In Orthodox Christianity and certain other Eastern Christian communities Lavra or Laura ( _el. Λαύρα; Cyrillic: Ла́вра) originally meant a cluster of cells or caves for hermits, with a church and sometimes a refectory at the center. The term originates from Greek where it means "a passage" or "an alley".


Supraśl Lavra in Poland ] The Lavrite style of living has its origins in the early fourth century with the founding of a settlement of cells in the Nitrean desert. A community of 600 hermits lived scattered over the area, reliant on Nitria for bread, but with their own priest and church. Saint [ Euthymius the Great] (377 - 473) founded one of the early Lavras in fifth-century Palestine. [Parry (1999), p. 294] The Lavra of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified (†532), known as Mar Saba, is one of the most ancient continuously functioning monasteries in the Christian world.

A similar system was established by Saint Gerasimus, with 70 cells surrounding a coenobium, again with monks progressing into the cells after time spent in the coenobium. Weekdays were spent in the cells, accompanied only by a rush mat, a small amount of food and palm blades with which to make ropes and baskets. On Saturdays they would bring their handiwork to the coenobium and receive communion together, returning to their cells on Sunday evening. Cells were left open, and those in need could take whatever they wished from the cell if it were found empty. The lavra had a priest; the lavra’s contact with the outside world, and at least two ordained deacons.

In Muscovy, Imperial Russia, and in more recent times, the largest and the most important Russian Orthodox monasteries were called lavras and were subordinated directly to the Patriarch of Moscow. In 1721, they became subordinated to the Holy Synod. The Great Lavra founded by Athanasios of Trebizond in 963 is the oldest monastary on Athos.

List of lavras

*Ukrainian Orthodox Church (various Orthodox Churches):
**Kiev Pechersk Lavra (since 1598) Kiev Caves Lavra
**Pochayiv Lavra (since 1833) Pochayiv-Dormition Lavra
**Sviatohirsk Lavra (since 1526, reestablished 2004)

*Greek Orthodox Church:
**Lavra of St. Sabbas (Mar Saba) (532)
**Megisti Lavra, Mount Athos (10th century): the Great Lavra
**Agia Lavra

*Russian Orthodox Church:
**Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra (since 1744) Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra
**Alexander Nevsky Lavra (since 1797) St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra

*Polish Orthodox Church:
**Supraśl Lavra (since 1505) Supraśl-Annunciation LavraFact|date=June 2007

*Georgian Orthodox Church:
**David Garegi Lavra (since 1505)

ee also

*Pochayiv Lavra



*cite book
last = Parry
first = Ken
authorlink =
coauthors = David Melling (editors)
title = The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity
publisher = Blackwell Publishing
year = 1999
location = Malden, MA.
id =ISBN 0-631-23203-6

External links

*en icon [ The Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra]
* [ Photo of "Holy Mountain" (Sviatogorskaya) Lavra in the Ukraine]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Lavra —    Monastery that allowed monks to practice semi independent asceticism (q.v.). Monks lived in individual dwellings (cells [q.v.]), leading solitary lives of work and prayer. However, they remained under the supervision of an archimandrite (q.v.) …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • Lavra — Monastère de la Grande Laure de l Athos Un batiment du monastère …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lavra — Original name in latin Lavra Name in other language State code PT Continent/City Europe/Lisbon longitude 41.25936 latitude 8.71849 altitude 15 Population 9633 Date 2011 08 28 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

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