Chapel of Archangel Michael, from Lelikozero Village (Late 18th Century), West View, Kizhi Island, Russia


This west view of the Chapel of Archangel Michael on Kizhi Island (Karelia) was taken in 1991 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. It was organized as a museum in 1960. The Chapel of Archangel Michael, built at the end of the 18th century, originally was located at the village of Lelikozero (Medvezh'egorskii District) and was reassembled as part of the museum's display of Onega regional architecture. Its form is a linear arrangement of log "cells" (klety), with the worship space in the east marked by a cupola covered with aspen shingles over the slanted roof. The lower west "cell" contains a vestibule whose entrance is attached to the north (on the left). The west end supports a miniature octagonal bell tower with a conical roof crowned with a cupola and cross. The chapel is constructed of pine logs joined in a notched (v oblo) method, but the octagonal base of the bell tower is constructed using the dovetail (v lapu) technique, for a tighter bond. The west facade has paired windows, above which are the carved end boards (pricheliny) of the roof.

Last updated: January 11, 2016