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The Pechersk Lavra Cave Monastery in Kiev

The Pechersk Lavra (Cave Monastery) in Kiev is one of the oldest monasteries in Eastern Europe, it is the spiritual centre and the most sacred place in the Ukraine, so it comes as no surprise that it is included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. The Lavra itself was built more than a thousand years ago over a labyrinth of caves that run under the hillside that is now Kiev. .Taking a candle each and walking through the narrow catacombs, one can see 123 saints that are preserved by the unique air composition and humidity, with many of the saints resting in glass coffins. The relics in the catacombs are worshiped by thousands of pilgrims from all over the world that pass through every year. Glancing away from the glass coffins, there are unique frescos preserved on the walls of the Labyrinth, painted by the monks some of which are almost 900 years old.

.During the occupation of Kiev by the Germany in the II World War, it was ordered that the bodies of the saints be exhumed and thrown into the Dnipro river. On loading the glass coffins, the first truck failed to start, so the coffins were taken to a second truck, which in turn also failed to start.

It was reported that at this point the German guards allowed the coffins to be returned to the safety of the catacombs thinking there was some act of god at work.For more information or to view other places of interest go to the Travel Ukraine site, or view via the Travel and Tourism link on the parent company Addington-Barker Group International.

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By: Mark Buckingham



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