The Kiev Pechersk Lavara or the Kiev Monastery of the Caves is a sight to behold. Together with the St. Sophia Cathedral it is on the World Heritage Site. No wonder, the monastery is active since the 11th century. The early monks have lived in caves which you can still visit today. They don’t look very hospitable though. Maybe because only a few of the corridors are accessible for visitors. And these are chock-full with religious zealots, tourists, and the preserved mummies of over one hundred saints. Since it was too dark for pictures down there you have to trust me on this. It all sounds way more impressive than it actually was.
What was cool though was the big area of the monastery. It doesn’t just look like a city from the river Dnieper, it actually is a small town with a school, hospital, and countless churches.
Since we only had limited time on our last day we splurged on a guided tour. We got the most expensive deal with a guide for the two of us and unfortunately it was not worth it. Our guide was boring, totally not engaged and didn’t really know a lot. Maybe it was also a problem that her German wasn’t up for it (probably English would have worked better). The only positive thing about the guided tour was that she brought us quickly from point A to B. Without our guide it would have taken a lot longer to get around.
In any case you can spend easily a day there if you want to. Which makes sense to take your time. The area is large and there is a lot to see. Sadly nothing is written in English and you really have to rely on your guide. Overall though, this is a must see in Kiev. Yours, Pollybert