Kizhi Island, Russia
In the Republic of Karelia, in the north-west of the Russian Federation, in the north of Lake Onega, which is located near the Zaonezhsky peninsula, there is the island of Kizhi. In summer, you can easily come here from Petrozavodsk by train, there are a lot of them per day, and from St. Petersburg and Moscow on a tourist boat. In winter, this can only be done by air by helicopter.
This island is known for its architectural complex all over the world. It includes wooden monuments of Russian architecture. If you believe the stories of the old people, then all the buildings that are present on this island were made without the use of nails and staples, everything was connected and held at the expense of each other, and was made only with an ax.
In former times, there was a Kizhi churchyard, enclosed in the seventeenth century by wooden walls with towers. Then it was declared a protected area, it was 1945, and at the end of 1969 a museum was already formed. Now it is a museum of wooden compositions in the open air.
In 1990, one share of the museum was listed by UNESCO. All the works of the museum are located on an area of approximately 1,500 square meters, not only on the peninsula itself, well, including the nearby small islets. The island of Kizhi includes works of architecture made of wood, collected throughout the territory of Karelia.
Basically, these exhibits relate to the culture of the people of Karelia, from the twentieth century of history to the nineteenth. Their folk culture includes such collections as icons of ancient temples, handwritten and early printed books, copper-cast cult plastics, ethnography, bells, and old drawings created during the study of monuments in the 1940-1980s. In total, the territory of the museum has eighty-seven monuments.
Visiting the island alone is prohibited, only in the presence of a guide. It is allowed to spend more than one day here only with the permission of the reserve administration. A particularly large gathering of people is observed here in the late summer hours, during the “white nights”.
Excursions conducted here are aimed not only at acquaintance with the objects of antiquity, but also at the crafts and trades of the masters, which were once relevant. Also, while walking around the island, you can see local rituals and hear ancient Russian folklore in the form of calm folk music performed by local peoples.
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