Excursions in Kiev & suburbs » Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra is a unique complex of monasteries, the greatest historical and cultural heritage of our country visited by more than 43 million tourists from all over the world. The complex was listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The complex consists of the above-ground (a complex of religious buildings) and underground (caves) parts.
Pechersk Lavra originates in 1051, when a monk Antoniy settled in this place in a cave dug out on a hill slope. Soon he was joined by supporters, who started to widen the caves, and later when underground space could not house all monks, there appeared first above-ground constructions.
The caves gave the monastery its name, and the word «lavra» means status which was given to large and influential monasteries looking like small towns with streets (lavra is translated as «street» from the Greek language).
In the 70s of the XI century in the monastery’s intensive construction works were started, and Dormition (Uspenskiy) Cathedral, Trinity (Troitskaya) Church and Refectory (Trapeznaya) were built.
The monastery played a prominent role in the development of Ukrainian culture – construction of churches perfected skills of architects and artists, here was founded the first printing house in Kievan Rus. Famous chroniclers, writers, scientists, artists, doctors, publishers lived and worked in Lavra. This was the place where in the year 1113 Nestor the Chronicler wrote his Tale of Bygone Years (the Primary Chronicle) which is considered to be an essential source of today’s knowledge about the history of Kievan Rus.
After the great fire of 1718 there were started works on restoration of damaged buildings and the construction of new ones. Dormition (Uspenskiy) Cathedral and Trinity (Troitskaya) Gate Church were given a Baroque-style look, and around the monastery’s territory there were erected stone walls. Thus in the middle of the XVIII century there was created a unique architectural ensemble of Lavra which remained basically unchanged till the present days. Kiev Pechersk Lavra became the largest monastery in Kievan Rus, and its area covered almost 30 hectares.
No one of the Russian sovereigns neglected Kiev Pechersk Lavra: Peter the Great, Catherine and Nicholas II visited Lavra for abbot’s blessing and donated to the monastery golden crosses and candlesticks, diamond-studded revetments of liturgical books (many of those gifts can be seen in the Museum of Treasures).
Kiev Pechersk Lavra Caves represent an underground corridor system consisting of two parts – Near and Far Caves. The first chronicles of the Caves are related to 1051. At first the caves were inhabited by monks, and later they started to bury the bodies of monastery’s settlers there.
In some underground monastic cells there lived hermit monks who devoted their lives to prayers – in the walls of cave passages there remained small windows through which they received water and food.
There are myths and legends about the extent of Lavra caves – they say that underground passages stretch under the Dnieper and also connect Lavra with other monastery caves of Kiev and Chernigov.
All this and much more you will learn from our guide who will show you ancient paths of the complex and will answer all your questions.
If you want you can stay on the territory of the monastery’s complex after the end of the excursion till the time when the complex is closed for visitors.
Duration of excursion: 3 hours.
There are group discounts (for groups consisting of 4 and more persons).
The price includes:
Individual transport: place of residence – Lavra complex;
Permission to photographing;
Excursion with a personal guide (all languages) throughout the whole territory;
Visiting Far or Near Caves, several temples of the complex, the Museum of miniatures or the Museum of Treasures;
Climbing up the Lavra Bell Tower (depending on the season).
For more information, please contact us.
Price from: 30,00 €
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