Discover Kyiv: Pechersk Lavra (Cave Monastery)

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,503 views

You haven’t been to Kyiv if you don’t visit the magnficent Pechersk Lavra (Cave Monastery). You will be truly mesmerised with its splendour and grandeur. Today we will be visiting this extraordinary complex with splendid architecture and stunning frescos and art work. We have included it in our TOP 1O MUST SEE Attractions in the 2017 Eurovision host city.

The stunning Pechersk Lavra

Kyiv Pechersk Lavra is one of the most visited attractions in Kyiv and personally I think this is one of the most stunning places in the city. You should absolutely not miss visiting the Pechesk Lavra Complex along with its churches, cathedrals, caves, catacombs etc.

I had one of the most beautiful experiences in my life when I visited this unique sight on Palm Sunday. You should give yourself at least 4 hours to visit this extraordinary and beautiful place. Founded in 1051 is is one of the main spiritual centers of Orthodox Christendom.

There are 40 buildings in the complex consisiting of libraries, churches, cathedrals etc. In the caves you will be able to find the resting place of Saints. Hence this holy shrine is one of the most visited attractions of Kyiv.

Pechersk Lavra Cave Monastery by night

The Pechersk Lavra is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the largest Orthodox shrines in Ukraine with unique architecture and art work.  This remarkable site is also known as the Cave Monastery.

Pechersk Lavra map

The monastery was founded in 1051 as a center for spreading faith, spirituality and education.  It was amongst the most significant and influential monasteries in the eastern Slavic Orthodox world.

The name of the monastery comes from Ukrainian word pechera (cave) because monks settled there.

The founder of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra was Anthony, a monk from Liubech who took vows on Mount Athos (Greece). He arrived in Kyiv to spread monasticism in Kyivan Rus and lived in a cave overlooking the Dnipro River, where previously Hilarion – Metropolitan of Kyiv. The co-founder of Cave Monastery was Theodosius  one of the first students of Anthony. In the  beginning the monks lived in caves and prayed in underground churches but  later they built above-ground structures there.

The beautiful Pechersk Lavra

Izyaslav the Prince of Kyiv gave Anthony and other monks a plateau above the caves  which later came to be known as the Upper Lavra, contributing to the emergence of monasticism in Kyivan Rus.

Construction of the main cathedral church  at the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra’s  Assumption Cathedral started in 1073.

In 1169 the monastery received the status of Lavra the main large monastery. At the end of the twelfth century the monastery was fenced by stone walls.

From the 13th century onwards the monastery complex was afflicted with numerous hurdles and problems some with tragic consequences. Its buildings were repeatedly destroyed and looted. Restoration of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra began in the 18th century.The Assumption Cathedral (Dormition Cathedral) and Trinity Gate Church acquired Baroque features and  style after reconstruction. We must not forget the Great Lavra Bell Tower measuring 96.5 meters.

Dormition Cathedral at Pechersk Lavra

During the Soviet era, the monastery complex was used as a museum town under the Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Reserve.

Today there is an acting congregation on the territory of the Lavra. In its territory, occupying 28 hectares, there are more than a hundred stone buildings, forty of which are unique architectural monuments. The upper part of the complex, the museum territory, was given the status of National in 1996. The lower part remains to be the monastery as it used to be many centuries ago, where prayers are offered up and candles are twinkling in the hands of the pilgrims going down to the caves to pray near the relics of the great hermits of the Orthodox Church.

Do not miss visiting the Bell Tower, Miniature Museum, Dormition Cathedral (Assumption Church),  Gate Church of the Trinity, The Refectory and Church of the Saint Anthony and Theodosius, Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine, the catacacombs and caves.

Make sure you bring comfy shoes as there is a lot of walking to do here!

Address: 15 Lavrska Steet
Entrance Fee: 20 UAH

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