“Memories of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra” photo project

Life of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in 1992

Dear friends!

As we have previously announced, our today’s release will be devoted to the life of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in 1992. It was the first full-fledged year of Ukrainian independence, which was rich on events of national and local importance.

In particular, it was in 1992, when the Great Lavra Bell Tower, situated in the  upper part of Lavra, opened its doors for the visitors. It happened after a long period of time since it was restored in the late 1980s. The entrance fee to the Bell Tower was reasonable so the visitors could ascend and observe the area around from a bird’s eye view. For example, they could easily see, the bell tower of Saint Sophia's Cathedral of Kyiv. It was possible because the central part of Kyiv was not densely developed then. The temple was rebuilt in the middle of the 18th century according to the design of Johann Gottfried Schedel, the same architect who made the design of Lavra bell tower. For the first time in many years Lavra visitors got the opportunity to take a memory photo. They could stand either by the Lavra bells on the 3rd tier of the tower or against the background of Kyiv landscapes. Both photo locations were strictly forbidden in the Soviet times, because in the shot there could appear the utilities of the “Arsenal” plant. The latter manufactured the products for the USSR defense industry and was located in the building of the Old Arsenal, which was opposite to the main entrance of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Today the premises of the then “Arsenal” plant are home for the National Cultural, Artistic and Museum Complex known as “Mystetsky Arsenal” (Art Arsenal).

On June 20, 1992, the newly elected Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) of Kyiv and All Ukraine, arrived at Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. It became his main residence for the next 22 years. Metropolitan Volodymyr was solemnly greeted by representatives of the clergy and the faithful. A week later, on the night of June 26-27, the relics of the holy martyr Volodymyr (Bohoyavlensky), Metropolitan of Kyiv and Halych († 1918), were found in the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the Near Caves and transferred to the Far Caves. Volodymyr was the first Orthodox bishop, who fell victim to the persecution of the Bilshovyk government that inhibited further growth of the church.

Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra was also the arena of other events that took place in its territory in 1992. Some of them were rather significant and highly valuable. But we cannot show them today, as their photographic evidence has been lost. We would be grateful if any of our readers could provide us with photos of the early 1990s. They could become a visual chronicle of Lavra events then.

Next week “Memories of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra” photo project will start acquainting our readers with the restoration of the tombstone of Prince Costiantyn Ipsilanti held in the mid 90s.


Captions to the illustrations:

1. Panorama of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra from a helicopter
2-4. Picturesque views of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and Kyiv from the 3rd tier of the Great Lavra Bell Tower
5. Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Volodymyr in a train carriage before arriving in the capital of Ukraine
6-7. Bishops, clergy and believers meet the archpastor at Kyiv railway station
8. Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra brethren community standing in front of the main gate and waiting for their holy Archimandrite. In the center - Archimandrite Pytyrym (Starynsky), Father Superior of Lavra 
9. Metropolitan Volodymyr makes bow to the holy monastery
10-11. Before entering Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra
12. First steps after entering the territory of Lavra. In front - Hieromonk Arseniy, R.D.
13. Metropolitan Volodymyr, surrounded by bishops and Lavra fraternity, approaches Cathedral Square
14-15. First service in the Church of Sts. Anthony and Theodosius of Pechersk

To prepare this release we have used photomaterials from the archives of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

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