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June 1st 2017
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Kizhi ensembleKizhi ensembleKizhi ensemble

From the right: a bathhouse/sauna on the lake, a granary, the house of a prosperous peasant, the Church of the Intersession, and a bell tower partially obscuring the Church of Transfiguration (being restored).
Geo: 62.0764, 35.2217

Kizhi is a small island in Lake Onega in North Russia, east of Finland. Its wooden buildings were mostly built in the 18th century, and a large-scale restoration project has been underway for many years.

The winters are long up here. The popular saying is "summer is nine months of anticipation and three months of disappointment". Today is the first day of summer and It is quite light still at 10:30pm. We were woken by the dawn at 3:30am.

We had another culture presentation this morning by Ludmilla, that I am now finding too much. I am more interested in her history and "life in Russia" lessons. In the avo we walked around Kizhi for a couple of hours in very cold weather with occasional bursts of sunshine. Dominoes and cocktails, then after dinner more culture, with our talented piano man playing music by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. Still not my cup of tea.

Additional photos below
Photos: 7, Displayed: 7



Here's a different view of the 1714 main church, the 1874 bell tower and the 1764 secondary church. 17 of the 22 cupolas in the main church have been removed for its extensive renovation. The 600 tonne all wooden structure is too much for its piled rock foundations and it is being disassembled, a steel core inserted and reassembled. Iron nails are used for the aspen shingle roofs and nowhere else.

I downloaded this pic from the web. The aspen shingles are a shimmering silver colour in summer and then turn black in winter. Remarkably for a 300 year-old wooden building, it has not burnt down. The area is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

This guy was making roof shingles. Each took about 5 minutes. His axe is incredibly sharp. He could shape his shingle as if he had a razor in his hand - just paring a little off one surface as required.

The houses were quite large. Typically home to an extended family of 18, with a two-storey work area and barn at the rear. Robyn with George.
House sceneHouse scene
House scene

With our local guide telling us of life in Kizhi. In winter the whole family moved into a smaller single room downstairs, trying not to freeze.
Svir River lockSvir River lock
Svir River lock

The 215 km Svir River connects the two largest lakes in Europe: Ladoga and Onega. On exiting this 17m lock, we cruised under a road.

2nd June 2017

The shingles look beautiful in situ. But cannot imagine this will ever be popular in Australia based on hourly rates of pay.
7th June 2017

2 largest lakes and I've never heard of either! I always was told that Baykal was the largest. Maybe only the deepest?
7th June 2017

Yes, you are right. Lake Baikal is bigger in area, volume and depth but it is in Siberia, therefore Asia.

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