7 Disappearing beauty of Russian Northern Churches

Disappearing beauty of Russian Northern Churches

Posted on April 9, 2017 by tim

Old wooden churches are a part of Russian cultural legacy. Most of them are left only in Russian North, in such regions like Karelia, Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Novgorod etc. They have a long history: most of ancient Russian buildings, till 18th century, were built exclusively from wood. All variety of buildings were wooden: churches, houses, barns, and even palaces. Very little of those survived till these days due to nature of the material – it disappears very quickly. However Russia had some effort in preserving some of those. Let’s see those disappearing beauties:

Most of those churches were built without hammers and nails. Wooden parts were connected with each other with intellengent technology.

Many of those beautiful buildings however are left for neglect. Like these 17th century churches in Ilyinski Island village.

However island Kizhi it’s was a Soviet and now Russian museum under open skies where are a lot of unique buildings were transported and restored.

It was included in UNICEF legacy sites because of this. Real beauty for example this 22 dome Transfiguration church built in 1862.

It’s been said it’s also was built without any metal nail.

It’s 37 meter tall which makes it one of the tallest wooden structure in Europe.

However Kizhi is not the only center in Russia where old wooden churches are preserved. Here are four more or less good condition churches in Suzdal Russia.


They also are museums now, museums of “ancient wooden art”.

Here is another church in Surgut, Siberia. Also a museum now. Only the churches that got museum status could sustain thru USSR times.

A wooden church in Leningrad region – bad condition, didn’t survive USSR.

And another abandoned wooden church in Leningrad region.

And now again museums.

This one is probably the oldest! Was built back in 1672! Now preserved as museum. Look what a beauty she is.

And this is a result of group of enthusiasts trying to restore the wooden architecture technologies of Russian middle centuries. This is a modern day church built without any metal nail or hammer used.

More than that this church was impregnated with anti-rot and anti fire substances so it should stay for long now.


Another old church in Novgorod.

Church in Perm, Russia.

This one is very old too. Built in 1757, protected by the state, still in very bad condition, roof leaking in many spots.

One more very old church – dated back to 1665.

This one is built in 1878.

And one more.

It’s big pity but with each year less and less of those remain intact. So if you plan your visit to Russia – find a minute to visit one of those before they are gone.

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7 responses to “Disappearing beauty of Russian Northern Churches”

  1. john dudley says:

    Great posting absolutely beautiful churches,It’s really sad to see some in such bad shape, once gone, gone for good. Amazing structure’s situated in an amazing country.

  2. Kate says:

    Большое сожаление, что такие чуда попадают в руины..

  3. Stan says:

    Thank Goodness someone out there is making productive efforts to preserve some of them, and building more new ones

  4. rznr says:

    Amazing structure’s situated in a country suffering from a corrupt and fascist leader.

    • Ball Breaker says:

      You mean, an elected president who presided a 10 year GDP of 10% every year. They have some problems today, but the average Russians are better than before, when they elected this guy. And they know it.

      Now, please let us know how if average Americans are doing better now than in 2000. How’s that debt?

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