Aug 20 2007

Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Kiev Monastery of the Caves)

by in Eastern Europe & the Caucasus, Ukraine

Kiev Pechersk Lavra

I’m accumulating a rather impressive collection of head scarves due to my travels throughout the former Soviet Union. It’s not that I actually collect head scarves, or even wear them, but I always forget to pack one and am thus forced to purchase yet another before heading into an Orthodox cathedral/church/monastery/whatever. While visiting the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev, I opted for a cheap, boring yellow scarf. (Nothing will ever top the head scarf I purchased for our trip to a monastery in Novgorod a few years back…it was bright pink and covered with several large flamingos. I think the monks were duly impressed…or appalled.)

The Kiev Monastery of the Caves is one of the most famous sights in Kiev, primarily due to its complex system of underground tunnels. Upon entering the tunnels, you are surrounded by worshipers prostrating themselves before icons, lighting candles, and kissing glass coffins that contain the remains of monks. I was convinced that, while navigating through the narrow passageways, I would bump into a member of the candle carrying faithful and my cheap, yellow headscarf would soon be in flames. I do not recall seeing any fire extinguishers down there. If you’re claustrophobic, you might want to avoid the caves.

Kiev Pechersk Lavra

Kiev Pechersk Lavra

Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Seriously, how unbelievably cute is that little onion dome?

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3 Responses to Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Kiev Monastery of the Caves)

  1. From lesley underhill:

    Hi, sent you a comment some time back about Chernobyl – the book I mentioned is called “The Children of Chernobyl” by an Irishwoman, Adi Roche. A lot of technical medical things in it.

    As for ‘the most polluted place on earth’, have you heard of the region about Lake Karachay, and the contamination of the Tartar peoples to the east (?) of the lake ? Apparently when the lake which had been used to store ‘hot’ water dried out the dust blew out over the region, mostly affecting Tartar peoples of the area. I do not know the medical effects unfortunately.

    That area around Omsk was apparently the site of the first and oldest Russian nuclear ativities, back when little was known about radiation or storing of wastes, and when the pressure from the cold war was so intense that caution was not really first priority. I have heard it mentioned that if a cleanup was proposed the west should help foot the bill or assist, as the pressures on a country that had lost so much in the 2nd W.W. were most unjust and pretty much led to the situation that now exists.

    Anyway good luck on your travels. Was your own health affected by Chernobyl ?

    Posted on October 22, 2009 at 1:57 am #
  2. From Lindsay:

    Hmmm…no, I haven’t heard about that lake but will look into further.

    As for Chernobyl and my own health, it hasn’t been affected…at least that I am aware of!

    Posted on October 22, 2009 at 11:15 am #


  1. At Home In The Wasteland » Ukraine/Poland ‘07 Roundup - July 4, 2009

    […] many dangerous people who wanna take things from Americans, and also kidnap them. Good night! 11. Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Kiev Monastery of the Caves) 12. Poland Photos: Krakow / Auschwitz-Birkenau / Wieliczka Salt Mine 13. Kraków 14. Auschwitz 15. […]

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