,350 pipes.References:
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.
The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.
Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.
In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.
The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.
In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.
After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.
In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.
Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.
In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.
In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.