Kizhi is an island situated in Russia and is one of the 1650 islands in Lake Onega which is again the second largest lake in Europe. Lake Onega is found in the Republic of Karelia which is located in Russia. Kizhi is one of the oldest and largest outdoor museums in Russia as it shares it name with the island. The island is often included as a port. It is known as a port of call on Russian waterways cruises between St. Petersburg and Moscow. Kizhi focuses more on the lives of peasants which includes 83 wooden structures and most of which are established since 18th century and 19th century.
The island of Kizhi located in the northwestern region of Russia originates and acquires its name from Kizharsuari which in here means the island of games. The island of Kizhi was located and established since 14th century trade route from the town of Novgorod to the White Sea. The museum of Kizhi has been a member of UNESCO world heritage since the year 1990 and has also been into the open air exhibition which includes churches, homes, and other wooden buildings. The museum has a space around where a visitor would love to stroll around and have a learning experience which would fascinate their journey to the museum.
Russia is famous for its wooden architectures and it has a lot of them registered in the history of Russian architecture. Church of Kizhi of the transfiguration of savior is a supreme and selective example of the wooden architecture. This church was built in 1714 in the honor of Peter the Great’s victories the Swedes. There is already an existence of transfiguration church at Kizhi since the early 17th century. This church is located on open space in the southwest part of island and it forms the center.
This church of transfiguration was initially used only for major church holidays especially in summer season. It was a common agenda in Russia of having paired churches for both summer season and winter season. The church has a bell tower with a tent roof between and in front of the church. It is an octagonal spruce and pine log framework with 22 domes covered with birch bark fewer than 30,000 carved shingles. The shape and size of the domes keeps on varying from tier to tier depending upon the lights and the shingles shimmer which resembles to silver.
Villages on Kizhi Island experience a rural lifestyle in Karelia. The houses or rather termed as huts are reconstruction. This reconstructed village on Kizhi Island demonstrates traditional crafts and tasks. The houses are still till date inhabited by local people. Except for in certain areas in Kizhi, smoking is strictly prohibited due to the delicate nature of the wooden architecture and structures. In the past, fire has destroyed and created havoc in this wooden paradise. The stay on Kizhi Island is prohibited if it is overnight so it is a better option to plan a trip in the day time or to follow the time table given by a specific tour guide nearby.
Kizhi Island as we know is the home to the oldest wooden church in Russia and one of the famous churches is the church of the resurrection of Lazarus which was built in the late duration on 14th century. Many of the buildings on Kizhi Island have stood on for years and years or its better to say centuries but not until the 1960’s when the soviets decided to make Kizhi into an open air museum as mentioned above. In the making of the wooden architecture of Kizhi island, no nails have been used rather wooden pieces have been notched together to form even the most intricate, attractive and beautiful structures.
This area is extremely cold in winter and because of which it becomes possible to heat up the church sufficiently and adequately on to a large to perform the services in winter season without the parishioners and the visitors experiencing frostbites. Thus due to this reason it was decided to build as a smaller one rather than building a huge one. Earlier the names of the building were not recorded so because of that still today there is a hidden mystery with its real name and thus it is named as the Kizhi church upon the name of the island itself. It is said that the developer used a single axe throughout the construction process of the church till the completion of the work.
This church of Kizhi of the Transfiguration is certainly an impressive structure. It is a tribute to their anonymous builders who struggled a lot for building the architecture. The amazing complex is a museum outdoor and two wooden churches and an octagonal tower which originated in 1862. There are findings of wooden buildings, mills and chapels. The architecture has stood up for nearly 300 years, pine with aspen covered domes. The church is built entirely on a strong stone base and is still standing still and would continue for several decades. Spectacular and magical works of art of great architectural and historical wealth is a symbolic representation and this leads to more number of visitors to the Island of Kizhi and increasing the visitors and making it as a famous tourist attraction in Russia.