a couple weekends ago we went to the Lavra (monastary of caves) in kyiv. it was founded in 1015!!! it's almost its own city, with a complete underground system that connects each of the many cathedrals. we had the opportunity to actually enter the catacombs which are caves with holes dug out in the sides of the narrow walk-ways, where the bodies of important priests and saints are wrapped in beautiful tapestries and displayed so that people can worship and pray over them.
it's a little scary - dark and crowded, and the ceilings are uncomfortably low. the skeletons made me a little uneasy, but overall it was way more awesome than scary!
i love seeing people worship, i love seeing the emotion that comes over others when they feel love and devotion. we each carried a thin candle that lit up a few inches in front of us to guide us through the winding tunnels.
i only have a few pictures to post, as it is still completely functional for the Eastern Orthodox members, and most areas are too sacred for cameras, but i hope you enjoy the ones i can post!
the lighting in this small cathedral was amazing.
because each cathedral still functions, women are required to have their heads covered at all times.
the Saint Sophia cathedral. so beautiful! the spires are plaited with gold, and since we went on one of the few sunny days in kyiv, they just glistened in the light.
if you ever find yourself in kyiv, promise me right now that you'll come to the Lavra! better yet, promise me right now that you'll come visit me AND bring me a cafe rio chicken salad! hee hee. but seriously, come visit.