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Kiev Pechersk Lavra: history, facts, description | Interesting about Ukraine

Kiev Pechersk Lavra: history, facts, description

Kiev Pechersk Lavra in Ukraine is one of the biggest and greatest Orthodox churches. Monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has rank as a lavra. According to Nestor’s Chronicle it was founded in 1051 by reverend Antony as the cave monastery.

Interesting facts about history of Kiev Pechersk Lavra in Ukraine

On the basis of historical facts Kiev Pechersk Lavra is one of the monasteries in Rus, which set up a monachism. St. Anthony and Foektist, the abbot of Esphigmenou Monastery, on distant Mount Athos created the monastery originally as a cave monastery. This contribution had not gone unnoticed. People started to come for blessings and spiritual advice. Prince Izyaslav, son of Yaroslav and his Kievan nobility had often visited the cave monastery.


With help of their facilities there were built above ground and monastery cell, where the caves were close to the brethren, the amount of which rapidly increased. In 1062 St Anthony put the first abbot St. Barlaam and went into a remote cave, where he remained for 40 years.

After the transfer of St. Barlaam as a abbot to Holy Monastery, St Anthony blessed to igumen St. Theodosius as the most humble and benign of brotherhood. When the monastery had 100 monks, Theodosius sent one of them to Constantinople to the eunuchs Yerefema to rewrite Studiyskyy arose to bring it to Kyiv.

An important event in history was the foundation and construction of the Church of Assumption of God’s Mother. The church was built over 15 years by Greek architects and painters. It was blessed in 1089 by Metropolitan John.

Kiev Pechersk Lavra in Ukraine, like other monasteries of the empire, had devoted significant resources to the development of education, held its own primary school, seminary, appropriated funds for the education of poor students Diocese of Kyiv and even established five scholarships in the spiritual and educational institutions Kyiv and Kostroma.

History of Kiev Pechersk Lavra noticed that monastery had not passed its royal attention by any of the Russian Tsars: Peter the Great, Catherine II, Nicholas I and Nicholas II, Alexander I, Alexander II, Alexander III, Paul, Elizabeth. When visiting Laura kings, as well as the subjects took the blessing of the abbot. Romanov transferred to the monastery in person or through his messengers gold crosses and lamps, richly decorated with diamonds salaries prayer books, vestments of gold embroidery, brocade and cypress tombs for the dead saints.

Kiev Pechersk Lavra in Ukraine: description

The great cathedral church of the Assumption of Holy Mother is the first stone building in Kiev Pechersk Monastery. Consolidated miraculously on land, it was granted for such a sacred cause byc Sviatoslav Grand Prince of Kiev.


Assumption cathedral belonged to the type of cruciform church buildings and became sort of a standard Old Russian church architecture. During the occupation of Kyiv November 3, 1941 Assumption Cathedral was blown up. There are two versions of this barbaric act. And none of them has any conclusive evidence or objections.

Holy Cross Church

The dominant feature of the complex Near Caves is Holy Cross Church. Discreet and seemingly ugly from the outside, which was typical for the initial period of the Baroque style, inside it is striking in its grandeur, magnificence and beauty.

The current stone Holy Cross Church built on the place of a wooden expense Poltava Cossack colonel P.Hertsyka in 1700 and is the oldest of ground facilities of the complex and its architectural composition is characteristic for Ukrainian wooden churches in XVII century. The church survived without big changes and is an excellent illustration of the architecture of past centuries.


The iconostasis of the Holy Cross Church

While crossing the door of the Holy Cross church, everybody stay impressed of indescribable beauty and grandeur of its interior decoration. The decoration of the temple and all the Lavra is magnificent carved gilded three-tier iconostasis, made in style of rococo. Its carved basswood their own drawings Kyiv-carver Snitsar K.Shverin in 1767 - 1769 рр. The iconostasis is decorated with Corinthian pilasters. Icon cases on both sides of the iconostasis made by K. Shverin. Icons of the iconostasis wrote to talented painter Z. Holubovskiy.

Great Lavra Belltower (XVIII century)

Great Lavra Belltower is a glory of the architectural ensemble of Kiev Pechersk Lavra. It stands in the center of Cathedral Square; its golden head is clearly visible from the distance of Zadneprovski and the seven hills of Kyiv. This magnificent building is a four-octagonal tower height of 96.5 meters, and features a rich architectural and artistic decor Baroque. For interesting are three reliefs of XV, built over the entrance to the first tier of the bell tower, depicting the Mother of God and the founders of Kiev Pechersk Monastery - Saint Anthony and Theodosius. Bell tower crowned with gold helmet-shaped bath.

The Nativity Сhurch

The unique charm of the architectural ensemble Far Caves provides sevenfold Nativity church, which is situated on a high bastion. Built in 1696 in the Ukrainian Baroque style, it is the oldest of all the land of religious buildings, preserved in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra. It was built with help of Kyiv colonel Konstantin Mokyivtsi.

The Nativity Сhurch stands on the site of the ancient church of the same name, which, in turn, has been put in place several generations of wooden churches, which were reconstructed many times. But first there was built the first ground monastery church - wooden Church of the Dormition at which formed the ancient Monastery of the Caves.

The bell tower of the Nativity Сhurch

Fabulously beautiful in building ensemble of Far Caves are bunk tower. It stands next to the Nativity church, a two-storied octagonal shape of the tower dome. The first level is made for the passage of pass, in the second level - four arched openings for bells.

The walls of the second level are decorated with wonderful stucco ornamentation, which is dominated by floral motifs and decorated Corinthian columns. The bell tower topped by a delicate gilded baroque dome, around which are located at the corners sharp upward gilded spiers, creating a dome shape with a rare beauty silhouette. Ensemble of the Nativity Church is a masterpiece of Ukrainian baroque.


What is the history behind the creation of Kiev Pechersk Lavra?

Kiev Pechersk Lavra, also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, has a long and fascinating history. It was founded in the 11th century by a monk named Anthony, who was seeking solitude and spiritual enlightenment. Over time, the monastery grew in size and importance, becoming a center of learning, culture, and faith. In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was expanded and fortified, with new buildings, walls, and towers added. During the Soviet era, the monastery was closed and used for various secular purposes, but it was reopened as a functioning religious institution after Ukraine gained independence in 1991. Today, Kiev Pechersk Lavra is one of Ukraine's most important religious and cultural landmarks, attracting thousands of visitors every year.

What is the significance of the Lavra's caves?

The caves of Kiev Pechersk Lavra hold great significance in the history of Ukrainian Christianity. The caves were dug in the 11th century by Orthodox monks seeking to create a spiritual retreat away from the bustling city above. Over time, the caves became a place of burial for the monks and the holiest of pilgrims, and it is estimated that there are over a hundred thousand burials in the catacombs. The caves also served as a place of worship, where the monks could conduct services in seclusion, away from the distractions of the outside world. Today, the caves are a major tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, drawing visitors from all over the world to experience the spiritual and historical significance of this ancient place.

Are there any rules or dress codes visitors should follow at Kiev Pechersk Lavra?

Yes, visitors to Kiev Pechersk Lavra are expected to follow certain rules and dress codes out of respect for the monastery and its religious significance.

For example, both men and women are required to dress modestly, with covered shoulders and knees. Shorts and skirts above the knee are not allowed. Women are also required to cover their heads with a scarf or shawl before entering certain areas of the monastery, such as the caves.

Additionally, visitors are expected to behave respectfully and quietly while on the monastery grounds, as it is still an active religious site. Photography is allowed in certain areas but not in others, so it's important to pay attention to any posted signs or instructions from staff.

It's important to note that these rules and dress codes may be more strictly enforced during religious holidays or special events, so it's always a good idea to check ahead of time or ask staff if you have any questions.

How do I get to Kiev Pechersk Lavra?

Kiev Pechersk Lavra is located in the center of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, so it is easily accessible by various means of transportation. Visitors can take the metro to the Arsenalna station and then walk for about 10-15 minutes to reach the Lavra. Alternatively, there are also several bus and trolleybus routes that stop near the Lavra's entrance. For those who prefer to drive, there is a paid parking lot available on the Lavra's grounds. Additionally, visitors can also book guided tours that include transportation to and from the Lavra, as well as other popular attractions in Kyiv. Overall, there are many convenient options for getting to Kiev Pechersk Lavra.

Are there any guided tours available at Kiev Pechersk Lavra?

Yes, there are guided tours available at Kiev Pechersk Lavra, which can be a great way to learn more about the history and significance of this important site. The tours are usually conducted by experienced guides who are knowledgeable about the various buildings, monuments, and artifacts found within the complex. Some of the guided tours may also include a visit to the Lavra's caves, where visitors can see the mummified remains of some of the Lavra's most important figures. Additionally, some tours may also include a visit to the Lavra's museum, which houses a large collection of religious artifacts, paintings, and other historical objects related to the Lavra's history. To book a guided tour, visitors can either contact the Lavra directly or book through a local travel agency.

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