Kiev-Pechersk Lavra – is the orthodox male monastery, the most ancient and one of the most prominent monasteries in ancient Kievan Rus. For centuries the main sightseeing of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra are the caves, built by the saint founders of the Russian monkshood.
The history of Caves of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra starts since 1051 when on the territory of the contemporary monastery settled in a cave the reverend Antonij Pecherskij who has returned from the Mountain Afon and founded here the monastic activity. Just this date – 1051 is mentioned by Nestor the Chronicler as the year of the foundation of the cave residence.
Soon the number of caves begins to grow. And the cave of the reverend Antonij who was looking for the solitude became too populous for him. Having chosen the new igumen for the fraternity – the reverend Varlaam – Antonij went to the nearest hill where he dug a new cave that was the beginning of the new complex of caves which are named now Near Caves. The primary caves are called Remote Caves now.
For ages the caves were the place of prayer and ascetic feats of monks, the storehouse of the sacred objects and the shelter for the Kiev inhabitants in time of disaster and war. The orthodox sacred objects were saved there for years in case of the danger.
In 1075 the first temple was built at the territory of monastery it was Assumption Cathedral which become the main temple of Kievan Rus. The territory of the monastery broadened and the number of the erected temples grew up and Kiev-Pechersk Lavra soon became the main sacred place in ancient Rus. As the majority of the ancient monasteries Lavra were fenced that separated it from the outer world full of wars and passions. Today people all over the world come to Ukraine to visit Caves and Temples of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.