Pskov-Pechory Monastery

Свято‑Успенского Псково‑Печерского монастыря

Useful Information

Location: 181500, Псковская область, г. Печоры, ул. Международная, д. 5.
181500, Pskov region, Pechory, st. Mezhdunarodnaya, 5.
(57.8094377, 27.6146563)
Open: All year daily from the beginning of the morning service until the end of the evening service.
God-created cave closed 06-JAN to 09-JAN and 26-AUG to 29-AUG.
Far Caves closed Mon, Fri.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=5 °C.
Guided tours: self guided. V=60,000/a [2019]
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Address: Свято‑Успенского Псково‑Печерского монастыря, 181500, Псковская область, г. Печоры, ул. Международная, д. 5, Tel: +7-811-222079. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


mid-15th century hermits settle in local caves.
1473 first cave church, церковь Успения Богородицы (Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos, Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary) built.
~1500 monastery destroyed by Livonian feudals.
1519 monastery rebuilt by the Pskovian dyak Mikhail Munekhin-Misyur.
1550s Pskovo-Pechorsky Monastery and its posad surrounded by a wall with towers.
1581–1582 withstands the siege laid by Stefan Batory’s army.
1611–1616 withstands the siege by the Polish army led by Jan Karol Chodkiewicz and Aleksander Józef Lisowski.
1701 fortifications rebuilt.


The Pskov-Pechory Monastery has numerous descriptive names, so it's a little tricky to keep them apart. Пско́во-Печ́ерский Успе́нский монасты́р (Pskovo-Pechersk Uspensky Monastery) is probably the most common Russian name. As it is located in Russia, but very close to the Estonian border it also has the Estonian name Petseri klooster. Pechory is the city where it is located, Pskov is the oblast, and as it is a cave monastery, the Pechory means Cave, derived from pestera.

The Pskov-Caves Monastery was insidiously founded in the mid-15th century by hermits who settled in local caves. According to the local legend, it was founded in 1392, which is called the date of opening of the caves. The legend goes like this:

One day, a local peasant, Ivan Dementyev, came to the Holy Mountain to cut down forest. At this time the entire hill was covered with large trees. The tree which Ivan Dementyev had cut fell downhill, taking with it several more trees and a large amount of earth. Thus, the mouth of the cave opened, above which was inscribed the following inscription: Богом зданная пещера (God-created cave).

It is unknown who and when the inscription was made. According to a chronicler, at the end of the 16th century:

One holy fool, Varlaam, often came to the cave and erased the inscription that was inscribed on the wall of the God-created cave. But this mark appeared again every time, unharmed.

Later, when the temple and caves were brought into a more splendid appearance, the outer wall was reinforced with bricks, and an inscription was laid down. But then, even without an inscription, everyone knew that the Pskov-Pechersk monastery was really created and approved by God. The monastery has two more caves, the Ближняя пещеры (Near Caves) and the Дальняя пещеры (Far Caves). The Near Caves contain reliquaries with relics of Pskov-Pechersk Monks, and are freely accessible. But the Far Caves, which are the resting place of the brethren of the monastery, have their own microclimate. Too many visitors would change the climate in the cave and affect the sandstone walls, so the number of visitors is limited. They can be visited only during a guided tours, such tours are offered hourly and are free. The monks are buried in coffins placed in the niches of the caves, without covering them with earth. Originally only monks were buried here, but later pious laymen were also buried here: statesmen, princes, nobles, pilgrims and defenders of the monastery. The mentor of the monastery, Archimandrite Alipiy (Voronov), was buried in the Church of the Resurrection of Christ. Several metropolitans from all over the world spent the last years of their lives in this monastery. All of them were buried in the monastery caves. In 1967, the Metropolitan of New York was buried here.

Outside the monastery, on the other side of the monastery hill, there are the (economic caves). Since the early days of the monastery, monks have stored crops from fields and gardens, and preparations for the winter in these caves. Cheeses mature in such caves from several weeks to several years, depending on the variety and the desired degree of aging. The microclimate of the economic caves of the Pskov-Pechersky Monastery, with its combination of white healing clay and sand deposits, have ideal conditions for ripening cheese. The temperature is 10–13 ℃ and the humidity is 80–90 %. The process takes place under the control of German and Russian cheese makers. Stefan Duerr head of the dairy company EkoNiva in Russia and Germany, and the abbot of the Pskov-Pechersk Monastery, Metropolitan Tikhon, plan to create a cheese factory in the monastery.

The construction of the first cave church, церковь Успения Богородицы (Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos, Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary) was in 1473. This is more or less the foundation date of the monastery. But this first monastery was destroyed by the Livonian feudals. It was then rebuilt by the Pskovian dyak Mikhail Munekhin-Misyur. beneath the monastery in the caves, a posad (settlement) was built nearby, which developed into the modern city Pechory. Soon the monastery and the still small city were surrounded by a wall with towers. The monastery became an important outpost for defending the western border of Russia. Especially during the 30 Years War there were several sieges. But it lost its importance after the Great Northern War of 1700–1721.

Between the two World Wars the city Pskovo belonged to Estonia. As a result, this was one of the few monasteries which survived the destruction during Soviet times. Since the fall of the Soviet Union the monastery flourished.