The troglodyte monastery was founded in 1051 by monks from Mount Athos in Greece, Saint Anthony the Athonite, and Saint Theodosius of Kiev. It subsequently became an important center of orthodoxy in the Kiev Rus'. In 1096, the monastery was looted by the Polovtses led by Khan Boniak. It was the monks of this monastery, and in the first place, Nestor, who undertook the writing of the Chronicle of times past around 1111, affirming the Varègue origin of the first Russian dynasty of the Riourikides2. This origin is not unanimous among historians.
On January 25, 1918, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev was shot there. This bishop, who exceptionally, successively occupied the seats of Saint Petersburg, Moscow, and Kiev, is symbolically held to be the Russian Revolution's first martyr.