Lavra. Photo: Unsplash

The Lavra is definitely worth a visit. It is home to several churches and was a prominent center for the Orthodox Church in Eastern Europe. 

It is hard not to be blown away by the beauty and all the gold when you enter Lavra in Kyiv. The church complex is hidden behind a high wall – only the many church towers are visible from the outside and drags people inside. The area is said to be from the year 1051 and was a monastery and self-sufficient. 

It is a historic place for the Eastern Orthodox Christian church, and the area is full of a network of underground tunnels. Some are open for tourists, where you can see mummified monks and priests, religious relics, and icons. The uniqueness of the place has made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Lavra is still active. 

The Bell Towers stands high. Photo: Unsplash
View from the Bell Tower. Photo: Stefan Weichert
Photo from inside one of the churches. Photo: Stefan Weichert

You can also get a good view of the city from the area, and it is close to the Motherland Monument. The Lavra is also home to a tall Bell Tower from where you can get maybe the best view of the city. 

The history of the Lavra

The Lavra monastery is supposed to have been founded in 1051 or close to that year by a Christian monk named Anthony in the empire Kievan Rus’ with the current Ukrainian capital Kyiv as the center. The Kievan Rus’ Empire went all the way from the middle of Finland and down to the Black Sea and has a long history where the Vikings are said to have had a role as well. 

Photo from inside one of the churches. Photo: Stefan Weichert

The place is home to several churches which are open to the public and you can see many artifacts from that time. You pay a price of around seven euros for entrance, which also gives you access to the Bell Tower, which stands 96.5 meters tall, and all the churches such as the Dormition Cathedral. 

The area has been rebuilt several times over the years. For example, the impressive Dormition Cathedral was rebuilt after being destroyed under WW2. The Dormition Cathedral was firstly built in the 1100s and is one of the main attractions. 

You can find Lavra at Lavrska St. 15 in the center of Kyiv.