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Onega lake

Lake Onega is one of the largest of fresh water reservoirs of Europe placed on the north west of european part of Russia, on the territory of Karelia between St. Petersburg and Vologodsk regions. It is the second size lake in Europe after Ladozhskoe. Its area is about 10000km2, the middle depth 30 metres, most 120 metres. About 50 rivers flow into this lake and flow out one river Svir. The Belomor Baltic channel joins lake Onega and the White sea. On the shores of lake Onega are placed the towns Petrozavodsk, Kondopoga and Medvejegorsk.

One of the biggest islands on Lake Onega is the Kizhi island, it is remarkable, that it occupied the whole island with the same name.

The inhabitants of Novgorod, who founded small settlement in this place in 10-11 century, were the ancestry of modern Kizhians. Finns migrated here too. It is simply explained: the borders of Finland side with Russian borders, and in antiquity these two peoples constantly divided the borders of the two Powers. Besides in 11-16 centuries Kizhi was under the influence of Novgorod State. During three centuries Spasko-Kievsky churchyard, entered into Novgorod lands, and then reorganized in Kizhsky volost, consisted of about 150 villages. !7 villages, including two villages in Kizhi Island, were kept by the end of 20 century. Now all buildings of the island have become museum exhibits. Besides Kizhsky buildings of the church parish, the buildings from many places of Karelia are collected.

The ensemble of Kizhsky churchyard is the most valuable exhibit of the museum. It consists of the 22-headed church of Transfiguration, 9-headed church of Protection and the belfry, standing between them. All these buildings are different in their architecture and were built in different time. In general, the style of the buildings corresponds to the common coloring of all church buildings of Karelia. It is, in principle, their difference from the pomposity of Novgorod and Suzdal architecture. Of course, the ensemble of Kizhsky churchyard is completely wooden. The Church of Transfiguration is the most difficult construction from the all, mentioned above. It was erected in 1714 in the place of the old church, burned with the strike of lightning stroke. Unfortunately, the name of the author is unknown. However there are two legends, lifting the veil of obscurity. According to the first, the church was built in accordance with the drafts of Peter I, who, traveling from Povenz by the Onega lake, dropped in Kizhsky Island, where he saw the heap of felled trees. Having displayed interest in the reason of such mass throw, he drew the plan of the future church. The second legend mentions the name of a master Nestor, who having finished working at the church, threw his ax into the Onega lake with the words: There wasnt, there isnt and there wont be such church. Really, the building strikes by its majesty and singularity.

First, it was felled, as they say, by one ax without a nail. Second, its height 37 m (practically an 11-stored house), and 22 cupolas go down to the ground, as going to which, its size changes (from small to large and vice versa). According to the town-planning canon, the church is considered to be cold. Thats why, for arranging services in winter time the church of Protection, where people gathered together, beginning with the holiday Protection (October, 1) and finishing by the Easter, was built. In the island one can also to see the architecture of other buildings: the church of Lasers resurrection, the chapel of the Blessed Virgins sign, the house of Oshevnev, Elizarovas izba and others. There are about 15 such erections. By the way, the guides will tell not only about the history of building such architectural erection, but about the customs of wedding in Onega region, and about building kizhanka (dwelling house) in antiquity, acquaint the tourists with peculiarities of the folk trades of the town. In the neighboring islands one can see architectural monuments. For example, in islands Big Klimezky and Zaonejsky, belonging to the Kizhsky necklace there are the chapels of the Blessed Virgins Sign, the windmill, the chapels of Peter and Paul, Kirik and Ulita, Paraskeva Friday and Varlaam Hutinsky. And in Southern Cervine island there is the most valuable treasure for archaeologists - the huge necropolis of Mesolite era (the 6th millennium B.C.). It is famous all over the world and consists of 200 ancient burials, including bone instruments of hunting and fishing. The famous anthropologist and sculptor tried last century to reconstitute the appearance of several inhabitants of the island. One can see his works in the Karelian museum of local lore.

In the eastern shore of the Onega lake there is Pudozh. The town is practically untouched by courtliness of modern civilization; therefore the inhabitants go here in old national costumes. The way of life is also archaic: Pudozhians are engaged in decorative-applied trade, for example, embroidery, for which it is typical to use bright red colours and massive patterns. Near the town there is the Kashina mountain, where grey and pink-grey granite, used for incrustation of bridges, streets, buildings in Saint Petersburg, is extracted. This place is also famous for the cape Demons nose, where rock paintings of late Stone Age, dated 2 millennium B.C., were kept. The portrayals of fish, people, deers, sea animal, the scenes telling about fishing, hunting, ritual dancings were carved here. The biggest portrayal is the huge demon of the length 2.5 m. Thats why, probably, the cape got such name. This monument was discovered by St Petersburg archaeologist K. Grevingk. By the way the pristine village, where everybody can feel in a moment primitive, was constructed in this place specially for tourists. The effect of the presence is created by the play of shaman tambourines, theatrical performances from the primitives life.

The national park of Vodlozerie

In Vodlozerie is the largest reserve in the world, and in Europe the only lot of virginal nature of such big size. Here there is one of the largest lakes Of Europe the Vodlozero. The nature of the taiga in this place combines both rivers, lakes and fir forests, fogs, inhabited by rare or vanishing species of animal. The territory of Vodlozersky park is divided into three forest areas: Vodlozersky with the center in the village Kuganovolok, Ileksky in Onega and Pudozhsky in the settlement Valdai. The administrative center of the park is located in the village Kuganovolok, where the permit the card of visitor is given.

The national park of Vodlozerie is inhabited by rare species of plants and animals

The richness of this park is the virgin forests and bogs, many taiga forest tract, rivers and lakes, the biggest one is Vodlozero, such is the beauty of this Russian North region and it will never stop to admire people. The tourists routs were laid long ago.

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