Kizhi Museum Reserve
This charming wooden-decorated piece of earth is by far the most visited of Lake Onega’s 1600-plus islands. This is thanks to the enchanting Transfiguration Church, which reigns the magnificent Kizhi Museum Reserve. Built in 1714 without a single nail the church has twenty-two gilded domes, a bird's-eye view of which makes the temple dominate other architectural monuments of the island. The temple is designed so that it forms a cross oriented at the four quarters of the world.
The altar faces West, whereas the refectory with a huge porch is aimed to the East. The interior of the temple produces an indelible sense of peace. The jewelry work of the master, being able to build an almost 40-meter architectural masterpiece using a single axe admires from the very first sight. The unusual shape of the tiers attaches 22 domes of different sizes. The abundance of various details in the architecture reflects the features of life at that time (18-19 century). The appearance of most chapels and churches will show you the pomp, solemnity and scope of that era.
Furthermore the little 14th-century Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus - the oldest structure on Kizhi – some claim it to be the oldest wooden building in Russia. The miraculous power of the Church and the ability to heal gather thousands of pilgrims to this place every year.
The collection of the Open-Air Kizhi Museum includes 89 monuments of wooden architecture: old chapels and houses, windmills and granaries, threshing barns and racks for drying crops…
According to archeological researches the permanent life of the island was formed by the 10th century, when the ancient Veps people came to the island. By the 15th century, local inhabitants began to set up villages along the shoreline (near the water), which allowed them to engage in farming and fishing.
Nevertheless, the island of Kizhi holds a lot more secrets than it seems at first glance. Here you can feel the spirit of the distant past, as this place was already inhabited by our ancestors 2000 years BC. The graves of the ancient inhabitants of the island were excavated by scientists- the feeling of this deep antiquity makes Kizhi even more attractive and mysterious.
Special attention should be paid to the flora and fauna of the place. Due to the special location, climate and huge water area of lake Onega around, Kizhi has sheltered many species of rare animals and birds listed in the Red List. Due to the comfortable natural environment, about 180 species of birds prefer to nest here: gulls, loons, ducks, geese, cranes and swans, sandpipers and nightingale. In addition, you can see rare powerful falcons and Golden eagles. Flying over the Kizhi territory these birds seem to inspect their territories, showing who is the owner here.
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