Church of the Three Prelates, from Kavgora Village (Late 18th Century), Southwest View, Kizhi Island, Russia


This southwest view of the Chapel of the Three Prelates 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. Originally built in the village of Kavgora (Kondopoga District), the Chapel of the Three Prelates (Trëkh sviatitelei) dates from the end of the 18th century. Its form consists of two parts, with the worship space in the eastern part marked by a cross over the slanted roof. At the western end is a vestibule with a tall octagonal bell tower whose conical roof is crowned with a cupola and a cross. The structure consists of pine logs joined in a notched (v oblo) method, while the bell tower is constructed using the dovetail (v lapu) technique, for a tighter bond. The entrance stairs ascend in two flights from the northwest corner to an elevated covered porch attached to the western side. The plank roof has carved end points that are both aesthetic and practical (for increased ventilation of the area between the upper walls and the roof). The chapel rests on an elevated base (podklet) with its own entrance, and used for storage.

Last updated: January 11, 2016