Chernihiv marks the 950th anniversary of St Anthony Caves

11 October 2019, 11:18 | Religion and culture | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

In Chernihiv, the festivities are ongoing on the occasion of the 950th anniversary of the Foundation of St Anthony Caves, which are part of the National Architectural and Historical Reserve “Chernihiv the Ancient”.

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According to UNIAN, the events began on October 10 with a solemn ceremony in Chernihiv City Council with the participation of the leadership of the region and the city, scientists, employees of museums, libraries and the public.

The participants of the event congratulated the team of researchers who are making efforts to study and popularize St Anthony Caves, which have today not only historical but also spiritual significance.

Also, the city Council held presentations of the photo exhibition "Rescued Heritage" and the scientific book “St Anthony Caves of Chernihiv, the Holy Trinity-St Elias monastery: 950 years”, prepared by researchers of the National Architectural and Historical Reserve "Chernihiv the Ancient".

At St Elias Church, which makes part of the complex of caves, the exposition “St Elias Church as a monument of architecture of the XI-XVII Centuries" is ongoing.

In addition, there is an international scientific conference “Research of Cultural Heritage of the Dnieper region” (dedicated to the 950th anniversary of the Foundation of St Anthony Caves of Chernihiv) with the participation of researchers from scientific centers of Ukraine and Belarus.

An exhibition of paintings “With Ukraine in the Heart” by an honored artist of Ukraine Oksana Poltavets-Guyida and people's artist of Ukraine Viktor Poltavets was opened in the reserve “Chernihiv the Ancient” within the framework of events on the occasion of the 950th anniversary of St Anthony Caves.

According to the employee of the reserve “Chernihiv the Ancient” Oleksandr Lytovchenko, St Anthony Caves are well researched by archaeologists, but to this day leave a number of mysteries that attract tourists - as the legend of the underground passage to the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra or the spirit of monk Tarasius, which may appear in one of the underground galleries.

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"The uniqueness of Chernihiv caves is that it is an "underground town", where there are three underground temples of the XVIII century. Where are we going to see this? Kyiv-Pechersk Lavraha has a very different structure, and therefore St Anthony Caves in Chernihiv are unique," he said. The scientist stressed that the caves are located near the premises dated XI and XVII century. "The caves were formed, changed, rebuilt as Chernihiv was changing," Lytovchenko said.

It is in St Anthony Caves that a unique underground Church in the Ukrainian Baroque style has been preserved.

St Anthony Caves in Chernihiv are a monument of underground religious architecture of XI-XIX centuries. They were founded in 1069 as a cave Christian monastery by Prince Svyatoslav Yaroslavich and a famous Church figure of the old Russian era – monk Anthony of Pechersk, who was born in Chernihiv region, in the city of Lyubech. Intensive development of Boldinogorsky Bogorodichny monastery continued until 1239 when Chernihiv was destroyed by the Mongol-Tatars. The most extensive restoration of St Elias monastery began in 1649. Its initiator was Chernihiv Colonel Stepan Podobaylo, who completed the restoration at his own cost. It continued intermittently until the end of the nineteenth century. As a result of these reconstructions, St Anthony Caves acquired a modern look. Now the caves are a complex of underground rooms and passages with a total length of about 350 m, which are located in the thickness of the Boldyn mountains (within the modern city). The depth of St Anthony Caves ranges from 2 to 12 meters relative to the surface of the mountain. In 1967, the site was included in the Chernihiv Architectural and Historical Reserve.

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