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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an island in Lake Onega, in the Karelian ASSR, where wooden structures of the Kizhi Churchyard have been preserved; the buildings were restored between 1956 and 1959. From the 14th century the route from Novgorod to the White Sea crossed Lake Onega. The administrative center of the villages on the lake’s many islands (more than 100 villages in the 16th century) was Spasskii Churchyard on Kizhi. A stockade with watchtowers for defense against Swedish and Polish-Lithuanian invasions was built in the mid-17th century.

The present complex on the island includes the 22-cupola Preobrazhenskaia Church (1774, with a four-tiered iconostasis from the 18th century), the nine-cupola Pokrovskaia Church (1764), and the tent-roofed bell tower, built in 1874 by S. O. Petrukhin. The buildings, picturesque in silhouette and rich in their play of light and shadow, blend into the natural beauty of the surroundings and constitute a harmonious, uniquely beautiful ensemble. After Kizhi became a museum of folk wood architecture and ethnology of the Karelian ASSR in 1960, a number of architectural monuments were brought to the island, including the St. Lazarus Church from Murom Monastery (end of the 14th century) and the chapels from the villages of Lelikozero (second half of the 18th century) and Kavgora (17th-19th centuries). Among other buildings transported here were peasant houses (Oshevnev’s from the village of Oshevnevo, Elizarov’s from the village of Seredka, and Sergeev’s from the village of Logmoruchi), mills, barns, and threshing barns, all from the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Kizhiostrov sokrovishch (guide). Petrozavodsk, 1965.
Opolovnikov, A. V. Kizhi. Moscow, 1970. (Series Pamiatniki Zodchestva.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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