The Russian Orthodox Church plans to construct its own Vatican City, a project to the tune of two billion dollars.
Church officials have been in talks with the officials of Sergiyev Posad in the Moscow region since 2017, according to “Vedomosti” newspaper.
Sergiyev Posad is the location of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, considered to be the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The monastery was founded in 1345 by Russian Saint Sergius of Radonezh, who built a wooden church on Makovets Hill dedicated in honor of the Trinity. The monastery was granted the status of Lavra or monastic settlement in 1744.
The Russian Church is now planning to build a large building complex around the monastery, and Vatican, Jerusalem and Mecca are mentioned as source of inspiration.
The strategy requires the restructuring of Sergiyev Posad, dividing it into spiritual, residential and administrative destricts.
Mayor Mikhail Tokarev estimated the project would cost about 140 billion rubles, that is about $ 2 billion, and would occupy one-third of the city center.