The Caves Monastery is Kiev’s premier tourist attraction and stands on a hill overlooking the Dnipro River. It’s divided into 2 areas:
Owned by the government the Upper Lavra contains a number of churches and museums. The admission fee gives access to most of the churches but some require additional payment.
Great Bell Tower
Measuring just over 96m the Great Bell Tower competes for dominance of Kiev’s skyline with nearby Rodina Mat. For a small fee it’s possible to climb the tower for an unequalled view of the monastery and Kiev.
Church of the Assumption
The Church of the Assumption was originally built at the end of the 11th century but was destroyed during the Second World War. It was rebuilt in 2000 and is also known as Dormition Cathedral or Uspensky Cathedral.
Museum of Historical Treasures
Situated at the rear of the Upper Lavra, this museum houses showcases historic items, precious stones, metalwork and jewelry. Most notable is its spectacular collection of Scythian gold.
Museum of Micro-miniatures
This museum displays the miniature creations of Russian artist Mykola Syadristy. The exhibits, viewed through microscopes, include a chess set on the head of a pin and the world’s smallest electric motor.
Beneath the Lower Lavra are hundreds narrow passages and caves where monks once lived and worshiped. Over 100 of them lie mummified in niches that line the subterranean streets.
Entrance to the caves is free, but most visitors purchase a candle at the entrance for a couple of hyrvnias. Women are asked to cover their heads and cameras are not allowed.