Chapel of the Miraculous Image of Christ, from Vigovo Village (Late 17th Century?), West View, Kizhi Island, Russia


This west view of the Chapel of the Miraculous Image of the Savior (Spas Nerukotvornyi) 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. It was organized as a museum in 1960. The Chapel of the Miraculous Image of the Savior dates from the end of the 17th century, and originally was located in the village of Vigovo (Medvezh'egorskii District). Its form is a linear arrangement of two log "cells" (klety), with the worship space in the eastern part marked by a cupola covered with aspen shingles over the slanted roof. At the west end is a small octagonal bell tower whose conical roof is crowned with a cupola and a cross. The chapel and bell tower are constructed of pine logs joined in a notched (v oblo) method. The entrance porch, attached to the south facade (on the right), is constructed using the dovetail (v lapu) technique, for a tighter bond. The roofs of all the components, from the porch to the main cell at the east end, have carved end boards (pricheliny). In Russian Orthodox practice, a chapel (chasovnia) does not have a space for an altar and is not used for liturgical services.

Last updated: January 11, 2016