The Ukrainian ‘pechera’ means ‘cave’, while ‘Lavra’ is an Orthodox term given to its largest monastery. Founded in 1051 by monks Antoniy and Feodosiy, the Lavra was called to spread the newly-adopted Christian religion throughout Kyivan Rus. Monks worship
The Lavra became a leading religious and cultural focal point of Eastern Europe in the 12th century. Studios for icon painting and the creation of mosaics served many Kyiv churches, and a scriptorium oversaw translating of foreign literature into Slavic.
After the pillaging of Kiev by Andrei Bogolyubsky of Vladimir-Suzdal in 1169, followed by Mongolian Tatars in 1240, the cathedral fell into disrepair. Following the 1595-96 Union of Brest, the cathedral of Saint Sophia belonged to the Ukrainian Greek Cath