The Holy Dormition Kyiv-Caves (“Kyiv-Pechersk”) Lavra is the first and the most ancient monastery on the territory of contemporary Ukraine.
The monastery was founded in the mid-11th century by the venerable Anthony and Theodosius of the Caves (of “Pechersk”). The incorruptible relics of more than 120 saints currently rest in peace in the caves of the monastery. Some of the saints (“God-pleasers”) are known all over the world such as venerable Nestor the Chronicler, the venerable Ilya of Murom and the venerable doctor Agapit of the Caves. For over a millennium, innumerable miracles and healings have occurred as a result of the many prayers that have been said to all the venerable fathers of the Kyiv-Caves.
The territory of the Kyiv-Caves monastery occupies over twenty hectares and is located in the very heart of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, which since the 11th century has been known as “the mother of all the cities of Rus”. The Lavra complex has over a hundred buildings, including numerous churches. Six ancient underground churches are located in the Far and Near Caves of the Monastery.
At present, unfortunately, the most ancient monastery of Rus remains separated into two parts – the so-called Lower and Upper Lavras. The caves and the active monastery are located in the Lower Lavra whilst the Upper Lavra is currently under the authority of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and is known as the National Historical and Cultural Preserve.