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Kizhi Travel Guide

The City of Kizhi

Kizhi (or Kiji) is a small island situated in Onega Lake or Onego which is located on the territory of Karelia, a republic in the North-West of Russian Federation. It is possible to visit Kizhi Island from Petrazavodsk, the capital city of the Karelia Region of Northern Russia.

Kizhi is one of the nation's most famous, and most intricate, remarkable examples of wooden architecture. These structures on Kizhi Island date from various centuries, as they have been transported to the island in order to preserve them and make them accessible to the public.

Kizhi Island is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. The complex of buildings original to Kizhi Island, the Pogost of Our Savior, is on UNESCO's World Heritage Site list.

The Kizhi Island demonstrates rural, traditional crafts and tasks of peasant life in the Karelia Region of Russia. Villages original to the island also exist, and some houses are still inhabited by locals.
The City of Kizhi

Due to Preservation Issues, follow the rules of Kizhi Island. Smoking is strictly prohibited except in certain areas. This is due to the delicate nature of the wooden structures; fires have wreaked havoc in the past. In addition, do not expect to stay on Kizhi Island overnight, as this, too, is forbidden. Instead, either plan a day trip to Kizhi or be content with the time that a guided tour will allow.

Kizhi Island is home to the oldest wooden church in Russia, the Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus, which was built in the late 14th century. And its Museum is famous for its unique wooden architectural monuments created by different masters during several hundreds of years. These are churches, chapels, windmills, houses, etc. All these buildings are wonderful examples of the Russian folk wooden architectural art, traditional for Northern Russia.

Some folk festivals with singing and dancing are arranged and demonstrations of traditional handicrafts take place in the museum, in summer. Annually the Kizhi Open Air Museum of Russian wooden architecture is visited by about 100,000 tourists from Russia and other countries. The visitors can have guide service in English, German, French and Finnish.  The city is the land of diligent, prosperous, and religious people - fishermen, peasants, merchants, blacksmiths, carpenters, with rich culture and traditions.

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