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Valaam open-air museum

Valaam open-air museum

Valaam open-air museum

This is a research, church archaeology and wildlife sanctuary. It was founded as a state museum in December of 1979 on islands of the Valaam archipelago in the North Ladoga Lake, 40 kilometers from the town of Sortavala on the basis of architectural and natural landscape complex of the Valaam Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour. In 1992 it was closed for subsequent establishing of the two new museums on its basis: the Valaam research, church archaeology and wildlife sanctuary on islands of Valaam and the North Priladozhje regional museum in Sortavala. Since 2002 it is the Valaam research, church archaeology and wildlife sanctuary founded by the Ministry of Culture of the RK and the Moscow Patriarchate.

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II on Valaam

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II on Valaam

The Stauropegial Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration opened anew in territory of Valaam in 1989. The museum funds comprise 5380 units of issue. Acquisition of the museum funds was carried out in various directions, there are an archaeological collection, a collection of pictures and graphic art, articles of numismatics. Monuments of material culture of the Valaam monastery and population of the North Priladozhje are stored in the funds. Among the most significant museum collections there should be mentioned the collection of copper plastic works. Expositions and exhibitions of the museum are devoted to the Russian and Soviet artists who worked on Valaam. Valaam is one of the centers of culture tourism and pilgrimage.

The main historical and architectural place of interest of Valaam is the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour (1887-92) raised instead of the old cathedral which was built according to the project of the Father Superior Nazary in1785-94. The Cathedral is surrounded by 2 tetragon buildings forming a quadrangle. The inner square is formed by buildings of the XVIII century (the earlieat buildings): monastic and hegumen cells, refectory, Church of the Dormition of the Virgin (1785) and the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (1793). Dominating structures of the outer square (end of the XVIII — beginning of the XIX centuries) are the Gateway Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul (1809) and the church with altars consecrated in the name of the Icon of the Mother of God "The Live-Bearing Spring" (1814) and the Icon of the Life-Giving Trinity (1837). The initial project of the new Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour was drawn up by architect A.Silin, and later it was revised by architect G.Karpov. A great contribution in work on the project was made by the architecture academician N.Prokofiev. In the middle of the XIX century prominent architect A.Gornostayev, one of the founders of the "Russian" style in architecture, worked fruitful on Valaam. He has built a variety of churches, living quarters and utility structures of the monastery and its hermitages.

Subject of research of the museum employees, besides numerous artefacts, is unique nature of the archipelago and Ladoga Lake.

N. Rybina, L. Pecherina
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Created: May 22, 2009. Last updated: July 23, 2009.
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