Moments of History
The “Moments of History” exhibition opened on 14th July 2011 at the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve in commemoration of the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery’s 960th anniversary and the 85th anniversary of its designation as Preserve. It is an outdoors exhibition spreading along the main street of the National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve that leads to the Assumption Cathedral.
It has been almost a thousand years that the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra has towered over the Dnieper from atop Kyiv’s steep hills. It is the largest and most prominent Orthodox monastery in Ukraine. It is inside its walls that our art and writing was born, that our first national icons were painted, that early chroniclers worked, founded the first national hospital and one of the first Ukrainian printing presses. For centuries the unique combination of architecture and superb natural landscape has remained a source of artistic inspiration. With the advent of photography in the late 19th century, the first photographic images of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra appeared.
The photographs depict fragments of Lavra and the Preserve’s history over the past 100 years and reflect the steady flux of life within its walls. The camera traces the sacral moments in the life of the sanctuary – both tragic and festive. More than 200 photographs are arranged in chronological order, some of landscapes and others of interiors, made at the turn of the 20th century mainly by Lavra’s photography laboratory founded in the 1870's. The earliest of these photographs show views of the Near and Far Caves of the Kyiev-Pechersk Lavra in 1882.
In the turbulent historical times of 1926, with the aim of conserving and researching Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra’s heritage – a heritage of national and world cultural value – the state designated the complex as a Preserve. Through the great efforts of its workers, the unique architectural complex and some of the best national sacral and cultural monuments have been passed on to posterity. Visitors can choose to view photographs from the time of the founding of the Ukrainian Museum complex, the Nazi occupation of Kyiv between 1941 and 1943, post-war reconstruction, photos of the restored Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra of the Holy Assumption in 1988, restoration of the Assumption Cathedral and other moments in the life of the National Kyiv Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve.
Visitors also have the chance to view portraits of the famous figures whose fate has been linked to this holy place.
The exhibition has been created with photographs from the collection of the Preserve, archives and private collections.
Address: 9 Lavrska Str., Kyiv, National Kyiv-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve.