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Hotels of Kizhi
A hotel in Kizhi is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Kizhi hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Kizhi are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Kizhi hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Kizhi hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Kizhi have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Kizhi
An upscale full service hotel facility in Kizhi that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Kizhi hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Kizhi
Full service Kizhi hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Kizhi
Boutique hotels of Kizhi are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Kizhi boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Kizhi may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Kizhi
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Kizhi travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Kizhi focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Kizhi
Small to medium-sized Kizhi hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Kizhi traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Kizhi hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Kizhi
A bed and breakfast in Kizhi is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Kizhi bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Kizhi B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Kizhi
Kizhi hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Kizhi hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Kizhi
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Kizhi hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Kizhi lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Kizhi
Kizhi timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Kizhi often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Kizhi on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Kizhi
A Kizhi motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Kizhi for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Kizhi motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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"Kizhi" redirects here. For other uses, see Kizhi (disambiguation).
/ 62.06667; 35.23806
5 km (1.9 sq mi)
6 km (3.7 mi)
1 km (0.6 mi)
Kizhi (Russian: Кижи; IPA: [ˈkʲiʐɨ], Karelian: Kiži) is an island near the geometrical center of the Lake Onega in the Republic of Karelia (Medvezhyegorsky District), Russia. It is elongated from north to south and is about 6 km long, 1 km wide and is about 68 km away from the capital of Karelia, Petrozavodsk.
Settlements and churches on the island were known from at least the 15th century. The population was rural, but was forced by the government to assist development of the ore mining and iron plants in the area that resulted in a major Kizhi Uprising in 1769–1771. Most villages had disappeared from the island by the 1950s and now only a small rural settlement remains. In the 18th century, two major churches and a bell tower were built on the island, which are now known as Kizhi Pogost. In the 1950s, dozens of historical wooden buildings were moved to the island from various parts of Karelia for preservation purposes. Nowadays, the entire island and the nearby area form a national open-air museum with more than 80 historical wooden structures. The most famous is the Kizhi Pogost, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Kizhi Island: History
Kizhi Island: Name
The name Kizhi is believed to originate from ancient Veps or Karelian word “kizhat” or "kizhansuari" ("social gathering" or “island of games”). In Russian, it is usually pronounced with stress on the first syllable; an alternative stress on the ultimate syllable is grammatically incorrect in the Russian and Karelian languages.
Kizhi Island: Industrial development
Since at least the 14th century, the island was part of the exchange route between Novgorod and White Sea. The numerous settlements on Kizhi and neighboring islands (about 100 by the 16th century) comprised an administrative entity called Spas-Kizhi Pogost. Since the 13th and 14th century, the area acquired economical importance as a source of iron ores. By the early 18th century, as a consequence of the industrial reforms of Tzar Peter I, several ore mines and metallurgy plants were built on the Onega Lake, in particular on the place of modern Medvezhyegorsk and Petrozavodsk cities. Those plants required hard physical labor such as cutting forests for wood, coal burning, ground works, etc., which was mostly provided by the local peasants. The labor was forced; the disobeyed were punished by public beating and fines that sparked local riots. The largest one occurred in 1769–1771 and is known as Kizhi Uprising, which was sparked by a governor order to send peasants during the harvest season for works at Tivdiysk marble mine and construction of the Lizhemsky metallurgical plant. Peasants disobeyed and boycotted the order. They were soon joined by up to 40,000 people from all over Karelia led by Kliment Sobolev, Andrei Salnikov and Semen Kostin. The revolt was based in the Kizhi Pogost that resulted in its name. The peasants sent petitioners to St. Petersburg, but those were arrested and punished, and a military corps was sent to suppress the uprising. They arrived to Kizhi by the end of June, 1771, and after artillery fire the peasants quickly surrendered. The leaders and 50–70 other peasants were publicly beaten and sent to exile in Siberia. Many others were forced into military service, which was a form of punishment of the time. However, the recruitment of peasants for the construction of local plants and mineworks had stopped.
Kizhi Island: Farming and other traditional activities
From the early times, the most important occupation of the islanders was farming. All available area, about half of the island was converted to fields; from the remaining half, a quarter was rocky and the rest occupied by swamps. On one occasion in the 18th century, two villages were moved from Kizhi island to the nearby infertile mainland to free land for farming. Until 1970, the island had about 96 hectares of fields yielding various grains and potato, and combine harvesters and tractors for field cultivation. The farming was stopped in 1971 by a government directive. Some fields were reconstructed in 2004 as part of the Kizhi museum. Those fields are an exhibit demonstrating major steps of the farming and harvesting work.
Other traditional activities of the area included embroidery, making beaded jewelry, weaving (including traditional birch bark weaving), knitting, spinning, woodcarving (which included making traditional Russian wooden toys) and pottery.
Kizhi Island: Original churches of Kizhi
See also: Kizhi Pogost
The first mentioning of churches on the island is dated to 1563. This document describes two domed wooden churches with a bell tower standing in the southern part of the island (on the site of the present Kizhi Pogost), and mentions their earlier description of 1496. A more detailed description was documented in 1628. In particular, contrary to the later, domed churches of the pogost, the first ones had pyramidal roofs. Those churches were burned by a fire caused by lightning in the end of the 17th century. The first church raised after the fire was the Church of the Intercession (Russian: церковь Покрова Богородицы, 1694) which was heated and held services all year long. It was reconstructed several times in 1720–1749 and in 1764 rebuilt into its present 9-dome design. In 1714, the 22-dome Transfiguration Church (Russian: Церковь Преображения Господня) was constructed and soon after the bell tower was added, thereby completing the Kizhi Pogost. The bell tower was entirely rebuilt in 1862. Much earlier, some time in the 17th century, a 300-meter long fence was built around the churches, which then served as a protection ground against Swedish and Polish incursions.
Kizhi churches were built on stones, without a deep foundation. Their major basic structural unit is a round log of Scotts pine (Pinus sylvestris) about 30 cm in diameter and 3 to 5 meters long. Many thousands logs were brought for construction from the mainland which was a complex logistical task in that time. The logs were cut and shaped with axes and assembled without nails, using interlocking corner joinery - either round notch or dovetail. Flat roofs were made of spruce planks and the domes are covered in aspen.
Kizhi Island: Kizhi museum
The ensemble of wooden architecture in Kizhi - a memorial 3-ruble coin of the Central Bank of Russia (1995).
Open-air museum Kizhi is one of the first in Russia, which started functioning on the island in 1951 and currently contains about 87 wooden constructions. The most famous of them is the Kizhi Pogost, which contains two churches and a bell tower surrounded by a fence. The pogost was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1990. Since 1951, a large number of historical buildings were moved to the island. They include Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus from Murom Monastery, which is regarded as the oldest remaining wooden church in Russia (second half of the 14th century), several bell towers, more than 20 peasant houses, mills, barns and saunas. In 1993, the museum was included into a short list a Russian Cultural Heritage sites. The museum contains more than 41,000 exhibits. Most of them are domestic artifacts: tools, dishes, utensils, furniture, etc. There are about 1000 icons of the 16th–19th centuries which includes Russia's only collection of "heavens". There are also church items, such as crosses early manuscript of 17th–19th centuries. The museum also contains exhibits of the 20th century, about 10,000 photographs and 1,500 drawings.
The museum conducts a wide range of scientific studies in the history, archeology, ecology, nature and other fields related to the island. It is based in Kizhi and Petrozavodsk, has an advanced web portal and a web camera on the island. Kizhi museum also publishes the monthly "Kizhi newspaper". In summer, it runs week-long education courses at the school and university level.
Kizhi Island: Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus
Tradition says that the church was built by the monk Lazarus (1286 (?) – 1391) in the second half of the 14th century. The church became the first building of the future Murom Monastery located on the eastern shore of Lake Onega. Over time, the church became the main attractions of the monastery as it was reputed to miraculously cure illnesses. Clergy announced the monk Lazarus as a local saint, and every summer, on 23–24 June, the church was attracting pilgrims. The building is 3 meters tall and has a perimeter of 9×3 m. The original two-tier iconostasis of the church is preserved; it consists of 17 icons of 16th–18th centuries.
Kizhi Island: Chapel of the Archangel Michael
Chapel of the Archangel Michael
The Chapel of the Archangel Michael was moved to Kizhi in 1961 from the Lelikozero village. It measures 12.0×3.0×11.0 metres and has a rectangular frame elongated from east to west and a two-slope roof. Above the entrance hall there is a belfry capped with a pyramid roof. The iconostasis of the chapel has two tiers and contains icons of 17th–18th centuries.
Kizhi Island: Demography
A farm house
By the end of the 16th century, there were 14 settlements on the island. By the early 1900s, their number reduced to nine, which were named Pogost, Bachurino, Bishevo, Bosarevo, Vasilyevo, Kyazhevo, Morozovo, Navolok and Yamka. By the end of World War II, seven of them disappeared and only Vasilyevo and Yamka remain. They are a part of the "Kizhi rural settlement" belonging to the larger Velikogubskoe rural settlement of Medvezhyegorsky District, Republic of Karelia, Russia.
Kizhi Island: Settlements
The pogost settlement is located near the Kizhi Pogost. It was first mentioned in the early 17th century; then it consisted of four houses, two of which were burned down during a local revolt. By 1678, the number of houses increased to seven, six of which belonged to the Pogost priests and one to a peasant. The settlement shrank to five houses by the early 1900s and disappeared by 1950. Nowadays, on their place stands a historical house of Oshevnev, which was moved here in 1951 from Oshevnevo village, and which became the first exhibit of the Kizhi museum opened in 1960.
Bachurino was named after a peasant Fedor Bachurin; between the 17th and 19th centuries, it contained only two houses which then grew to three. This settlement was the poorest on the island – in 1876, it owned only one horse and two cows, and in the early 20th century, only two cows for 24 people living there.
Bishevo settlement was located in the north-eastern part of the island. In 1563, it had one house but there were four houses there by 1678. In 1820, from eight men of the settlement, six were wealthy – the settlement had 5 horses, 11 cows and 4 sheep. In the early 1900s, there were only 4 horses and 3 cows for 11 people, and by 1950 the settlement had disappeared.
Bosarevo settlement was formed in 1858-1869 with one house of 11 people, which became two by 1911.
Kyazehvo settlement was located on the northernmost shore of the island and had two houses in 1563. One more was built by 1876, but the houses were small and had almost no animals. Thirteen people lived there by 1905.
Morozovo settlement was known since 1582 and contained one big house which was taken apart in 1950. Nearby, there is the Chapel of the Three Saints. It stands 22 metres tall with a perimeter of 8.0×12.0 metres and was built in the late 18th century in the Kavgora village.
Navolok settlement was one of the largest and richest in the area with four houses in 1563 and seven from 1696. About 40 people lived there in the 19th century, most of whom were peasants but two were shoe makers and one carpenter. The settlement had a boat which was used for cargo.
While most Kizhi settlements were shrinking with time, Vasilyevo was growing from one house in 1840 to two in 1876, three in 1911 and five in 2009. Of the present five houses, two are original and others were moved here as museum exhibits. Near them, there is a historical Chapel of the Assumption of the Virgin (Russian: часовня Успения Пресвятой Богородицы) of 17th–18th century measuring 13.0×6.0×17.0 metres.
Yamka settlement had two houses in 1563, both of which were burned down in 1616. They were rebuilt later and by 1911, the settlement was the largest on the island with 11 houses. One of its inhabitants, Semen Kostin, was a leader of the Kizhi Uprising of the 1769. One of his neighbors became a wealthy merchant and a regular donor to the reconstruction of the Kizhi churches. Apart from historical houses and barns, in Yamka there is a windmill built in 1930 and two chapels. The Chapel of Spas (Russian: Часовня Спаса Нерукотворного) measures 13.0×3.0×8.0 metres. It was built in the 17th–18th centuries in Vigovo village and moved to Kizhi in the 1950s. Its style is similar to that of the Chapel of the Archangel Michael (see above). The Chapel of Petr and Pavel is smaller (5.0×3.0×3.0 m) and simpler in design. It was built in the early 18th century in the Tipinitsa village and then moved to Kizhi. Its interior could not be preserved.
Kizhi Island: Geography and nature
Kizhi Island: Geology, flora and fauna
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
The area of Kizhi island differs from most of other parts of Onega Lake. It is characterized by numerous small islands, which reduce the water flow, and relatively shallow and uneven lake bottom. Whereas the average depth of the lake is 31 meters, the depth is about 2–3 meters in the Kizhi and only in some places reaches 16–20 meters. Because of the weak flows and shallow depth, water is relatively warm and quiet that promotes growth of aquatic vegetation. Fish types include roach, some gobies, crucian carp, sabre carp, perch, ruffe, pike, common dace, silver bream, ide, gudgeon, carp bream, spined loach, European smelt, char, pike-perch, rudd and burbot.
Along the center of the island runs a narrow ridge, which is a remnant of the ice age. It has steep slopes in some parts and is up to 22 meters tall. There are no forests on the island, but only individual trees of elm, spruce, pine, birch, aspen and alder. The trees host about 28 species of polypores (tree mushrooms), and there are more than 100 species of moss. Most of the island is covered in meadows, which are quite varied and rich in colors and species, including rare and protected. A large part of them are of legume family. Common are cow parsley, various species centaurea, tansy and verbascum densiflorum.
About 180 bird species from 15 families are known in the Kizhi area, and about 45 types of them were observed on the island. Most of them are migratory and stop on the island either for rest or nesting, such as swans, geese, ducks, lake seagulls, sterna, but there are also more stationary birds like house sparrow, Eurasian siskin, common chaffinch, skylark, jackdaw and crow. Among animals and amphibians, there are only newts (smooth newt and great crested newt), vipers, common lizard, frogs and toads (common frog, common toad and moor frog) and mice – the island is too small for larger animals which are abundant in the area.
Kizhi Island: Climate
The climate on the island is typical of the area, but is cold for most parts of the world. Low temperatures suppress bacterial activity, which is one of the major factors behind the longevity of the wooden structures of Kizhi.
Climate data for Kizhi
Average high °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Source: Kizhi climate
Kizhi Island: Access
Although Kizhi island is within a kilometer distance from major islands and peninsulas of Onega lake, there are no major cities and transport routes nearby. Access to Kizhi is provided by hydrofoil (several trips a day from Petrozavodsk during the summer months), cruise ship, helicopter and snowcat (in the winter). Transportation over the island is mostly on foot. During the winter, snowmobiles are also used. On nearby islands there are several guesthouses. There is an 8-room (20 beds) wooden guest house, TV and a restaurant.
Kizhi Island: Music
Island Kizhi is the title of one the albums of Phantom.
Kizhi Island: References
Museum overview (in Russian)
Kizhi island, Encyclopædia Britannica
Ethnographic and open-air museums, UNESCO, pp. 170–173
"Kizhi" (in Russian). Great Soviet Encyclopedia.
History of Medvezhyegorsk (in Russian)
Adrian Room (2006). Placenames of the world: origins and meanings of the names for 6,600 countries, cities, territories, natural features, and historic sites. McFarland. p. 294. ISBN 0-7864-2248-3.
"Olonetsk plants" (in Russian). Great Soviet Encyclopedia.
"Kizhi Uprising 1969-71" (in Russian). Great Soviet Encyclopedia.
B. Bogoslovsky, Yu. Georgievsky (1969). "Кижское восстание". Onego (in Russian). St. Petersburg.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
Agriculture of Kizhi (in Russian)
Reconstruction of historical forms of nature use in Karelia (in Russian)
Kizhi crafts (in Russian)
History of Kizhi churches (in Russian)
Stephen J. Kelley, ed. (2000). Wood structures: a global forum on the treatment, conservation, and repair of cultural heritage. ASTM International. pp. 42–47. ISBN 0-8031-2497-X.
William Minor (1995). Unzipped souls: a jazz journey through the Soviet Union. Temple University Press. p. 142. ISBN 1-56639-324-8.
John Onians (2004). Atlas of world art. Laurence King Publishing. p. 161. ISBN 1-85669-377-5.
Церковь Преображения Господня (in Russian) Kizhi Museum site
Kizhi Pogost at UNESCO
Decree N 1847 on November 6, 1993 by the President of Russia (in Russian)
Kizhi museum: introduction (in Russian)
Kizhi newspaper (in Russian)
Summer school for children (in Russian)
Summer university on the island (in Russian)
Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus (in Russian)
Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus (in Russian)
Chapel of the Archangel Michael (in Russian)
Summary of the settlements (in Russian)
Law of Republic of Karelia on towns and rural settlements, gov.karelia.ru, 2004 (in Russian)
Bachurino settlement (in Russian)
Bishevo settlement (in Russian)
Bosarevo settlement (in Russian)
Kyazhevo settlement (in Russian)
Morozovo settlement (in Russian)
Chapel of the Three Saints (in Russian)
Navolok settlement (in Russian)
Vasilyevo settlement (in Russian)
Chapel of the Assumption of the Virgin (in Russian)
Yamka settlement (in Russian)
Chapel of Spas in Yamka (in Russian)
Chapel of Petr and Pavel (in Russian)
Darinskii AV (1975). Leningrad Oblast. Lenizdat. pp. 43–45.
Karelia. Tourist portal
Fishes of Kizhi area (in Russian)
Moss species of island Kizhi (in Russian)
Polypores of island Kizhi (in Russian)
Flora of island Kizhi (in Russian)
Meadows of island Kizhi (in Russian)
Nature of Kizhi, Birds of Kizhi island (in Russian)
Transport to Kizhi
Guest house on Kizhi island (in Russian)
Kizhi Island: External links
Official homepage (English)
Official homepage in Russian (Russian)
Gallery of the Kizhi Museum
Kizhi virtual tours
Orthodox shrines in Kizhi
Virtual visit to Kizhi
Russian page on Kizhi
Satellite picture by Google Maps
The churches of Kizhi: Russia's sacred island
Media related to Kizhi at Wikimedia Commons
Kiy Island Monastery
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Shared with Lithuania
Shared with nine other countries
Shared with Mongolia
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