Mother Motherland Monument, Santa Sophia Cathedral, Pechersk Lavra are only three of the most famose
Kiev's wonders that you can not miss to visit before to go back home but if you want to discover all
what the capital of Ukraine can offers you and you wish to see Kiev with ukrainian eyes please take
a look at our english speaking guide and interpreter service.
Mother Motherland Monument
Mother Motherland (Ukrainian: Мати-Батьківщина) is a monumental statue of the "Mother Motherland"
in Kiev, Ukraine. The sculpture is a part of Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Kiev. built by
Yevgeny Vuchetich stands 62 meters tall upon the museum building with the overall structure
measuring 102 m and weighing 530 tons. The sword in the statue's right hand is 16 m long weighing
9 tons, with the left hand holding up a 13 m by 8 m shield with the Coat of arms of the Soviet Union.
The Memorial hall of the Museum displays marble plaques with carved names of more than 11,600
soldiers and over 200 workers of the home-front honored during the war with the title of the Hero
of the Soviet Union and the Hero of Socialist Labor. On the hill beneath the museum,
the traditional flower shows are held.
Santa Sophia Cathedral
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev (Ukrainian: Собор Святої Софії, Sobor Sviatoyi Sofiyi or
Софійський собор, Sofiys’kyi sobor, Russian: Собор Святой Софии, Sobor Svyatoi Sofii or
Софийский собор, Sofiyskiy sobor) is an outstanding architectural monument of Kievan Rus'.
Today, it is one of the city's best known landmarks and the first Ukrainian patrimony to be
inscribed on the World Heritage List. The complex of the Cathedral is the main component
the National Sanctuary "Sophia of Kiev" the state institution responsible for the preservation
of the Cathedral complex along with several other historic landmarks of the city.
Since the late 1980s Soviet, and later Ukrainian, politicians promised to return the building
to the Orthodox Church. Due to various schisms and factions within the Church the return was
postponed as all Orthodox and the Greek-Catholic Churches lay claim to it. Although all of the
Orthodox churches have been allowed to conduct services at different dates, other times they are
denied access. Most memorable was the funeral of Patriarch Volodymyr of the Ukrainian Orthodox
Church - Kiev Patriarchy, when riot police were forced to prevent the burial on the premises of
the museum and a bloody clash took place. After events such as those no religious body has yet
been given the rights for regular services. The complex now remains a museum of Ukraine's Christianity,
with most of its visitors being tourists. On August 21, 2007, the Saint Sophia Cathedral was named
one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine, based on a voting by experts and the internet community
The word pechera means cave. The word lavra is used to describe high-ranking monasteries for (male)
monks of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Therefore the name of the monastery is also translated
as Kiev Cave Monastery.
The Pechersk Lavra is also one of the largest Ukrainian museums in Kiev. The exposition is
the actual ensemble of the Upper (Near Caves) and Lower (Far Caves) Lavra territories that houses
more than 100 architectural relics of the past. The collection within the churches and caves
include articles of precious metal, prints, higher clergy portraits and rare church hierarchy
photographs. The main exposition contains articles from 16 to early 20th centuries which include
chalices, crucifixes, and textiles from 16-19th centuries with needlework and embroidery of
Ukrainian masters. The remainder of collection consists of pieces from Lavra's Printing House
and Lavra's Icon Painting Workshop. The museum also provides tours to the catacombs,
which contain mummified remains of Orthodox saints or their relics.