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The mystery is only beginning - mummified remains of Orthodox saints in Ukraine

dmastermind
Tue, 28 Jul 2015 09:56:09 GMT

Ukraine is huge. It's bigger than Germany. It's bigger than France. It has one of the most fertile farmlands and for many years was the breadbasket of Europe. Despite many natural advantages, Ukraine does not belong to the rich European countries, moreover, as you know, it's recently engulfed by the conflict with Russia. However, Ukraine is still a must-see spot on every traveler's map as it remains one of the last genuine travel frontiers rich in colorful tradition and cordial people. Visit Ukraine as long as you stay away from the regions of violent clashes with Russian separatists (the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk). *"Sad & gloomy" people of Eastern Europe* Generally speaking, Eastern Europeans tend to express some reticence towards strangers (I know something about it - I am Polish), but after an initial distrust of visitors they open up and become one of the most hospitable nations serving you tonnes of hearty, brought out in belt-stretching quantities, food. Just like the neighbouring Poland, Ukraine has the bizarre Soviet legacy developed under post- war communism. You will see it and you will feel it (in architecture and in older generations of people's eyes), it's everywhere - the gloomy and magical at the same time. Some blame Soviet legacy and other tragic historic circumstances in the past for the famous Slavic melancholy. *Eastern European Mecca - Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra* The acclaimed Pecherska Lavra monastery from 11th century is set on 28 hectares of hills above the Dnipro river - covered in shiny grass during the summer and with thick snow during the winter offering lot of fun to snowboarders and skiers. Also, tourists flock to Pecherska Lavra to feed on their eyes with hoard of Synthian gold on the monastery's tight cluster of domed churches. But it's not only about the visual of stunning Pecherska Lavra...If you're an enthusiast of exotic and intriguing stories you need to see the underground labyrinths lined with mummified monks (it's one of the most famous series of catacombs in Eastern Europe). It remains a mystery how is it possible that the dead bodies of monks are naturally preserved without embalming. The mummies survive even today so the believers perceive them as true holy men, Orthodox saints in Ukraine. They rest in icon-filled, lavishly decorated interiors inside of the glass coffins . Did you know that together with the Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra is named a UNESCO World Heritage Site? Besides it’s been named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine. Anyway, wish you a great trip and let me know if you have other great places to recommend in Ukraine. Cheers Dmastermind *Tips for visiting Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra* `The Lavra and the Caves are considered a holy place for Orthodox believers. Girls - it's better to cover your hair with a scarf and your skirt should extend below your knees. Guys - remove your hats. Wearing shorts and T-shirts is also forbidden.There is no much light down there, so you probably need to buy candles.` *Safety measures before traveling to Ukraine* `As you know Russia-backed separatists continue to control areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts and some violent clashes continue in there, resulting in thousands of injuries and deaths. Before you go to visit Ukraine read alerts and warnings for Ukraine on the site from below and defer all travel to Crimea and the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.` [Alers and warnings](http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/ukraine-travel-warning.html) [Lavra6](//muut.com/u/leafcanoer/s1/:leafcanoer:ocsW:lavra6.jpg.jpg) [Lavra5](//muut.com/u/leafcanoer/s1/:leafcanoer:h5jB:lavra5.jpeg.jpg) [Kyiv21](//muut.com/u/leafcanoer/s3/:leafcanoer:cpa1:kyiv21.jpg.jpg) [Kiev-Pechersk-Lavra_Aerial-view_5338](//muut.com/u/leafcanoer/s1/:leafcanoer:h2ek:kievpechersklavra_aerialview_5338.jpg.jpg) [Lavra2](//muut.com/u/leafcanoer/s2/:leafcanoer:f5uU:lavra2.jpg.jpg) [LavraCaves](//muut.com/u/leafcanoer/s2/:leafcanoer:uK83:lavracaves.jpg.jpg)