Pogost Ensemble, Church of the Transfiguration (1714), and Bell Tower (19th Century), Northwest View, Evening, Kizhi Island, Russia


This northwest view of the main church ensemble on Kizhi Island (Karelia) was taken in 1993 by Dr. William Brumfield, American photographer and historian of Russian architecture, as part of the "Meeting of Frontiers" project at the Library of Congress. Located within an archipelago in the southwestern part of Lake Onega, Kizhi Island is one of the most revered sites in the Russian north, with a pogost, or enclosed cemetery, containing two wooden churches. In 1990, this ensemble was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The site’s dominant feature is the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior (on left), built around 1714. It is the last surviving original example of an elaborate form of north Russian church architecture consisting of ascending octagonal tiers buttressed with rectangular extensions at the points of the compass. The various components of the pine log structure are crowned with barrel gables that support a total of 22 cupolas sheathed in aspen shingles. The lower part of the west facade has an entrance with two flights of stairs meeting under a central gable. The ensemble also includes a bell tower (1862) built of logs with plank siding. Visible on the right is the Oshevnev House (1876), originally located in the village of Oshevnevo and brought to the Kizhi Museum of Wooden Architecture after its founding in 1960.

Last updated: January 11, 2016