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First Photos of the Lavra after Opening in 1988

008We offer the archive photography materials dated 1988 for the attention of all readers of the official website of the Holy Dormition Kiev-Caves Lavra, which show the buildings of the monastery before the reconstruction. In the year of the Lavra opening, the buildings of the Holy Caves monastery were passed to the monastic brethren. The inhabitants of the monastery came to the Caves’ hills to light up the prayer lampad here. These photos are the part of the private archive of metropolitan Jonathan of Tulchin and Bratslav who was the first Vicegerent of the Kiev-Caves Lavra after the rebirth of the monastic life here in 1988.

“We had to start all from the beginning, — remembers metropolitan Jonathan, — you see the horrible condition of the churches, brethren buildings, administrative buildings on these photos. During that period, it was very important that the real revival of the monastery began.

Foremost, certainly, the order of performing the divine services was established, but simultaneously the restoration of the buildings, clean-up of the territory began. And all of these to the utmost came upon the brethren who arrived to the monastery then. It took some doing. Ii is impossible to say that no problems arose. However, with the help of God and the prayers of Theotokos, all of us laid the virtuous foundation, which had its extension in years to follow. Now we see the decidedly different Lavra. Thirty years passed, and the Lavra buildings and churches became almost unrecognizable on these old photos. In many ways, it is the personal merit of the current Vicegerent of the monastery, metropolitan Pavel, the brethren of the Holy Caves’ monastery, the parishioners and non-indifferent people, who responded and helped in the reconstruction of the most ancient monastery of Holy Rus. I believe that also at the present day God Who blessed our renewal of the monastic life here in 1988 won’t allow violation of our great sanctuary, and the prayer about peace in the whole world will continuously be offered up on these holy hills”.

5YHdFLemGmEWe have already talked about the rebirth of the Lavra and of what efforts it cost to revive the churches and buildings to their grandeur before the closure of the monastery by the godless authorities. We can see on the photo, what the building of Far Caves’ overseer home before the Bolshevistic coup d’etat of 1917 No.49 and, first, the home of the Vicegerent after 1988, then the chancellery of the Metropolia of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church looked like. There, over the Far Caves, the building No.50 stands, where the brethren of the monastery now live.

The buildings with the brethren cells, the condition of the utility section near the brethren refectory, the outer appearance of the Most Holy Theotokos Nativity Church as well as the administrative building of the Kiev Theological Academy and Seminary are depicted on the photos.

001“We see, in which desolation practically everything was, — says metropolitan Pavel, looking through the photos, — but thanks to the efforts of metropolitan Jonathan and the brethren, who came here for the monastic acts, the revival of the monastery became possible. Everyone coming to the Lavra sees how beautiful and rich it is not only in its spiritual life, but also is beautiful exteriourly. But not many think of what it looked like earlier, hardly anybody has the imagination of it. That is why I cordially thank metropolitan Jonathan for the presented archive photos due to which, I hope, all our website visitors, parishioners, fellow citizens will be able to see the transformation of the Holy Kiev-Caves Lavra, which became possible under the protection of the Most Holy Mother of God, by the prayers of the Kiev Caves’ God-pleasers as well as by the works of the brethren gathered by the Christ the Savior on this holy place! And may God bless all of us with His peace and unity! ”

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