Florovsky Nunnery

Frolovskaya St. 6/8

The Holy Ascension Florovsky Nunnery's complex that picturesquely stretches at the foot of the Zamkova Mount is one of the most token and majestic sights of the ancient Podol. It is interesting not only for architectural value of its buildings, created in different times and embodying different styles, but also for the fact that it is the oldest working nunnery in Kyiv.

There are no exact records about the time of temple's erection in the ancient city's center. But the fact is that in the 16th century, the nunnery with two wooden temples (St. Laurus Church and St. Florus Church) already existed on Podol. The latter one gave the name Florovsky to the nunnery. During the next two centuries, due to poor financial condition, the cloister was in miserable state and most buildings rapidly fell into decay.

However, everything had changed, after, in 1712, the Russian Imperator Peter I ordered to close the Ascension Nunnery standing opposite to the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra and to move the nuns to the cloister on Podol. In addition, Florovsky Nunnery received the pretty large plot of land, formerly owned by the Ascension Nunnery, which obtained it during the dignity of the hegumen - mother of the famous Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa. Since then, the cloister was called the Holy Ascension Florovsky Nunnery and its business was on the mend.

Soon, the Ascension Church, which still remains the key structure of the Nunnery complex, was built. At that time it was the only stone construction in the cloister and the only one that survived the conflagration of 1811 that enveloped the whole Podol in flames and burned down all wooden buildings of the Florovsky Nunnery. Cloister's reconstruction started in the following year and new stone constructions were erected on its enlarged territory.

It was in the 19th century that nunnery's architectural ensemble acquired the look that it preserved (with minor changes) until now. In addition to Ascension Church, which is the oldest building of the monastic complex, it included four other churches: Refectory, Resurrection, Kazan Icon of Our Lady and the Trinity Churchyard. Furthermore, the three-tier bell tower, located at the cloister entrance, hegumen's house and cell-buildings were raised. Very soon, the Florovsky Nunnery's functions exceeded the limits of solely religious ones. A school for girls from low-income families was opened on its territory, and almshouse and hospital were founded.

In the year 1929, the Holy Ascension Florovsky Nunnery, the same as the most cloisters at that time, was closed by the Soviet authorities. Its premises passed to various organizations for household needs, the Trinity Church was pulled down. The nunnery resumed its work only at the beginning of the World War II, and never closed since then.

The only functioning church is currently the Ascension Church; other temples are under reconstruction and restoration. In the recent years, a wonderful garden with rose garden, magnolia and fruit trees was laid on the nunnery's territory. The spring, whose waters are considered curative, has also survived here.

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