Great Lavra Bell Tower

Kyiv, Ukraine

The Great Lavra Bell Tower is the main bell tower of the ancient cave monastery of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. It is one of the most notable buildings of the Kyiv skyline.

The bell tower was the highest free-standing bell tower at the time of its construction in 1731–1745. It was designed by the architect Johann Gottfried Schädel. Its total height, with the Christian cross, is 96.5 metres.

The Great Lavra Bell Tower is a Neoclassical architecture construction with a total of four tiers, surmounted by a gilded dome. The diameter of the tower's lowest tier at its base is 28.8 metres, and the thickness of the first tier walls is 8 metres. The tower is decorated with many architectural columns: the second tier is decorated with 32 Dorian columns, the third tier is decorated with 16 Ionic columns, and the fourth with 8 Corinthian columns.

On the third tier, there were some hanging bells, but they were later removed. To this day, only three small 18th-century bells have been preserved.

On the fourth tier there is a chiming clock, manufactured in 1903, which has a total weight of 4.5 tons. The current bell tower's clock, designed by the Moscow master A. Enodin and based on the Kremlin clock, replaced the older 18th-century clock of the master A. Levynskyi. The clock has stopped only once during its existence: it happened in September 1941 when the Dormition Cathedral of the Pechersk Lavra was blown up by army forces during the Second World War.

The clock was repaired following the destruction of the nearby cathedral, which took a total of six years to complete. Since that time, the clock has never needed any repairs. The clock's mechanism is very accurate; up to within 10 seconds. However, it has been observed that its accuracy depends on the time of the year: in the Winter, the clock works somewhat slower than in the Summertime. The clock's mechanism has to be rewound once a week, and the clock's bells chime every quarter of the hour.



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Founded: 1731-1745
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Ukraine

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User Reviews

Shyam Sundar (5 years ago)
Amazing for sure. It’s worth the effort climbing up through fascinating wooden steps all the way to top. It has two levels. Topmost is where u see the bells. for best panorama shot can be had here. Must visit.
Erman KARLI (6 years ago)
for most beautiful city and dynpro wievs you have to climb great labra bell tower steps ???
June Tsang (6 years ago)
UAH60 for climbing up the bell tower and I will say it’s a must do in Kiev as the view is spectacular!
Alina Virstiuk (6 years ago)
A must visit place once you entered the territory of Lavra! The views you get from there are worth climbing. I always take my tourists during my Awesome Kyiv tours around Pechersk - everybody is happy! So do not miss out. Also you have to pay entrance fee
Vladimir Peace-kun (6 years ago)
A great view of the Dnipro river, left bank, and nearby monasteries. Must-see if you like picturesque views. Entry cost ~2$ for adults and 1$ for kids. The climb isn't too long or steep (2-3 minutes).
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