Kiev-Pechersk Lavra

Description of excursions in Kiev-Pechersk Lavra

Kiev-Pechersk Lavra - the largest Kiev monastery, which has the status of Historical and Cultural Preserve.
Kiev-Pechersk Lavra - the name derives from the words: "Cave" and "Lavra," which in Greek means - the street.

Pechersk Lavra is composed of two parts - a small church campuses that have fortifications on all sides, as well as among themselves.

Upper Lavra - the territory of the national historical-cultural reserve of national importance, in which there is a museum of history, culture and religion of Kievan Rus.

Lower Lavra - a working monastery, which, like a thousand years ago the monks live and serve. In the lower monastery located Near and Far caves.

Upper Lavra has four entry into the territory. The central entrance to the western gates of the Lavra is a Trinity church Overgate which is the main stream of tourists visiting to the Kiev Caves Preserve.

Kiev-Pechersk Lavra golden domed

Historical information:

According to the chronicle "The Tale of Bygone Years," the founder and first resident of the Cave monastery was Antony, who arrived from the Chernihiv region.
Having ordained a monk in the Greek convent, he settled in a cave dug out for himself a priest Hilarion, at the Kiev hill. Soon they settled 12 monks who established themselves on the underground church.

Later, near the caves was built the first church of the Mother of God Nativity, and the monks were buried in caves.

Pilgrims who came to Kiev-Pechersk Lavra was necessary to go through the cave, and on the popular belief that because of this they got rid of some sins.

For nine centuries, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra was the largest religious and cultural center of Kievan Rus, and later the whole of Russia.

Since 1917 the monastery was transformed into a museum, where there is no existing churches.

The structure of Brahma in the Upper Lavra - Trinity Gate Church 1106 - 1108 was reconstructed in the XVIII century.
After 1900 the outer walls were painted near the entrance on the outside, but before that fresco painting was done only inside the cathedral.

The main church hall is located on the second floor, above the entrance.
Church of the Holy Trinity (Troitskaya, Trehsvyatitelskaya), the first floor is the entrance to the territory of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.
South exterior wall of the church has an open demonstration of the original piece of stone foundations of the facade of stone and masonry walls of brick plinfy-XI centuries - the foundation of a thousand years ago.
The interior of the church, altar, iconostasis, and three-tier interior make it possible to carry out religious rites.
Inside the vaults and walls inside the church were painted in the biblical style of the mid XVIII century, were made by pupils of the icon painting school.

From the Church runs the Royal Street - on both sides of which are the case - gallery, built in 1720 (reconstruction of the last century).

On the right is Great Lavra Bell Tower.
A large Bell Tower of Kiev Pechersk Lavra - is architectural monument.
On the right is Great Lavra Bell Tower.
A large bell of Kiev Pechersk Lavra - an architectural monument.
It was built in 1731-1744 under the project of German architect.
Height of buildings - 96.52 pm
The diameter of the bell tower foundation - 28,8 m
The thickness of the walls of the first tier - 8m, the foundation lies at a depth of seven meters.
The thickness of the basement - 7 meters.
After construction, the third tier have been installed bell weighing 5000 pounds.
One of the bells was cast in the territory of the monastery, the second bell was made in Moscow in 1744 (the larger, 1,600 pounds).
On the third floor of the bell tower were installed bells weighing 5000 pounds.
On the fourth tier of the clock is set.

Bell Tower of Kiev Pechersk Lavra


Great Lavra Bell Tower - the most prominent and tallest building in the territory of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, whose golden dome visible for miles both on the left bank, and on the right bank of the Dnieper.

Holy Assumption Cathedral - the main temple of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, the oldest and the first cathedral of Kiev-Pechersk monastery (rebuilt in 2000).
Assumption Cathedral (Uspenskiy Sobor) is located opposite the entrance through the "Holy Gates" of Trinity Church, on the central square of Upper Lavra.

Assumption Cathedral (Uspenskiy Sobor)

According to the chronicle "The Tale of Bygone Years," which is written by a monk of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Nestor the Chronicler - The first stone church "Holy Assumption Cathedral" in the Kiev-Pechersk monastery was erected the holy abbot Theodosius and Bishop Michael in 1072, with the blessing of Anthony.
Construction of the "Assumption Cathedral" accompanied by the legend of the Holy Blagoroditsa phenomenon, and the fact that design and architecture of the church was inspired from the heavens.
It is considered that the construction financed - Simon Varangian (Viking), which saw the church in heaven and guidance to finance the construction of the money raised from the sale of the gold belt.
Interior decoration of the temple was made by Greek craftsmens, the interior was decorated with mosaics and frescoes, was also set five-tier iconostasis, 20 meters high.
During the invasions of XIII-XIV centuries the temple has been repeatedly destroyed.
The cathedral was rebuilt after a fire in 1718, and the building was expanded.
In 1941 the cathedral was blown up. Survived only a distant part of the right nave with a single dome.
Assumption Cathedral, also known as "the Great Church" is a museum that features rare exhibits, libraries and archaeological value.

Saints Anthony and Theodosius Church, was built in 1893-1895, has a neo-Byzantine architectural style, with wide domes, is located near the Assumption Cathedral, and the passage connected to the dining room of the monastery. Near the church is the old graves of famous people of Imperial Russia times.

Kovnirsky building - a monument of architecture of 17-18 centuries.
In Kovnirsky housing the Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine - an exhibition of the most valuable treasures and artifacts of Kievan Rus.

Publishing House of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra - a building which is adjacent to Kovnirsky building.
The printing house of Lavra was opened by Archimandrite Monastery - Elisey Pletenetsky in 1615.
100 years after the opening of the first Lavra printing house - most valuable books, religious books and manuscripts burned in a fire in 1718, which has also suffered the typography establishments.

Modern Architectural Design of Pechersk Lavra, and facades of buildings formed by the restoration after a fire in 1718.
Assumption Cathedral was rebuilt, and the building was larger.
Corps-gallery located on the sides of the path from the gate of Trinity Church to the Cathedral of the Assumption - previously had a wooden structure which was completely burned in the fire, but after 1720 built stone walls.
Corpus Galleries are the reconstruction of residential cells destroyed during World War II.


Kiev-Pechersk Lavra map

After a Upper Lavra tour, you can go to the attractions of the Lower Lavra - is functioning monastery in which there are legendary Caves.

The transition from the Upper Lavra monastery to the Lower Lavra area is located behind the Assumption Cathedral, on the right.

Holy Cross Church is located near the Near Caves. The north side of the church adjacent to the hill where the entrance to the nearby caves of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (Anthony Cave).
In one of the three inputs pass through the Holy Cross church can get on an excursion to the nearby caves.

Annozachatyevskaya Church - Conception of the Righteous Anna Church, is adjacent to the entrance to the Far Caves of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (Theodosius Caves).
Conception of St. Anna Church was built in 1679, renovated in 1809 and the construction of a wooden gallery, entrance stone towers and the crypt for the burial.

Near and Far Caves is maze of underground passages that are visited by thousands of tourists, worshipers and pilgrims.
The caves are kept incorrupt relics, burial and coffins of the dead priests and saints.
Underground tunnels were dug about a thousand years ago and did not differ much comfort, have a height of 2 meters and a small width of the corridor is equal to an average of 1.5 meters.
The length of the Near Caves - 313 meters.
Far length - 293 meters.
The caves are located underground at a depth of 15 meters.
The ritual of burial caves in the different specific characteristics.
Depending on whether the body of the deceased spread out over 3 years in a specially dug earthen niche - it might consider a saint. If the body is decomposed, the bones and skull were buried separately, but if the body is dried out like a mummy - a priest, joined to the saints, and he always remained in the tomb.

Starting from the 15th century, the caves are open to the faithful. It was believed that the believer had to kiss the hand of the saint lies in the tomb.
Until the 18th century, work on the expansion of cave passages.
Now the Caves are a complex system of underground passages in which both sides are niches with bones, graves, tombs and sarcophagus with the incorrupt bodies of saints of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.

Earlier in the caves were many monks living spaces and an underground church.


Please note:
To visit the caves there Dresscode for women's clothing - it is obligatory presence of the skirt instead of trousers.

On the road between the Near and Far Caves you can visit the holy water pits.

Church of the Blessed Virgin Nativity - is located on the hill near the Far Caves, on the spot where he built the first temple on the land territory of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra - the Dormition of the Mother of God Church.
Around the church is buried nobility, the priests of high rank, Monarchs and nobles.


Essential information about excursions to Kiev-Pechersk Lavra

Tours are conducted full-time staff.

Access to the Lower Lavra - free, but when visiting the cave you must to buy a candle.

Visiting the Upper Lavra - paid.

Visit to the Great Lavra Bell Tower - Pay, includes the ascent to the upper observation deck, which has an extraordinarily beautiful view and wonderful panorama.

Any photos and video on the territory of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra - should be paid as an additional ticket.

Visiting museums in the territory of Lavra - an additional cost.


Kiev-Pechersk Lavra map


Near the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra are also other churches:

Resurrection of Christ Church
An architectural monument, built in 1696-1705 years in the Ukrainian Baroque style. The bell tower attached to the church in 1863.

The Theodosius Pechersky Church
The monument of architecture. Built in 1698-1702, in the Ukrainian Baroque style.
Three pear-shaped domes are installed along the axis of the building.
The church is decorated with a massive plinth, tall pilasters and cornice.
Located on the 14, Tsitadelna Str.

Church of Saviour on the Berestove
Situated between the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and the park of Eternal Glory.
Berestov - now days, Eternal Glory Park, extraordinarily beautiful park on the slopes of Cave Hill, once was the country residence of the princes of Kiev. In Berestov was a palace of Grand Duke Vladimir Svyatoslavovych of Kiev. This was written in the annals of Nestor the Chronicler, a monk of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.
The stone two-storey palace with additional outbuildings was a suburban residence of the Princes. In Berestov lived Yaroslav the Wise Prince of Kiev, Sviatoslav Yaroslavovich, Vsevolod Yaroslavovich and Vladimir Monomakh.
In 1091 prince's palace was burnt down during a raid Polovtsian tribes.



To visit the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra:
Address: 21, Lavrska Str. Pechersky district of Kiev.
phone: 280-30-71
URL: www.

Open: Entrance to the caves - 9 a.m. - 16.30 p.m.

Summertime:  9 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Winter: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Spring-Fall: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


How to get to the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra on public transport:

On the trolley 38 from the Arsenalna metro station - 3 stops, to the last station, near The World War II museum.

How to get from Downtown:
From the beginning of the Khreshchatyk (Europeyska sq.)  can be reached by bus #24, to the last station.

View location on a map or a tour guide


Kiev-Pechersk Lavra