Our Travels

September 5, 2008

To the Lavra

For Labor Day we spent the better part of the day at and getting to/from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, better known as just The Lavra. For most of the following information I am consulting my guide book appropriately titled "The Kyiv-Pechersk National Historico-Cultural Preserve." What is this place you might ask? Its a monastery and is considered one of the major sacred places of Orthodox Christianity. Its golden domes have been around for almost a thousand years. The monks lived in undergrounds caves and later after they began to live above ground the caves were turned into burial places for the Lavra hermits, the Cathedral elders, famous clergymen, and distinguished persons. Throughout the centuries the monastery has suffered from both natural disasters to wars. They have done a lot of rebuilding and restoration.

This is one of the entrances, this church was built in 1106-1108. The monastery is surrounded by fortification walls and here in the picture is Keenan NOT wanting to pose. Our plan was to get to the Lavra early in the morning and be home around noon. We ended up with a somewhat late start then after a LOT of walking and one ride on the Metro later we finally arrived. Keenan was completely done being held, as he hitched a ride there in a carrier on me, and pretty done in the listening department as well. As soon as I got him out of the carrier he pretty much took off. He ran around in circles yelling (happily), wanted to pick up any stray pebbles or trash on the ground and if we wanted to go left he took off to the right. He then would kick and scream (not happily) when we chased him down and carried him in the direction we wanted. He finally started to cooperate with the first sighting that we had a goodie bag filled with raisins and captain crunch cereal.

This is the other side of the entrance inside. (Not sure why this is typing in blue??) (Not sure why it types in blue but publishes in pink...)This is the Dormition Cathedral. This church was destroyed several times throughout the centuries and everytime it was rebuilt and redorated.
This is the Great Lavra Bell Tower. The guidebook ways it is "one of the finest creations in Ukrainian architecture". I'll just take their word on it.An extra bell? Here's Keenan not interested in touring the rest of the monastery grounds because steps are just too fun to climb up and down on.
The inside of one of many churches.

We did go down into the labyrinth of Caves but, only a small portion of. The caves are free to tour but you must purchase a candle (very cheap). Women have to wear scarves on their heads and skirts, I didn't know this so I got to "borrow" some from the pile.

The Lavra was pretty large with quite a few buildings and museums to go through. Most of the museums charged an extra fee and since we were short on time we didn't go through any of them. The grounds were beautiful. As we walked around occasionally we could here the monks chanting in prayer.

Keenan had fallen asleep on me earlier as soon as we finished a bite to eat and was ready to go again when we finally made it back to our apartment around 2.


Corinne said...

Wow! What fancy/pretty buildings!!

mom said...

How beautiful it is. Love, Louise

Christy said...

The church is so beautiful it reminds of me all the neat churches we saw in Italia! I love the blue color and all the paintings of the saints on it. How neat! I wish we could come visit you and get to see some of it. Keenan surely doesn't appreciate it as much as I would! He sure is busy!