In 1476, on the site of the wooden Trinity Church constructed in 1412 by St. Nikon, master-builders from Pskov, invited for the construction work in the Moscow Kremlin, erected a new single-domed church, dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. Under the dome of the church the builders placed an open belfry. In 16081610 during the siege of the monastery by Polish troops this church was used as a watch-tower.
The church of the Holy Spirit and the Trinity Cathedral form an ensemble. The frescoes in the Holy Spirit Church were executed in 1655, but in the middle of the 19th century they were replaced by oil paintings. The iconostasis was carved of rosewood by the Lavra woodcarvers in 1866. In the church there are two shrines with the holy relics of St. Maximus the Greek († 1556) and St. Anthony of Radonezh († 1877). St. Maximus the Greek was one of the most erudite men of his period. In 1518, at the invitation of the Grand Prince of Moscow Basil III (Vasily III), he arrived in Mos-cow from Athos to translate liturgical and patristic books from Greek into Russian. He also wrote many theological and polemic works. He died in the monastery in 1556 and was buried here. In 1988 he was canonised.
St. Anthony was canonised in 1996. From 1770, the Metropolitans of Moscow were abbots of the monastery. St. Anthony was the monastery’s vicar in 18311877.