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- Lower Production cost (27 vs. 54)
- It generates an additional +1 Great Prophet point per turn (for a total of +2 Great Prophet points per turn).
- It also provides +1 Great Writer point, +1 Great Artist point, and +1 Great Musician point per turn. These three aren't improved by the Oracle.
- It expands the city's borders whenever a Great Person is used in the city.
- Receives Major bonus (+2) to Faith yield for each adjacent Natural Wonder, a Standard bonus (+1) to Faith yield for each adjacent Mountain tile, and Minor bonus (+½) to Faith for each adjacent district tile and each adjacent unimproved Woods tile.
- A religion can be founded in a Lavra.
- Religious units can be purchased in a city with a Lavra, spawning in the Lavra or if that's unavailable in the City Center (stacking limits permitting).
- Religious units heal in a Lavra and in tiles adjacent to it.
- Specialists add +2 Faith each.
The following buildings can be constructed in a Lavra:
- Worship building (requires the appropriate Worship Belief):
The Lavra provides twice as many Great Prophet points as the Holy Site it replaces, thus ensuring that the Russians will be one of the first civilizations to found a religion even if they don't build Stonehenge. It also provides Great Writer, Great Artist, and Great Musician points and expands its city's borders each time a Great Person is activated there. This gives Russia a good incentive to build Theater Squares and focus on cultural development in its cities, attracting all kinds of artistic geniuses who can expand Russia's borders while edging it ever closer to winning a Culture Victory.
In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, a lavra (such as found at Mount Athos in Greece or Neamț in Romania) is a cloistered monastery of cells for hermits with a central church and/or rectory. Perhaps the most famous is the Alexander Nevsky Lavra (trust the Russians to name a holy place after a warrior) in St. Petersburg where many eminent but dead Russians are buried – besides Nevsky, there's Euler, Suvarov, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Dostoevsky and others. Believed to have its origins in the early 4th century AD, the first lavra seems to have been a settlement of some 600 hermits around Nitria in the Egyptian desert. In the strict Eremitic tradition, these hermit-monks lived a secluded life devoted to prayer, often accompanied by vows of silence, chastity, meditation and/or fasting. Further proof of the lengths to which some of the faithful will resort to be saved.