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Ukraine > Pictures and travelogues > Kiev Saint Sophia's Cathedral, St. Sophia's Egg, and Pechersk Lavra

Kiev in Ukraine: pictures from Saint Sophia's Cathedral, St. Sophia's Egg, and Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves).

Kiev in Ukraine: Saint Sophia's Cathedral
Kiev in Ukraine: Saint Sophia's Cathedral.

Saint Sophia's Cathedral is an elegant Cathedral built almost 1000 years ago; it is no longer used as a service church. It has become a premiere tourist attraction. Saint-Sophia's Cathedral and related monastic buildings, Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, have been the first Ukrainian site inscribed on the world heritage list of UNESCO. The interior consists of intricate frescoes painted in dark earthy tones.
Saint Sophia's Cathedral is one of the few buildings from the Kievan Rus dynasty that survived the Mongols, Nazi's and Soviets. One corner room in the Cathedral has been restored to its original stone. It is consistently rated as the best historical tourist attraction in the area. The entrance is through the bell tower and for an extra fee, you can climb to the top of the bell tower. From the bell tower, you have a wonderful view of the Maidan and St. Michael's church at the end of the street.

Kiev in Ukraine: St Sophia's Egg
Kiev in Ukraine: St. Sophia's Egg.

The entire complex has chicken-related artifacts: from a beautiful egg mozaic of St Sophia inside the cathedral to a large multi-colored chicken and then the large two-story egg that sits just inside the property and is the first thing you see after passing through the Bell Tower. The eggs are called Pysanka, a name given to Ukrainian Easter eggs. The word pysanka means “to write”. The designs on the eggs are not painted on but written, using a was-resist method. Although an oddity, it does add a unique element to your visit.

Kiev in Ukraine: Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Kiev Monastery of the Caves)
Kiev in Ukraine: Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Kiev Monastery of the Caves).                                               All pictures above ©

 Also recognized as part of the UNESCO world heritage site, the Kiev Pechersk Monastery was founded in 1051. The complex takes up more than 235,400 m² (more than 2 and a half million square feet) and features numerous architecturally beautiful buildings. The major attraction to the Kiev Pechersk Monastery is the mummy caves. Several different areas on the complex have caves that contain the mummified remains of previous saints. 



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Kiev in Ukraine: pictures from Saint Sophia's Cathedral, St. Sophia's Egg, and Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves). Selected pictures from Kiev and Chernobyl.