General View of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra


This view of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra is from Souvenir of Kiev, an early 20th-century album showing the main sites of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine and at that time one of the most important cities of the Russian Empire. Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, also called the Monastery of the Kiev Caves (pechera means cave; lavra indicates a monastery of status), is a large complex founded in 1051 by a monk named Anthony in caves dug out of the hillside. The monastery soon became the center of Christianity in Russia and played an important part in local cultural development, housing the first printing press in Kiev and famous chroniclers, writers, physicians, scientists, and artists. After a fire in 1718, most of the lavra ensemble was rebuilt in the baroque style, including the Assumption Cathedral in the center here, the great bell tower center-left, other churches, and other monastic buildings, which are surrounded by high stone walls. Together with the city’s Saint Sophia Cathedral, the lavra is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The 25 views in Souvenir of Kiev are collotypes, made using a chemically-based printing process widely employed before the invention of offset lithography.

Last updated: June 13, 2017