Ukraine: Univ Lavra

Lavra is a large monastic complex (often a fortified mini-city) that is bigger and grander then a normal monastery or a cathedral. There are three lavras in Ukraine, and Unum Lavra is the only that belongs to Greek Catholic Church. This sprawling religious compound has everything – a wooden church, a massive monastic complex, fortress-like walls, and inside – an old bell-tower and church that date back to 1548 (the Lavra was actually itself establish in around 1400). The old church has ancient frescoes as well as several religious jewels and paintings. In summer, it’s supposedly jammed with pilgrims, but on a cold and snowy November day it was utterly desolate and empty.