Kizhi

Kizhi Island (seven kilometers long and 500 meters wide) is one of many islands on the northern end of Onega Lake in a region of Karelia whose cultural heritage has traditionally been shared by Finland and Russia. Kizhi is full of architectural treasures, a feast for the eyes and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Russia. Kizhi is world-renowned because of its parish area (pogost) with two wooden churches from the 18th century and an octagonal bell tower surrounded by a wooden enclosure. It is an open museum of wooden architecture whose jewel is Transfiguration Church, a wooden building crowned with 22 silver wooden domes that form a sort of pyramid. The Church of the Intercession of Mary is next to it, having been built in 1764, complete with nine domes. All of the buildings are made from wood and have been assembled without using nails or screws. We can also see other religious buildings, a windmill (the oldest in Russia), and typical wooden houses and barns, along with even a traditional Russian bath house, or banya. Kizhi is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.