© iStock /Dmytro Kosmenko
© iStock /Dmytro Kosmenko

The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra - a cradle of Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine

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The largest temple of Orthodox Christians of the country is located in the capital of Ukraine. Construction began in the 11th century. At the time, it was a small stone monastery. Today it is one of the largest religious complexes in Eastern Europe. In this article, I will tell you about the unique National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Reserve (or as Ukrainians call it the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra) -  a cradle of orthodox Christianity in Ukraine.

Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, Kyiv
Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, Kyiv
Lavrska St, 15, Kyiv, Ukraine, 01015

A piece of history of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra is an Orthodox monastery founded in 1051 by two monks Antony and Theodosius near Kyiv. In the XI century, the monastery became the centre of Christianity spread in Kyiv. In the XII century, the monastery received the status of "Lavra" - high-ranking male monasteries for monks of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The name "Pecherskaya" comes from the word pechera, meaning "caves", because it describes the setting where the first monks settled. Their high morals and asceticism distinguished them from other religious people. This attracted even more enlightened people to come to the lavra. The monastery became a kind of "Academy of Orthodox Hierarchs".

© iStock /Siempreverde22
© iStock /Siempreverde22

The largest museum complex of Ukraine

If you come to Kyiv even for one day, you have a good chance to find out about the grand history of Ukraine simply by visiting one museum complex. After all, the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Reserve is the largest museum complex in Ukraine, with 144 buildings, 122 of which are monuments of history and culture. Among them are two unique underground complexes, temples, architectural monuments of the XI-XIX centuries, and numerous exhibition spaces. Also, on the territory of the reserve, there is a huge number of museums: the Museum of Book and Printing of Ukraine, the Museum of Ukrainian Folk Decorative Art, the Museum of Theater, Music and Cinema of Ukraine, and the Museum of Historic Values ​​of Ukraine. In museums and collections, you can see manuscripts of ancient books, icons, collections of fabrics and embroidery, artistic works on precious metals, ancient engravings, and even works of modern artists.

© iStock /Lindrik
© iStock /Lindrik

The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra is also on the territory of the reserve - an outstanding monument not only of Ukrainian but of the world culture. Taking into account the exclusiveness of the architectural ensemble, and the contribution to the national and world culture, and science and education, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra is listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.  If you want to see ancient temples and feel the spirit of a great shrine, do visit the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, a cradle of Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine.


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The author

Marusia Bilous

Marusia Bilous

Hi, I’m Marusia from Lviv, Ukraine. My life is a permanent movement in a search for unforgettable impressions and interesting people. I promise that your virtual trip to my country will be interesting, and you will definitely plan one of your travels to Ukraine.

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