Kizhi Island — Photos, Facts, Pogost Architecture, Church, How To Get There
Exact address: Russia, Republic of Karelia, Medvezhegorsky area, Yamka village, “Kizhi” museum preserve.
Location: the island is located in the waters of Onega lake in 68 km from the capital of Karelia, Petrozavodsk city. It is located in the centre of a group of picturesque islands that is called Kizhi skerry.
KIZHI, HOW TO GET THERE ON YOUR OWN?
In summer – from May to September tourists can get there by hydroplane watercraft from Petrozavodsk, departures from Vodny station are regular, travel time is 1 hour 15 minutes.
“Kizhi” museum preserve attendance is also included in the programs of liner cruises going from Saint Petersburg and Moscow.
In winter – from January to April, when Onega lake is covered by a thick ice layer, tourists can get to Kizhi by a hovercraft or an offroadster.
The main symbol of Kizhi is so called Kizhi churchyard (Kizhi Pogost). This is an architectural complex consisting of two churches and a bell tower of XVIII—XIX centuries surrounded by single fence. This is a part of UNESCO mondial cultural heritage object.
Church of the Transfiguration
37 meters of indescribable beauty, 22 domes reaching out for the sky!
This is the most popular and the most outstanding building of the complex. And that’s the first things tourists talk about when they’re back from their trip to Kizhi island. Why so?
The highest building on the island. It can be observed from almost any point on shore and on water. Secondly. The architecture is impressive. It’s hard to comprehend how such a beauty could have been created without modern instruments and without a sole nail?! Indeed, the church was built in 1714 without a single hit.
The same year, church altar was laid. Some state that the Church of Protection of the Blessed Virgin in Vologodsk oblast built 6 years before served as a prototype for this church. The church history holds that it was built on the place where an old church struck and burnt by lighting was located.
Church of Protection of the Blessed Virgin
The second church of the complex – winter one, and is called in honor of Protection of the Blessed Virgin – built 50 years after the Church of Transformation. The church counts ten heads, and in Russian wooden architecture this building is unique. Both churches are quite spacious, especially the Church of Transformation. Here, in the frater, peasants from the nearest villages comprising Kizhi Pogost gathered together.
The existing four-head iconostasis of Pourovsk church consists of genuine icons, many of which were made especially for this temple. The oldest one dates back by XVI century. In the Church of Protection of the Blessed Virgin, divine services takes place throughout the entire summer and until Holy Protection. In 2003, the laity gained the status of stavropigial, and now is protected by His Holiness Alexis II Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
Tent-roofed bell tower – The sound of the island
The beginning and ending of church services is always accompanied by the play of sounds from bells of the bell tower located between two main churches of Kizhi island. The ringing of bells redoubles above water and can be heard miles away. Together with dedication days, the museum preserve organizes a very popular Festival of bell-ringing where the best Russian bell-ringers take place.
By the way, the bell tower falls short of 7 meters only to the Church of Transformation. The height of the bell tower is 30 meters.
The holdings of the museum count more than 50.000 items. Its collections comprise the objects of ethnography, archeology, Old Russian pictorial art, modern art and graphics, handwritten and blackletter books, documents and photographs, and the materials of architectural fixation of fold wood architecture objects.