The Community Liason Office (CLO) offered an excursion to see the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, which is translated into English as the Monastery of the Caves. The excursion included a guided tour of the Monastery and local honey vendors, so of course I signed my husband and I up.
Dating back to the 10th Century, the Monastery has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also voted as one of the seven wonders of Ukraine. There are many buildings on the grounds, including quite a few churches, a Seminary, a bell tower, and catacombs. The grounds offer a nice view of the Dnieper River and the city as well.
Some of the grounds are undergoing renovation, and there are over 100 monks in residence. At one point there were over 1,000 monks! We were able to peek in several of the churches to listen to the beautiful music and see the Baroque architecture. We also got to see the catacombs and caves, which we had to light candles and to see. It was a cool experience. A side note, women are supposed to cover their heads in most churches here in Ukraine, so I was advised to bring a scarf. They also frown upon shorts, which ended up not being an issue because our tour was on an unseasonably cool day in August.
On the grounds there were also vendors selling fresh honey, which is a seasonal thing here, so we bought some. There were at least twenty vendors selling different types of honey- but our favorites were sunflower honey and buckwheat honey. The vendors allowed us to try so many types of honey that I was almost in sugar shock:). We even got to try honey that has the consistency of butter, which was AMAZING!! Of course we bought that as well.
Photography is prohibited inside the buildings, which is a shame because they are so stunning inside. Thus, here are some pictures of the grounds and our honey haul:
Our honey haul, I believe we got all this for around $12 or $13 USD.