Have you ever dreamed about travelling back in time? If you'd like to know what it was like in the Kiev Rus of the 11th to 18th centuries, then visit the Pechersk Lavra monastery. The remarkable complex was founded in the 11th century by a monk named Antoniy, and it is still an active monastery. When you visit it, you can see that the atmosphere is still like it was in medieval times. The first magnificent building of the complex, which you can see even before entering, is the Troitskaya (Nadvratnaya) Church, which towers above the main gates. The church was built in the 12th century, but most of it was reconstructed in 1718 after a disastrous fire. The beautiful paintings that hang on the church's walls were also done in the 18th century. A medieval legend says: When you pass through the Saint gates under the Nadvratnaya Church, you get rid of 50 percent of your sins. So come on in. It certainly won't do you any harm, will it? The centre of the complex and the main temple of the monastery is Uspenskiy Cathedral. The original structure was the first building in the complex, built in 1078. It was reconstructed in the 18th century in Ukrainian baroque style but destroyed during World War II. Happily, it was rebuilt in 2000. Unless you are really fit, you shouldn't try to make your way to the top of the church's Bell Tower. At 96 meters high, the graceful, refined creature of the 18th century was the tallest building in the country at the time. If you can make it to the top, you will find an unbelievable view of Kiev downtown, the River Dniper, its bridges and the districts of the low left bank. The big clock on the tower's fourth floor has seven bells, which strike every 15 minutes. The Lavra complex includes other wonderful churches as well as the two largest. The high, proud white buildings have dark - blue and green capes and gilded stars. Their marvelous interiors include paintings and carved gilded icons of Ukrainian and Russian artists of the 18th century. The most mysterious and holy feature of the complex is the Lavra caves. Originally, the monks lived there. Later, the caves became a burial places for Lavra's saints. The caves have many branches, making them a labyrinth of underground corridors, niches and even small underground churches. So far about 600 meters of the caves have been discovered. Many people believe that much more has yet to be found. The monastery grounds include unique exhibitions and museums. Visitors can see historical jeweler, ancient book printing, Ukrainian decorative art and other interesting artifacts.
St. Sofia's is a historic part of Ancient Kiev Ruse that has survived intact since it was built in 1037. The builder was one of the most capable Kiev Ruse princes - Yaroslav the Wise. In the 10th century the temple was a cultural center of the whole Kiev Ruse state. Lots of scientific societies and schools were established at the facility. Their members wrote, translated and commented on scientific and religious books. Yaroslav the Wise established an enormous library in the cathedral. It disappeared sometime during the medieval centuries -- an occurrence that is still a mystery to historians. In the 17th and 18th centuries, other stone buildings were built around the cathedral, transforming the complex into a monastery. The interior of the cathedral has been left unchanged since the 11th century! The most impressive part of the interior is about 3,000 square meters of ancient Ruse frescoes. The shining mosaic background contains at least 177 colors. In the center you can see the figure of Maria Oranta with her arms up. A medieval legend says Kiev will last as long as St. Sofia does.
Together with St. Sophia, St. Michael's Cathedral gives you a unique portrait of ancient Kiev. The building was built in 1113 by Prince Svyatopolk. Other buildings were added later to create the St. Michael's monastery complex. The cathedral was partially destroyed during the time of Tatar-Mongol rule, but it was reconstructed in the 17th century. During that century, St.Michael's became one of the most important monasteries of Kiev Rus. The monastery complex itself was enlarged, a bell tower to the cathedral and gates built. The Ukrainian getman Skoropadskiy added wonderful icons to the cathedral during that time. It is hard to believe it now, but in 1934 the government of Soviet Ukraine decided to put the headquarters of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Party on the St. Michael's grounds. To make for that building, the government ordered the cathedral razed. When Ukraine became independent in recent years, it decided to rectify the situation. It rebuilt the cathedral between 1997 and 2000. It even used copies of the frescos and mosaics of the 12th century to reconstruct those masterpieces. Visitors enjoy the gloomy charm of the ancient Orthodox cathedral. It is always dark and cool inside. The only light comes from the candles of visitors. By candlelight, the icons glimmer and the religious paintings look very mysterious. Light a second candle and ask God to wipe away your sins.
The Kiev Brotherhood founded the monastery and the academy in 1615. In the 17th century the complex was a cultural and spiritual centre of Kiev Rus. Thus it had a significant impact on European cultural life. Famed Ukrainian educator Peter Mogila was the force behind the founding of the academy. He modelled it on the principles of the best European schools of the times. The school and a university that grew out of it prepared generations of Ukrainian scientists, artists and teachers. The main temple of the monastery/academy complex, the Bogoyavlenskiy Cathedral, became a victim of political repression in 1935: Stalin's government blew it up. The most important building that still stands is the Old Academic building, which along with Blagoveschenskaya Church was built in 1703.
This is one of the oldest women's monasteries in the world. The complex, situated right at the foot of Mount Zamkovaya, was built between the 17th and 20th centuries. It was a wealthy institution because the nuns were mostly from aristocratic families - and those families poured money into the complex and its programs. The nuns made beautiful embroidery, carpets and decorations that gained fame in Kiev and beyond. The monastery was closed in 1929. Some buildings were destroyed while others were reconstructed. The complex reopened in 1941. The most beautiful old buildings that continue to stand today are the Trapeznaya Church of Flor and Lavr, the Voznesenskiy Cathedral and the Nadvratnaya bell tower.
This women's monastery was founded in 1889 by Russia's Princess Alexandra Romanova. It has achieved fame for its medical and educational facilities. For example, the monastery hospital was the first in Kiev to have X-ray equipment. Lots of well-known scientists and doctors worked in the monastery complex. The famed Ukrainian entrepreneur Nikolay Tereschenko financed the complex's administration building on the foothills of Mount Voznesenskaya. The complex's architectural style is known as Moscow-Jaroslavl - for the two Russian cities. The complex includes the biggest church in Kiev - Nikolaevskiy Cathedral - which seats 3,000 people. It also includes Pokrov Church, a hotel, and surgery and therapy facilities.
Saint Vladimir Cathedral is one of the most beautiful temples in Kiev. It was built in the 19th century to commemorate the 900th anniversary of Russian baptizing. Original design of the cathedral was elaborated by Saint Petersburg architect Strom and Kiev eparchy architect Sparro. Later the project was completed by architect Beretti The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Prince Vladimir, who baptized Russia and made Christianity official state religion. Saint Vladimir Cathedral is world famous for its unique frescos and mosaics.
Designed by the Imperial Russian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, Kiev's most famous church was built in honour of Saint Andrew, also known as the "Apostle of Rus". As legend goes, Saint Andrew placed a cross on the site of the current church, prophesising that the area would become a great city. The church is now a popular Kiev attraction, in a prime position overlooking the Ukrainian capital. After a number of restorations throughout the 20th century, St. Andrew's church was opened as a museum in 1968. The intricate interior of the church has become a must-see draw for visitors to Kiev, whilst the surrounding area descending towards the city is a favourite spot for local galleries, shops and street vendors.
Kiev's Prince Mstislaw started the church in 1131. After the Mongol-Tatar invasion, the church became a centre of Kiev social life. Many important celebrations were held there, many notables were buried on the church grounds, and the city archive was kept there. The original building was destroyed in 1935 by Stalinists. The people of Kiev decided to rebuild the church after Soviet rule ended. The restoration was completed in 1998.
This church was built not far from the River Dnieper in 1692. The one-story building, while only modestly decorated, is a great example of Ukrainian Baroque architecture. The building was rebuilt in the 18th century, and repainted in the 19th century. Some of the 18th century painting has been kept inside the building. The complex also includes a bell tower that was built in the early 18th century.
Vydubychi Monastery is splendid architectural and historic assembly of masterpieces situated on the slopes of city outskirts over the banks of Dnieper River. The monastery was established between 1070 and 1077 by Vsevolod, son of Yaroslav the Wise. It was a family cloister of Vsevolod’s son Vladimir Monomakh and his descendants. In late 20s of ХХ century monastery was closed by soviet authorities. In soviet times beginning from 1945 the Institute of Archaeology was situated on the territory of monastery. Afterwards all edifices of assembly were reconstructed and in early 90s monastery revived its church life. Nowadays Sunday school for children and church choir are functioning within monastery. Besides, industrial school and convalescent centre are situated on the territory of monastery. Vydubychi Friary of Saint Michael is completed architectural assembly where Saint Michael’s Church, one of the eldest edifices of Vydubychi Monastery, St. George Cathedral Transfiguration of the Saviour Church and refectory, Brotherhood cells (monastery cells) and other monastery edifices are situated. The territory of monastery is big, beautiful and clean. On its territory there are two water sources; one source has been functioning since 1711. Its water is unique. There you can enjoy splendid view of Dnieper River and left bank of Kyiv. Monks make very tasty wine. Outside monastery there is restaurant Monastery refectory — it is worthy to be visited.
Cathedral of St. Pantaleon is a large Eastern Orthodox cathedral in the Kyiv neighbourhood of Theophania. It is main temple of St. Pantaleon Monastery. Cathedral of St. Pantaleon was built to a Russian Revival design by architect E.F. Yermakov between 1905 and 1912. In 1920s cathedral was devastated and closed Soviet authorities. Also it suffered a lot during Great Patriotic War. In 1990 edifice of cathedral in very poor conditions was transferred to Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Within 1990—1998 cathedral was completely restored and renovated inside and outside and in 1998 it was blessed by metropolitan of Kyiv and whole Ukraine Vladimir. In 1993 cathedral with all edifices and land plots was transferred to Pokrovskyi Convent. There is healing spring on the way to cathedral in Theophania Park. Cross and the image of a saint are nearby Pantaleon healing spring.
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