The Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra
Address: Yanvarskogo vostaniya, 17-25
Site: Official site
The National Historical and Cultural Reserve “Kiev-Pechersk” is the most famous monastery in Ukraine that contains more than eighty buildings: churches, bell towers, ramparts, caves with underground passes, museums. Kiev-Pechersk Lavra is a world-class centre of pilgrimage and tourism. There are such famous architectural landmarks on its territory as the Gate Church of the Trinity, the Dormition Cathedral, the cathedral monks’ cells, the Flavian’s Library, and many others.
The monastery was created in 1051 and was building over during the next nine centuries. He appeared as the cave monastery away from the city. The priest Illarion from the village Berestovo dug out the first cave to stay there in private and pray. The other hermits settled next to him, and caves they dug are now called Far or Feodosievsky caves.
For some time a monk Antony Pechersky was living there, but later he dug another cave, which gave rise to the Near or Antonievsky caves. The monks who lived here created a community headed by the first monastery abbot Varlaam. The community built above the first cave “a little church” and in 1062 established a church in the name of the Blessed Virgin. The cave monastery was often visited by representatives of the Kiev nobility, Prince Izyaslav Yaroslavovich, who gave to the monks the mountain above the caves, where they built the Old monastery. In addition, the Kiev nobility donated money to the monastery residents for further development, when the caves became too small for the developing community.
The monastery acted an important role in uniting of Eastern-slavic lands; it was the cultural and educational centre and was famous not only in Russia but in Poland, Bulgaria, Armenia and other countries. Morality and asceticism were peculiar to the monks who lived there; and this attracted educated and noble people. The monastery has become a sort of academy for the Orthodox Church.
Most buildings in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra were established in the XII-XIII centuries in baroque style. Since XII century the only church is preserved in its original form – the Gate Church of the Trinity, which is located above the monastery main entrance gate. During the wars, invasions and fires the monastery had a great loss, but somehow this church survived. Since 1992, in Lavra there is a cathedral and the residence of Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine.