Church of the Intercession (1764), Icon Screen, Kizhi Island, Russia


This interior view of the Church of the Intercession of the Mother of God 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 a bell tower and two wooden churches, one dedicated to the Transfiguration and the other to the Intercession. In 1990, this ensemble was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. This photograph of the Church of the Intercession of the Mother of God interior includes the central part of the icon screen, which separates the worship space from the altar in the east end of the church. Most of the original icons (holy images) from this church are missing, but the Kizhi Museum of Wooden Architecture, established in 1960, has attempted to replace some of them with other icons from the Lake Onega region. In the center is the Royal Gate (Tsarskie vrata), leading to the altar. The first, or "Local," row (mestnyi chin) contains icons of special local significance and here includes an icon of the Intercession (on the right) to which the church is dedicated. The second row contains icons portraying major church festivals.

Last updated: January 11, 2016