Kizhi Island is one of many fascinating attractions outside of Moscow and St Petersburg that are worth a visit during your Russian vacation. Kizhi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular tourist destination, is located in the center of Lake Onega and is surrounded by thousands of other small islands. Kizhi demonstrates just one of the many fascinating landscapes of Russia, along with the many rivers and mountains of the vast country. What makes Kizhi Russia so special is the houses, wooden churches, chapels, windmills, and barns that were built on the island. These wooden structures are not only beautiful, but historically significant as well.
The best display of interesting architecture on Kizhi Island is the Transfiguration Church, built in 1714. With 22 domes, this church is one of the largest wooden structures in the world. Visitors cross Lake Onega by hydrofoil to visit this popular attraction. Most travelers don’t plan on spending the night in Kizhi, as accommodation options are only available in the form of guest lodges in neighboring towns. The architecture and museums are the main draw to the island, making it a popular day trip for visitors who are spending time in this region of Russia.
The Transfiguration Church is currently being restored, in preparation for its 300th anniversary in 2014. The smaller church on Kizhi Island, the Intercession Church, has an impressive ten domes and is open for visitors. While it is popular to visit the island during the warmer months, it is still possible to visit during winter, when guests take a snowcat across Lake Onega. For adventurous travelers, this is a great opportunity. Religious buildings and architecture are some of the best attractions in Russia. When planning your itinerary, schedule visits to palaces, museums, and monuments for the full Russian cultural experience; in addition to being beautiful examples of Russian architecture, these structures highlight aspects of the country's history and culture in a unique way.
Kizhi is a phenomenal display of the capabilities of building with logs. Pine trees from the mainland were used to build the impressive buildings, and logs were all cut and carved with axes. Interlocking logs in the corners is the foundation of the buildings, an impressive accomplishment for people working in the eighteenth century. A belltower was also constructed on the island using this method of building. Visitors may be interested in a stop at the Museum of Russian Wooden Architecture. Opening in 1960, this museum brought together artifacts from other areas of Russia to the island to showcase the craftsmanship involved of wooden architecture.
Situated on one of the largest lakes in Europe, Kizhi is located near the Finnish border in the northwestern part of Russia. There are also numerous cultural and historical events in this area of Russia, including festivals and exhibitions in nearby Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Karelia region, which is located along the edge of Lake Onega. Some Baltic cruises feature Kizhi as an excursion option. The island is located to the northeast of St Petersburg, and some visitors also choose to reach it via a Russian river cruise. During the long Russian summer days, Kizhi is a popular stop for visitors taking in the countries beautiful historic attractions.