Kiev-Pechersk Lavra

Kiev-Pechersk Lavra
Lavrskaya str., 21

Kiev-Pechersk Lavra(Kiev Cave Monastery) is a unique monastery complex, which is included in UNESCO world heritage list. It was visited by more than 43 millions of tourists from all over the world.

Kiev-Pechersk Lavra is a unique monastery complex, which is included in UNESCO world heritage list. It was visited by more than 43 millions of tourists from all over the world.

History of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra

Kiev-Pechersk-Lavra originates in 1051, when a monk Antoniy had settled in this place in dug out on a hill slope cave. Soon other monks joined him and started to widen the caves, later when underground space could not house all community — to construct overground buildings.

The name of the monastery comes exactly from the caves (the word «pechera» in Ukrainian means a «cave»), the word «lavra» means status, it received large and influential monasteries, which size was like small towns with streets (lavra means «street» in Greek).

From the 70th of XI century in the monastery intensive building had begun, here was constructed Uspenskiy Cathedral, Troitskaya Church and refectory.

The monastery played very important role in Ukrainian culture development — the first printing-house was established here, many famous chroniclers, writers, scientists, painters, doctors lived and worked. In 1113 Chronicler Nestor wrote his «Tale of Bygone Years» («Povest vremennyh let») — the main source of knowledge about the times of Kievan Rus.

After a great fire of 1718 the restoration of damaged building and the construction of new one had began. Holy Dormition Cathedral and Troitskaya Church got its present-day baroque style, the monastery territory was surrounded by stone walls. Thus in the middle of the XVIII century the unique architectural ensemble of Lavra had been formed. It preserved till our times for the most part. Kiev-Pechersk Lavra became the largest monastery on the territory of former Kievan Rus, its total square was almost 30 hectares.

After Communist Party came to power in 1917 the hard times for the monastery had begun — it was closed and all its property had been nationalized, some time after in the part of monastery buildings museums were placed.

In 1941 during World War II the Holy Dormition Cathedral had been blown up. Up to now there are no exact facts who realized the blasting operations — Germans or Soviet underground.

In 1988 the territory of Far Caves with all overground buildings was returned to newly created monk community, and in 1990 the territory of Near Caves.

Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Caves

Lavra caves is the system of underground passages, divided into two parts — Far and Near Caves. First annalistic mentions of Lavra Caves are related to 1051. At first caves were occupied by the monks who lived their, later in caves started to bury dead settlers of the monastery. In particular there are remains of Chronicle Nestor the author of the «Story of bygone years», Ilya Muromets — Russian epic hero and the relics of imperishable Lavra saints.

In some underground cells lived hermit monks, who devoted their lives to prayers — in the walls of cave passages had remained small holes through which they got water and food.

There are legends about the extent of Lavra caves, — it’s said that underground passages stretches under the Dnieper and also connects Lavra with other monastery caves of Kiev and Chernigov.


  • Znjezdan 2015.12.04

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  • Kevin 2015.12.02

    My spouse and I<a href=""> aeoblutsly</a> love your blog and find a lot of your post's to be just what I'm looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content in your case? I wouldn't mind creating a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome weblog!

  • Akbar 2015.12.02

    I really ejyenod looking at your photos on this post, and I read every word, it was so interesting. I'm wondering about a church's choice not to allow photography. I can understand both sides of the argument, especially when tourists visit just to take happy snaps and not at all to worship or contemplate anything godly. But after following a blog by Dennis Aubrey for a while (Via Lucis Photography), I see that some caretakers of ancient French churches are very glad that someone is recording their history because it might attract some worshippers, and even donors for the building restoration funds. Perhaps at this stage Ukrainian churches have enough money to pay for the upkeep of the buildings. This was a great article, Aaron. Thanks.

  • Eeckhout Honoré 2013.10.24

    Dear Madam Dear Sir A few years ago I was diagnosed with a heart disease and I needed urgent surgery . My doctors advised me to put a stop to my busy social life. Or at least to take things a bit more easy , calm down and relax more. They thought having `a quiet hobby '( ‘start a stamp collection , any collection ‘) would help me to do this. In the meantime I am retired and I started to collect postcards & pins of catthe- drals , basilacas, museums, open-air-museums, themeparks of all the cities of Europe. Therefore I take the freedom to put my question to you. Would you be willling to send me a postcard or pin in order to extend my collection. Once the collection is ´big` enough I have plans for giving it to a home for disabled children with the idea to help them start a small kind of ‘ museum ‘ of all different kind of collections. Hopefully in return of a positive answer , I remain. Sinderly Mr Eeckhout Honoré Paepestichelstraat 8 B-9400 Appelterre-Eichem Belgium E-Mail –

  • Cristina 2013.05.08

    Les runes gratuits consulter voyante

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