Scientific Information Agency
27 March 2024

Caves of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in diaries of the Kyiv Metropolita Serapion

The Journal of Ukrainian history
Caves of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in diaries of the Kyiv Metropolita Serapion

The article explores the diaries of the Kyivan Metropolitan Serapion (Alexandrovsky) as a historical source, written by him in 1804-1824. They serve as one of the main sources for studying the development of church building in Kyiv at the beginning of the nineteenth century. These diaries were studied by historians in the nineteenth century, but were only partially published. At the same time, they retain a significant amount of information related to the daily life of the city, the status of certain church monuments, church building, etc. Metropolitan paid particular attention in his diaries to the state and development of the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery. During 1803-1822, Serapion (Alexandrovsky) (1747-1824) served as Metropolitan of Kyiv. He simultaneously performed the functions of the archimandrite of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Historians paid him little attention to him. About him wrote E. Bolkhovitinov, V. Askochenski, Ph. Ternovsky, V. Ikonnikov, D. Blazheiovsky and others. After Serapion's death, there were a few tabs of personal diaries. In them, the Metropolitan recorded his daily activities and impressions of the events that took place with him and around him. His diaries were the subject of scientific research in the nineteenth century. The greatest interest is the information concerning the state of Lavra caves in the early nineteenth century. These are the records of the Metropolitan on emergency situations and the elimination of their consequences. Emergency situations on long caves obviously did not arise. Information about the temples over the caves tells about the construction works, and only occasionally — in connection with other events or situations. The diaries also contain curious information about the caves. Metropolitan Serapion can also be considered the first tour guide in Kyiv. Lavra caves appear in diaries as one of the main locations of Kyiv as a city. And to this day they still remain unexplored. They are stored at the Institute of Manuscripts of the Central Scientific Library National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine of V.I. Vernadsky. Especially a lot of space in the recordings was given under the description of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Often in these messages are mentioned from different sides and Lavra caves.The study distinguishes three types of information about the caves: a description of their condition, a description of temples over them and information of a tangential nature. There is a special interest Metropolitan Serapion in the caves. Indicates the variability of the information recorded in his diaries. Emphasizes its religious character. At the same time, it is noted that the caves were an important geographical location of the life of the population of the city of Kyiv. The purpose of the study is to introduce new information on the history of the caves of the Kyiv-Pechersk Monastery to the scientific circulation. The research methodology is based on the principles of historicism, systemicity, science, concreteness, comprehensiveness and objectivity.

Source: Lastovska O. (2019). Caves of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in diaries of the Kyiv Metropolita Serapion. The Journal of Ukrainian history. 40: 41-46

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