Kiev Pechersk LavraKiev Pechersk Lavra

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  • Off the path Explo
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    1.2 / 5
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    This is an amazing place, but very renowned too in Ukraine!
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      5 / 5
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      Lusine, your description is very complete!
    • Score
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      Yes, and you added a plan!
    • Score
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      Yes, 4
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      Yes!
    • Score
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      Yes!
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Kiev Pechersk Lavra or Kyiv Pechersk Lavra (Ukrainian: Києво-Печерська лавра, Kyievo-Pechers’ka lavra), also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, is a historic Orthodox Christian monastery which gave its name to one of the city districts where it is located in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.

Since its foundation as the cave monastery in 1051 the Lavra has been a preeminent center of the Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Eastern Europe. Together with the Saint Sophia Cathedral, it is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery complex is considered a separate national historic-cultural preserve (sanctuary), the national status to which was granted on March 13, 1996. The Lavra also not only located in another part of the city, but is part of a different national sanctuary than Saint Sophia Cathedral. While being a cultural attraction, the monastery is currently active. It was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine on August 21, 2007, based on voting by experts and the internet community.

My experience, Explo description: 

One of the oldest and most important monasteries in Ukraine and in the teritory of the former Soviet Union. Only the most important monasteries were designated as Lavras; there were only four, of which this Cave Monastery is the oldest. It was founded in 1077 by St Antoniy. The caves were dug out by priests who lived there as hermits. Nowadays, the caves are venerated by the faithful and tourists who visit the mummified monks, and pilgrims are still allowed access to the underground church there. There are two parts to the modern complex: the upper lavra, owned by the state and consisting of a number of museums (entry fee); and the lower lavra, owned by the Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriach) and consisting of the caves (you'll need 1 UAH to buy a candle to enter). Do not miss the display of micro-miniatures in the upper lavra. It sounds lame, but it is fascinating. You can enter the caves in the lower part if you dress correctly (women MUST cover their hair and wear skirts, no shorts. Expensive scarves are for sale there). Women can only just get away with pants in the winter. Start at the Lower Lavra, visiting the caves before the crowds descend for the day. There are two cave complexes, each housing the mummified remains of monks, as well as religous icons and other relics. Both caves are accessed through churches, with the entrance to the shorter caves at the end of a boardwalk. While it is free to enter the caves, you must purchase a taper candle in order to light your way. The caves are not recommended for the claustrophobic or overly tall. Once you're in there, it's hard, even impossible to turn around and go back out - you have to keep going.

How getting there: 

The easiest way to get there is to take the Metro to Arsenala. Once out in the street you walk to your left and you will pass through a very nice park with a facinating monument over when Ukraine was overtaken by the russians.

Useful information: 
Visit duration: 

The short Pechersk-Lavra Tour takes around 2 hours, the Extensive Pechersk-Lavra Tour with visit of museums takes around 4 hours.