Churches of Kizhi are Russian cultural icons. They are inscribed in the UNESCO's World Heritage List.
The centre of Kizhi architectural ensemble is represented by the Church of the Transfiguration, the Church of the Intercession, and a bell tower located between two churches.
The twenty-two-domed Church of the Transfiguration of Our Savior (built in 1714) is the key sight of the Kizhi Pogost (churchyard). It was designed and constructed as a summer cathedral: services were held there only in the summer period. Fascinating multiple cupolas of the cathedral and the mastery of its builders captivate the visitors. The long-term restoration of the Transfiguration cathedral will be finished in 2020.
Next to the Church of Transfiguration we see the Church of the Intercession. It is considered to have been built in 1764, though some historians debate the exact timing of construction. The design and plan of this Church differ from the Church of Transfiguration. But at the same time the builders succeeded in combining both churches as well as the belltower into a unique wooden ensemble.
The Church of Lazarus of Murom is located nearby. It is the oldest monument of wooden architecture in Russia - the Church was built in the middle of the 14th century. This church was transferred to the island from the Murom Monastery, situated at the southern shore of Lake Onego, in 1960. In the 19th century, all the structures of the Monastery were renovated, except for the Church of Lazarus as it was regarded as a miraculous construction by the local people.
Several chapels are also a part of the ensemble. These are the Chapel of Archangel Mikhail (17-18th centuries), the Chapel of the Assumption of Virgin Mary (17-18th centuries), the Chapel of the Divine Savior (17-18th centuries), the Chapel of Peter and Paul (17th century), and many others. Each of them has its own long-running history.
Aside from churches and chapels, old wooden households are also located on the Island. These are water- and windmills, granaries, blacksmith’s shops, famous chimneyless bathhouses - or Russian steambaths in-black, houses of peasants who once lived in the region.
During the visit of the houses of peasants of Sergeyev, Oshevnev, Elizarov and others, a visitor can learn a lot about the life of residents of Onego Lake Region, their traditions and customs.
The museum's collection includes a lot of icons of the 18-19th centuries. Particularly interesting are the icons "The Transfiguration of Christ", "The Lives of Abraham and Sarah" and “Sts. Zosima and Savvaty of Solovki with Lives”.
Kizhi Pogost is registered in the UNESCO's World Heritage List.
Nature of Kizhi
The Kizhi Reserve Area is rich with species of birds, animals and trees, which are under protection.Boat and walking eco tours can be arranged to explore the nature.
There is an ecological trail on the very Island which goes from the boat pier to the Vernicle Chapel on Naryina Hill.
By motorboat, it is possible to visit natural sights on the islands of Bolshoy Klimenetskiy, Radkolye and Gryz.
Opening hours of the Museum of Kizhi
The museum of Kizhi is open daily without breaks and days-off.
Summer (01.05–31.08) — from 08.00 till 20.00;
Autumn (01.09–31.10) — from 09.00 till 18.00;
Winter (01.11–28.02) — from 10.00 till 16.00;
Spring (01.03–30.04) — from 09.00 till 17.00.
How to get to Kizhi
1. Hydrofoil to Kizhi.
From about 20th of May till about 20th of September Petrozavodsk and the Island are connected by hydrofoils.
The distance between Petrozavodsk and Kizhi is 63 km; non-stop travel time is 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Below you can find the general timetable and our comments.
|Petrozavodsk, departure||Kizhi, arrival / departure||Petrozavodsk, arrival|
Actual trips depend on demand. During the high season the number of trips to Kizhi can be as high as 6-7 per day, but on certain days in May or September there may be no departures at all.
Boat cancellation and delay notice.
In case of a heavy storm or thick fog boats between Petrozavodsk and Kizhi can be delayed or even cancelled, though it does not happen often.
Combination of different departures.
On a standard day tour, visitors use the same boat for the trip to and from Kizhi. It may be possible to use different boats, for example, the boat at 09:30 for the trip to Kizhi and the boat at 17:15 for the trip back.
Guaranteed extended stay at Kizhi requires staying overnight somewhere in the area of the Island. There is a nice guesthouse just over the strait from the Island.
2. Motorboat to Kizhi.
It is possible to use private motorboats for getting to the Island. In the summer time it is usually not practical as regular hydrofoils are bigger, cheaper and more comfortable. However, in late September and early October when the hydrofoil season is over travelling by a motorboat from Velikaya Guba village (north of Kizhi) can be the only reasonable option. Direct route from Petrozavodsk goes across the open lake greatly affected by winds and that is why it is not reliable.
3. Helicopter to Kizhi.
The helicopter company in Petrozavodsk owns big MI-8 helicopters for 20-22 people which are quite expensive in operation. The cost of a charter flight to the Island is rather high. Flying time is about 25 minutes one way.
4. Hovercraft to Kizhi.
We use hovercrafts for trips to Kizhi on the ice of Lake Onega. Depending on weather conditions, a trip from Petrozavodsk takes 60-90 minutes.
However, direct trips are possible when Lake Onego between Petrozavodsk and Kizhi is completely covered with ice. In case of a warm winter, as it was in 2019-2020, tours are carried out from the village of Velikaya Guba, which is located on the Zaonezhsky Peninsula. The Bay of Velikaya Guba is narrow, so it freezes in December. The distance from Petrozavodsk to Velikaya Guba by road is 270 km. From Velikaya Guba to Kizhi island, the trip by a hovercraft will last for about 30 minutes. The whole trip to Kizhi through Velikaya Guba takes about 13-15 hours.
In spring, ice conditions usually allow travelling until mid April.
5. Snowmobile to Kizhi.
Safe driving on the frozen lake depends on ice conditions. Whilst hovercrafts need at least some ice and can move over areas of open water snowmobiles require much thicker ice. February and March are the months when it is usually possible.
Easy trip to Kizhi from May till October
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