Kizhi Island

The most remarkable monument of ancient wooden architecture is the Kizhi ensemble – a group of small islands in the skerries of the southern part of the Zaonezhye region, on one of which the pogost of Kizhi (i.e. the Kizhi enclosure) is located.

The architectural ensemble of Kizhi has served as the foundation for an open-air museum well-known throughout the world. The most significant monuments of old wooden architecture have been moved to this place. Old buildings that were distorted by renovation were restored to their original appearance.

The first mention of a village and churches on Kizhi Island occurred in chronicles four hundred years ago. Beginning with the sixteenth century, Kizhi was the administrative center of a large region (pogost) with a total population of 12.000.


In 1714 the 22-domed Church of the Transfiguration was built with the funds donated by parishioners. In 1764, the Church of the Intercession rose up beside it. The third building of the ensemble is a well-proportioned belfry, which gives the complex balance and completeness. People embodied its idea of the world in these religious constructions. The cathedral, the church and the chapel represent a model of the Universe.

The oldest monument of the museum is the Church of Lazar of Murom. According to the legend, it was built in the latter half of the XVth century on the south-eastern shore of Lake Onego. Dwelling peasant’s houses, brought to the territory of the museum in different times, are the unique complex houses, where household and living quarters are under the same roof.


For almost for 250 years fires, antireligious hysteria of the 1930s and wartime (during the last war a Finnish pilot,was  struck by the beauty of the cathedral and  didn’t carry out the order to bomb the island) passed the churches by. In 1966 the pogost was changed into museum.

There is an “alive exposition” in the museum – demonstrations of peasant’s crafts, trades and folk ceremonies are organized. An ensemble of bell music and Republican children’s museum center are working here. Ther are guest houses, which help tourists to get closer to the unique combination of wild nature and folk art.

How to get to Kizhi

Going on your own is easy - regular hydrofoils run every day from the River port of Petrozavodsk to Kizhi Island (May 15 - September 30). The trip takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. In summer time the museum is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. without breaks and days off. Duration of stay on Kizhi is 3 hours.

There are helicopter flights from Peski Airport to Kizhi island on request only in winter time. The capacity is 20 passengers. In winter you can also get to the island by snowmobiles.

туристский портал

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