Monastery of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary

The Orthodox monastery in the Tserkovshchina tract was founded in the 11th-12th century on the site where one of the founders of Kievo-Pecherskaya Laurels sometimes retired during Lent Theodosius of Pechersk. The monastery was called Gniletsky and in its development repeated the history of the Lavra: at first it existed in caves, and over time it was partially moved to the surface, where a stone church was built. Abandoned due to the Mongol raids on Kyiv, the Gniletsky Monastery for a long time reminded of itself with the mouths of caves and the ruins of a church, which began to be called the Church – hence the toponym Tserkovshchina. Thanks to Archpastor Innocent of Kherson, who in 1832 discovered during a walk an abandoned cave monastery and the remains of its buildings on the surface, in 1836 the entrance to the caves was landscaped for pilgrims to visit, and at the beginning of the 20th century the “Most Pure Monastery” was created.

In 1902, a new church in the name of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was completed (destroyed during Soviet times), and a residential building nearby. At the time of the revolution of 1917, the monastery had about 150 inhabitants, 2 farmsteads – in the southwestern suburb of Kiev Demievka and near the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, 2 autonomous branches in Uman, took care of a chapel in the name of the Icon of the Mother of God “Unexpected Joy” and a monument in the center of Kiev Baptism of Rus’ (column of Magdeburg Law). The caves were completely cleared and strengthened, and the underground church was expanded, lined with bricks, plastered, a stone iconostasis and an altar ciborium (instead of a ground one) were erected in it and consecrated in 1905 in the name of Theodosius of Pechersk. Since 1907, construction began over the entrance to the caves of the St. Nicholas Church with the chapels of Anthony of Pechersk and Seraphim of Sarov on the second floor. Until 1917, only the skeleton of the church building was erected. In 1918, the “Skete of the Most Pure One” was separated from the Kiev-Brotherly Monastery and transformed into an independent monastery.

Since 1922, in Tserkovschina, next to the monastery, a colony for criminals was placed, which gradually forced the monks out of the tract. During the occupation of Kyiv by German troops, religious services resumed, but at the end of the 1950s they were stopped again by order of the Soviet authorities. After that, a hospital, a rest home, and, from the early 1970s, a sanatorium of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine “Khutor Volny” were located in the tract. In the 1980s, archaeologists examined the foundations of an ancient Russian stone church built around the 12th-13th century on the site of the destroyed Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the 1990s, employees of the Kyiv History Museum began archaeological excavations in the caves. Assistance to this expedition was provided, at various stages, by the sanatorium “Khutor Volny”, the Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, Holy Trinity Ionin Monastery, Kievo-Goloseevskaya Hermitage.

On August 27, 1999, on the day of remembrance of the transfer of the relics of St. Theodosius of Pechersk, the first liturgy was celebrated in the cave church. In 2001, in honor of the 900th anniversary of the founding of the Gniletsky Monastery and the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Most Pure Skete, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine transferred to the monastery one of the buildings of the Khutor Volny sanatorium, namely the building of the St. Nicholas Church, unfinished at the beginning of the 20th century. Monks settled in the cells at the temple and the Church became a monastery of the Goloseevskaya Hermitage, and in 2005 the St. Nicholas Church was completed. By the decision of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in February 2010, the skete in Tserkovshchina was converted into an independent monastery of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Where is the Monastery of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

Dneprovskoe Highway, 3
(044) 221-81-23
Divine services: morning 06:00 and 07:00 (Sun 10:00; on holidays 08:00), evening 16:30