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Nature Museum Reserves
April 3, 2006 14:03

Read about the most interesting and fascinating museum-reserves of Russia:

Moscow Museum Reserves

Kolomenskoe

Tsaritsyno

Museum of Ceramics and Kuskovo 18th Century Estate

New Jerusalem (Moscow region)

Sergiev Posad History and Art Museum (Moscow region)

St.-Petersburg Museum Reserves

Tsarskoe Selo

Pavlovsk

Peterhof

Park Monrepo (Leningrad (St. Petersburg) region)

Architectural and Archeological Museum of Staraya Ladoga (Leningrad region)

Vladimir-Suzdal Architecture and Art Museum (Vladimir region)
Pskov Museum-Reserve (Pskov region)
Yaroslavl History and Architecture Museum (Yaroslavl region)
Pereslavl-Zalessky Museum Reserve (Yaroslavl region)
Archeological Museum-Reserve Divnogorie (Voronezh region)
Archeological Museum-Reserve Tanais (Rostov region)
Novgorod United Museum-Reserve (Novgorod region)
Ryazan Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve (Ryazan region)
Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Reserve (Vologda region)
Valaam Museum-Reserve (Karelia)
Kizhi, Architectural and Ethnographical Museum-Reserve (Karelia)
Solovki, Solovetskiy Museum-Reserve (Arkhangelsk region)

Museum-Reserve Kolomenskoe (MOSCOW)

High above the steep banks of Moscow River, in picturesque nature's lap you will find the old Kolomenskoe reserve, a unique historic place where the relics of the Russian people have been collected and preserved for centuries. This land, full of legends and stories, once a summer residence of Russian tsars and noble princes, became an enormous architectural and artistic museum-reserve in 1923.

According to chronicles, it was here where the troops of the great warrior and defender of the Russian land Dmitry Donskoy stopped after the Kulikov Battle in 1380 and the troops of Peter the Great found rest after the Poltave Battle in 1709. Many other important events in the history of the Russian state also took place in the vast expanses of Kolomenskoe.

Kolomenskoe keeps unique archeological monuments, in particular the Dyakovo settlement that gave name to the Dyakov archeological culture.

The world famous Church of Ascension, the first brick domed shrine in Russia, built by Basil the Third in 1532 in honor of the birth if his son Ivan (to become Ivan the Terrible) and protected by UNESCO since 1993 overlooks the Moscow River. Here you will also see the rare monuments of Old Russian wooden architecture brought from various places in the 1920s-50s. Some of them house expositions displaying artistic museum collections.

In the special atmosphere of this island of nature, beautiful, free and relaxing, you can lie in the green grass of lawns and hills, observe the wide opening scenery of Moscow, walk in the vast apple garden or admire the mighty 600-800 year-old oaks. In the Honey Museum you can taste a variety of honeys in the setting recalling Old Rus. You might be lucky to see some music concerts and performances, traditional open-air merrymakings and take a ship excursion on the Moscow River.

Museum-Reserve Tsaritsyno (MOSCOW)

In the vast park of Tsaritsyno you might feel as if in a Gothic story; here one can easily picture noble ladies and princes in fanciful dresses straddling amidst the red and white brick pseudo-Gothic palaces, grottos and bridges. You will surely feel special observing the Russia largest architectural ensemble of the 18th century built as a summer residence for Catherine the Second and walking in the rich forests of Tsaritsyno with spacious glades and lakes. It might be interesting to see permanent expositions titled 'Twenty Years of Life in Tsaritsyno or The Secret of Catherine the Second' and 'Tsaritsyno as Moscow Coliseum'. You can also visit temporary art exhibitions held in some of the palaces and listen to classical music concert in the Opera House of Tsaritsyno.

The State Museum of Ceramics and Kuskovo 18th Century Estate (Moscow region)

Would you like to get an impression of the Russian estate life of the nobility of the past centuries? Visit the Kuskovo Estate, a unique monument of art culture of the 18th century located in Moscow. A luxurious summer residence of the dukes Sheremetyevs was famous for its large-scale theatrical activities and princely balls. Kuskovo still keeps over twenty unique architectural monuments, including the Palace, the Grotto, and the Big Stone Greenhouse. You will enjoy a walk in the French regular park with marble sculptures, ponds and original pavilions, kept till date.

Traditions of the Kuskovo Estate hospitality are being revived nowadays: the museum initiates various theatrical programs, garden parties and open-air merrymakings. In summer the dance hall of the palace hosts concerts and music festivals with Russian and foreign performers.

The brilliancy of architectural monuments, authentic interiors, parks and a unique collection of ceramics and glass will leave unforgettable impressions and envelop you in the atmosphere of the old-world Russian estate.

New Jerusalem Museum-Reserve (Moscow region)

Do you want to see Russian Palestine, the Holy Land of Jerusalem a short way from Moscow? Here you will find the legendary Zion, the brook Cedron and the Gethsemane Garden with the holy Spring of Siloam.

This unique phenomenon of Russian culture was founded by Nikon (1605 - 1681), the famous patriarch whose reforms drove the Old Believers from the Orthodox Church. He decided to prove that Russia deserved to be the centre of the Christian world by building the Holy City on the picturesque Istra River. The Holy City was to become the image of the Holy Land - "Russian Palestine", with the exact copy of the Holy Sepulchre. The site was designed as a grandiose New Jerusalem Monastery founded in 1656, 50km west of central Moscow.

"New Jerusalem" is one of the oldest state museums in Russia. It preserves wonderful archaeological and ethnographical collections, exhibitions of Russian and foreign pieces of art and crafts, as well as icon painting, embroidery, manuscripts, mouldings, clothing, artifacts, etc. However, the main attraction of the complex is the New Jerusalem Monastery.

In World War II, the retreating Germans blew the Monastery to pieces. The Resurrection Cathedral completely ruined, as well as towers and walls of the monastery. But it's gradually being reconstructed. The main task of the Orthodox Church now is to create new exhibitions and to restore library and scientific funds of the ensemble.

At present, the Museum is located in a two-storeyed building of the monastery's Refectory. The territory of the Museum of the also makes part of the complex. In the Gethsemane Garden just outside the monastery's wall you will find an open-air museum of Wooden Architecture with surprisingly Russian exhibits: the Epiphany Church, built in 1697, an 18th century house and inn, a 19th century peasant's home, granaries and a windmill, all rare monuments of Russian folk wooden architecture from the Moscow region.

In 1995, after a 75-year break, monastic traditions were finally restored in the monastery. So, the New Jerusalem complex now houses the New Jerusalem Museum of History, Architecture and Art and the New Jerusalem Monastery of Resurrection.

Phone: +7 (231) 4-65-49, 4-97-87
Address: Moscow region, Istra, Sovetskaya St., 2
How to get there: From Moscow's Rizhskiy railway station to Istra station or New Jerusalem station
Opened: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm, except Monday and last Friday of the month
Read more (in Russian)

The Sergiev Posad State History and Art Museum (Moscow region)

There are places in Russia with such an expressive and original image that once visited they stay in your memory forever enticing you to visit them again. One of such places is the old and picturesque town Sergiev Posad in Moscow region. Here one can most tangibly feel the epochs interrelating; a Russian can touch upon one's national historic and spiritual origin, while a foreigner can get insight into the mystery of Russian perception of life. The town of artists, wood carvers and toy makers sprang from settlements surrounding the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, one of the oldest and most revered Russian monasteries and the historic center of Russian Orthodoxy.

The History and Art Museum-Reserve in Sergiev Posad is a major treasury of Russian art. The main peculiarity of the Museum is its location within the walls of the ancient Trinity-St. Sergius Monastery (Lavra), founded in the first half of the 1340s by the son of Rostov Boyar Sergius of Radonezh which later became one of the richest Russian monasteries. The world-famous architectural ensemble of the Monastery includes more than fifty edifices constructed by Moscow, Pskov, Yaroslavl craftsmen. It is an inseparable part of the Museum complex. In 1993 it was inscribed on the UNESCO List of the World Cultural Heritage.
Read more

St.-Petersburg Museum Reserves

Tsarskoe Selo (Leningrad (St. Petersburg) region, Pushkin town)

Glorified by Alexander Pushkin, the Tsarskoe Selo will hardly disappoint you - it is a splendid monument of world architecture and gardening art of the 18th - early 20th centuries. A range of emperors from Catherine the First to Nikolai the Second left their imprints here. The compositional center of the ensemble is Catherine's Palace, a marvelous building in Russian baroque style with admirable luxurious decor of the Big Hall and the Golden enfilade of gala halls, among which is the world famous Amber Room. One of the best specimens of world architecture of classicism is Alexandrov's Palace, where the visitors can observe the belongings of the last representatives of the Romanovs dynasty - Nikolai the Second and Alexandra Fyodorovna. Over one hundred architectural constructions, from magnificent palaces and monuments to pavilions, bridges, marble monuments and exotic constructions in Gothic, Turkish and Chinese style can be observed on the territory of the Catherine's and Alexander's parks.
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The Pavlovsk State Museum-Reserve (Leningrad (St. Petersburg) region)

The Pavlovsk palace museum gives a vivid picture of development of classicism in Russian architecture of the late 18th - early 19th centuries. Its uniqueness lies in the harmonic synthesis of architecture, sculpture and painting decor of the interior and antique rarities.

The collection of the museum comprises over 32 thousand exhibits. The biggest is the collection of decorative and applied arts, including unique specimen of Russian and West European china and furniture.

The Pavlovsk Park is recognized as the best landscape park in Europe. Its charm is in the unusual harmony of natural landscape and architecture - pavilions, stairs, bridges and sculptures.

A superb palace and park ensemble, dating from the late 18th to the 19th century, Pavlovsk was a summer residence of the Russian emperor Paul I and his family. Its architects were amongst the greatest of the period: Cameron, Brenna, Quarenghi, Voronikhin and Rossi. The landscape park, one of the largest in Europe, covers an area of 600 hectares.

The formation of the Pavlovsk Palace collections was closely connected with its owners' journey in Europe in 1781-82. They visited workshops of well-known artists, ordering and acquiring paintings, furniture, bronze articles, silk fabrics, china sets, etc. They also brought back to Russia a large number of antique sculptures from Italy, and gifts from European royal courts. Many of these treasures are on view, together with an excellent collection of portraits by Russian artists, and a number of Pavlovsk landscape paintings and drawings.
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The Peterhof (Leningrad (St. Petersburg) region)

If you are lucky to be in the 'second capital' of Russia, it would be strange of you not to visit the worldly famous 'capital of fountains', Peterhof with its luxurious ensemble of palaces, parks and over 170 splendid fountains. Amid the beauty and miraculous atmosphere of this monument of architecture and gardening art it is nice to see the richest collection of Russian and West European fine and applied arts of the eighteenths - early twentieth centuries.
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Architectural and Natural Museum-Reserve Park Monrepo (Leningrad (St. Petersburg) region)

Monrepo, a rock landscape park of rare beauty is located in a former private estate on the banks of Vyborgsky Bay, not so far from St. - Petersburg. The unique island-necropolis and a medieval well, granite "curly rocks" and old walkways on the picturesque seaboard, a wooden architectural complex of the estate in the classicist style of the 18th - 19th century and the vast forests - these are the priceless riches harboured by the museum-reserve Monrepo.

The park was once favored by tsars' and kings' families of Russia, Prussia and Sweden and prominent figures of art and science and has attracted numerous tourists from the 19th century till date.

Monrepo landscapes are glamorous all year round and in summer you might have a chance of listening to concerts of musical festivals in addition to visiting regular excursions and exhibitions.
How to get: Local train from the Finsky station in St.-Petersburg to Vyborg station, then by bus 6, 4
The park is also part of tourist routs "Kings Road" and St.-Petersburg - Vyborg

The Historical, Architectural and Archeological Museum-Reserve of Staraya Ladoga (Leningrad (St. Petersburg) region)

The monuments of Old Ladoga trace the ever-changing history of Russia from the 8th to 20th cc. It is here, where the statehood of Russia throws back to. The dwellers of this place invited Rurik, the Scandinavian chief from Jutland to stop internecine wars in 862 AC. The oldest construction preserved here dates back to 753 AC.

The museum-reserve founded here in 1984 in the Ladozhskaya Fortress keeps collections of up to 120 thousand exhibits. 10 architectural monuments have been saved from destruction by the museum workers. Among them are churches of the 12th century - classic samples of Old Russian architecture. One of the most graceful ancient temples is St.-George Church with splendid frescoes of the 12th century recently restored.

Since its foundation the Museum of Staraya Ladoga has collected the archaeological artifacts found in excavations carried out by archaeological expedition of Staraya Ladoga. The basis of the archaeological collection of the museum is made up of the items representing the cultural layers and burial mounds of different ages. The collection includes items made of a great variety of materials including iron, bronze, lead, and glass. A number of artifacts should be considered as especially informative, valuable and rare. These are the items of the collection made of organic materials such as wood, leather, horns, bone, cloth, etc., which have survived due to the specific conditions of the so-called "damp" cultural layer. Numerous casual archaeological finds obtained in Ladoga and its environs have become a considerable addition to the collection of medieval objects. There are also several artifacts of the earlier periods - the Stone Age and the Early Metal Age - in the archaeological collection. They have been submitted to the museum as part of "Inostrantsev's collection" that was formed in the 19th century in the South Priladozhie by Professor of St Petersburg University A.A.Inostrantsev. At present, the archaeological collection of the museum includes both casual finds and the finds of the archaeological expeditions practically from the whole territory of Leningrad Region.
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Vladimir-Suzdal History, Arts and Architecture Museum-Reserve (Vladimir region)

Russian culture sparkles with all its facets in this museum. First of all, your imagination will be struck by the aristocratic perfection of the white stone cathedrals in Vladimir and Bogolyubovo, by frescoes, decorating the churches and radiating like semi-precious stones in them and by the wealth of the architectural sights in Suzdal. Many architectural monuments house various exhibitions, created by the Vladimir-and-Suzdal museum.

Magnificent and integral ensembles of the Suzdal Kremlin and of the monastery of the Saviour and St. Euthemius with their rich exhibitions will satisfy any curious visitor. The old cathedral with frescoes and jewelry of the Golden Treasury exhibition; old Russian books and modern amateur art, the Cross chamber, icons and the Golden Gates - all that and much more you can see in Suzdal.

As for Vladimir, there is "The siege of Vladimir by Batu-Khan in 1238" diorama, the Stoletovs' memorial house-museum, the "Old Vladimir" nostalgic exhibition in the former water tower and the splendor of crystal at the exhibition in a former church of the beginning of the 20th century.

Another museum of crystal is in the town of Gus-Khrustalny and it is in a wonderful cathedral with paintings by Vasnetsov.

In our museum you can listen to bells and gusli (old Russian string musical instrument) and enjoy the performance of church choristers.

The museum shows hospitality to everybody. You can even put up at the museum hotel, in the patriarchal comfort of an old Russian house enjoying the touching picture of sunset in Suzdal.
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Pskov Museum-Reserve (Pskov region)

Pskov is one of the oldest Russian cities, with the architectural and art museum-reserve reflecting its rich history. The basis of collection is formed with archeological finds, manuscripts and old printed books, icons and silver items from Pskov churches and monasteries. The museum has 14 affiliates in Pskov region, including estate museums of the composers Rimsky-Korsakov and Mussorgsky, churches with frescoes of the 14th-15th centuries and fortresses.





The Yaroslavl State Historical-and-Architectural Museum-Reserve (Yaroslavl region)

In the very heart of the town of Yaroslavl, one of the oldest architectural capitals of Russia, there stand out white monumental walls and towers and golden domes of the Savior Transfiguration Monastery overlooking the banks of the Volga River. The monastery representing monuments of architecture and painting of the 16th - 18th century houses the expositions and temporary displays of the Yaroslavl Museum-Reserve.

Founded in 1865, it is now the largest museum of the region preserving richest collections of icons and manuscripts, precious clothes and holy vessels. The works of Old Russian art from the museum collections have been displayed in Germany, England, the States and Japan.

The central place in the architectural ensemble of the monastery belongs to the Savior Transfiguration Cathedral, built in 1506-1516 by Italian and Moscow masters. In summer it is open for visitors and you can see fascinating frescoes of this church where Ivan the Terrible and the last Russian emperor Nikolai the Second used to bent their knees. You can also visit here six churches of the 7th century with splendid mural paintings and icons.

Wonderful scenery on the old hills and Volga expanses opens from the highest observation point of Yaroslavl, the chapel of the Savior Monastery (over thirty meters high). The renowned bell and choral music festival Transfiguration takes place here every August, and on the Savior of the Apple Feast Day all comers are treated to blessed apples. The beloved of all she-bear named Masha, the heraldic symbol of the town, will amuse visitors with her tricks.
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Pereslavl-Zalessky Museum Reserve (Yaroslavl region)

The enchanting natural spot, the National park Pleshcheevo Lake frames the Pereyaslavl-Zalessky museum-reserve, with its unique collections located in the former Uspensky Goritsky Monastery, built in the 17th - 18th centuries. The monastery gates are a real masterpiece of Russian architecture of the late 17th century.

In the museum halls you will find the collection of icons of the 15th - 18th centuries, created by local and Moscow masters, a unique collection of wood carving and wooden sculpture of the 16th -18th centuries and a picture gallery.
Read more (in Russian)

Historical and Archeological Museum-Reserve Divnogorie (Voronezh region)

Divnogorie, or the Land of Wondrous Hills, though remote, has long attracted numerous pilgrims and tourists. In the times of yore this territory in the suburbs of Voronezh, near River Don, was covered with sea waters. When the sea went away, it left cretaceous sediments forming intricate and whimsical stone figures with caves that later, in the 12th century, gave shelter to Christian schema-monks from the Greek island of Sicilian. The monks brought the wonderworking Sicilian icon of Our Lady, which healed a whole nearby town of Ostrogorzhsk from cholera in the 19th century. Cavate churches hollowed out in the chalk blocks remain till days (though lots of them were destroyed in the Soviet times) and amaze with their skillful interior. The open-air museum-reserve covering the territory over 1100 ha with will hardly leave anyone untouched: along with unique chalk churches you will find here archeological site of Mayatskoe Gorodische (township) of the 9-10th centuries, stone pillars, archeological monument of the 9th - 10th cc - the Mayatckoe township (Gorodishche) remains, picturesque landscapes and relict endemic plants and insects. You will surely have an unforgettable time in this wonderland on the banks of River Don where you can camp in a tent or stay overnight in monastery shelters. Visitors to Divnogorye can also rent a boat, a kayak or a tent and set off for a small trip around the area.
How to get there:
by train: Voronezh-Liski; Liski-Alekseevka, Liski - Ostrogozhsk
by car: Voronezh - Liski - Divnogorie, Voronezh - Ostrogozhsk - Divnogorie

Archeological Museum-Reserve Tanais (Rostov region)

The Museum-Reserve Tanais is Russia's largest archaeological museum-reserve where you can see remains of the ancient city of Tanais that for many centuries (from 3-1 cc BC) was a big economical, political and cultural centre of Azov and Don Regions. Geographers of yore considered it the border between Europe and Asia. It is situated 35km to the west of Rostov. Its territory (more than 3000 hectares) includes an ensemble of historical and cultural monuments belonging to different times and nations from the Upper Paleolithic Period and to the architectural monuments of the 19th century: the Stone Ravine, the fortress Lyutik (17-18th centuries), the Church of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, one of the best village temples of the Don Region, Nedvigovka mansion, a bright example of ancient architectural ensembles of Cossack villages, etc.
Read more (in Russian)

The State Novgorod United Museum-Reserve (Novgorod region)

Novgorod is one of the oldest Russian cities. It is situated in Northwest Russia near the sources of the River Volkhov in the vicinity of Lake Ilmen. Novgorod is the cradle of the Russian state, home of important Russian democratic and republican traditions, and a spiritual and military stronghold of Orthodox Russia. Medieval Novgorod was one of the largest European centers of enlightenment and culture. Nowadays it is a modern town with a well-developed economy, social services and infrastructure. At the same time Novgorod is a city of internationally significant architectural monuments.

A lot of historical monuments of Old Russian architecture of the 9th-17th cc. and old cultural traditions attract numerous tourists. The interest increases when people get to know that some Novgorodian cathedrals are on UNESCO World Heritage list.

People who love history can visit the Novgorodian Kremlin (1044), St. Sophia Cathedral (1045-1055), Yuriev Monastery, can see the famous collection of Novgorod icons, the Millennium of Russia Monument. Our guests will see open air Museum of Wooden Architecture "Vitoslavlitsy", they will take place in folklore festivals and ceremonies.
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Ryazan Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve (Ryazan region)

The Ryazan State Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve listed among the most valuable objects of Russian cultural heritage is located on the territory of the Kremlin. Kremlin is the first and foremost thing to see in Ryazan. As any Kremlin in other ancient Russian cities the Ryazan's one is the very center, the heart of the town that dominates the rest of the city.

It's the oldest part of the town, since on that very place in 1095 Pereyaslavl Ryazansky was founded, that was renamed to Ryazan in 1778. The Ryazan Kremlin's ensemble is a unique complex of Old Russian architectural monuments, as well as classical architecture of the 15-19th centuries. One of the oldest museums of local lore in Russia was founded on the territory of the Ryazan Kremlin in 1884.

The architectural ensemble of the Ryazan Kremlin includes a number of ancient churches and service buildings: the Assumption Cathedral, the Belfry, the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ, the Archangel Cathedral, Prince Oleg's Palace, ramparts, the Epiphany Church, and some others.

The museum expositions present masterpieces of Pre-Mongolian period, including Hodegetria icon, wooden sculptures and obverse sewing samples. The visitors can also see a unique archaeological monument - the Old Ryazan site.

Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Reserve (Vologda region)

The museum is located the ensemble of the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, the biggest medieval architectural monument of the North and one of the most prominent creations of Russian art culture. Along the banks of the picturesque Siverskoye Lake there spreads an entire ancient town, founded in the late 15th century. On the territory of 12 ha there are 11 brick churches of the 15th - 18th cc, numerous household outbuildings and enormous fortified walls and towers of the Great Tsars' Fortress.

In the 15th - 17th cc the monastery was the economical and spiritual centre of the Russian North and the richest landowner in favour of the great tsars, princes and famous noble families.

In 1988 Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Reserve was included in the List of outstanding objects of cultural heritage of Russia.

The museum preserves a unique collection of icons, 5 monuments of church architecture with mural paintings, manuscripts and blackletter books, the most complete collection of folk art of this region, including the unique collection of peasant painted furniture and black-glazed ceramics.

Twenty kilometres away from Kirillov town there is the famous Ferapontov Monastery housing the Museum of Dionisiy's Frescoes. The Monastery is an affiliate of the Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Reserve and has been under the protection of UNESCO since 2000. In the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Cathedral one can see the preserved mural painting created by the famous Dionisiy in 1502.

The town of Kirillov with the medieval Tsar's Fortress and Ferapontov Monastery with unique Dionisiy's painting put this place in Vologda region among the most attractive tourist sites of the Russian North.
Address: 161100, 1, Sobornaya Ploshchad/Square, Kirillov Town, Vologda region
How to get there:
From Vologda to Kirillov by bus or by car; in summer from Moscow or St.-Petersburg to Selo Goritsy by ship and then by bus to Kirillov

Valaam State Historical and Architectural Natural Museum-Reserve (Karelia)

The marvellous nature of Valaam, the largest of the 50 islands in the north-western part of the Ladoga Lake, has been glorified by well-known Russian painters I.I. Shishkin, F.A. Vasiliev and A.I. Kuindji in their works. This place is famous for its picturesque rocks, clear water and bays, for quiet gardens and forests. Alleys of high pines and birch trees combine with cedar, oak, larch and fir forests. A lot of exotic trees were brought here from different parts of the country. Beautiful gardens and small forests cultivated by monks create the unique atmosphere of Valaam - an oasis surrounded by forbidding rocks.

However, the major point of tourist attraction here is undoubtedly the ancient Valaam Monastery (Spaso-Preobrazhenski Monastery). It is difficult to indicate the exact date of the monastery foundation but according to the legend it was established as early as in the first part of the 10th century by Greek missionaries Sergey and Herman. Another variant states that the monastery was founded in the XIV century. Many times the monastery saved Russian territories from the Swedish invasions. Many times it was burned during the battles but was always restored. It became an important religious, economic and cultural center. Among architectural monuments of Valaam there are ancient churches, impressive chapels and picturesque towers. It is one of the most significant monuments of Russian architecture of the XVIII-XIX centuries.

"Kizhi", The State Historical-Architectural and Ethnographical Museum-Reserve (Karelia)

The museum-reserve located on the Kizhi Island in the Onega Lake (Karelia Republic), with its 70 monuments of wooden architecture of the 14th - 20th centuries will bring you into the atmosphere of the past. You will see traditional wooden churches, chapels, peasants' houses and household outbuildings, including Kizhskii settlement (XVIII-XIX centuries), which is in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage.

The museum collections give an overall picture of the traditional culture of Karelian and Russian people living here, including its non-material components, such as traditional technologies and folklore heritage. The visitors come to find here a 'live exposition' demonstrating peasants' arts and crafts as well as folklore rites and to listen to a local bell music ensemble.
How to get there:
Hydrofoils make a 80 minute direct trip from the Petrozavodsk ferry terminal.
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Solovetskiy State Historical-Architectural and Natural Museum-Reserve (Arkhangelsk region)

Solovki, tragically notorious for its GULAG prison camps of the Stalin era, is a beautiful archipelago in the White Sea (Arkhangelsk region). Seashores with curves of rocky stones, mixed forests and crystal lakes - all these produce an unforgettable impression.

But certainly the major point of interest here is Solovetski monastery. This monastery has a long history embellished with legends. Founded in the XV century by hermit monks it soon turned into a famous monastery on the shores of the White Sea that attracted pilgrims and people searching for spiritual development. Later it became the place where enemies of the Tsars were exiled, and in the Soviet Era it was used as a prison camp.

A unique complex of Solovetski Kremlin is included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. The museum's complex includes the Kremlin of XVI-XVII centuries, a range of cells and hermitages of XVI - XIX centuries, archaeological monuments dated III - I B.C., ancient labyrinths and settlements' remains, as well as other historical and cultural monuments.

Nowadays, traveling to the islands is facilitated by air transportation system: it is possible to get there by plane from Arkhangelsk in 40 minutes.
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