CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The enchanted island of mist and snow

 

 

 THE ENCHANTED ISLAND OF MIST AND SNOW OF OLD RUSSIA

 
   

 

The enchanted island of mist and snow: Life in the Russian monastery which belongs in a fairytale

  • The Russian Orthodox Solovestsky Monastery was founded by monks in the 15th century
  • The monastery is located in the Solovetsky Islands, a tiny archipelago tucked away in the White Sea
  • Remote islands are more than 775 miles away from St Petersburg and a boat ride from the nearest town

Hidden under a thick blanket of snow and shrouded in fog, the remote village of Solovki and its isolated monastery could have sprung from the pages of a fairy story.

The monastery stands proud over the bleak landscape of the Solovetsky Islands, a tiny archipelago tucked away in the White Sea, more than 775 miles from St Petersburg and a boat ride away to the nearest mainland town of Belomorsk in north west Russia.

 
   

Founded by two hermit monks in the 15th century, the Russian Orthodox Solovestsky Monastery swept aside its humble beginnings and distant location to become one of the wealthiest landowners and most influential religious centres in all of Russia by the end of the 16th century.

Magical: Hidden under a thick blanket of snow and shrouded in fog, the remote village of Solovki and its isolated monastery could have sprung from the pages of a fairy story

Magical: Hidden under a thick blanket of snow and shrouded in fog, the remote village of Solovki and its isolated monastery could have sprung from the pages of a fairy story

Magical: Covered in a thick blanket of snow, the serene monastery resembles a castle from a fairy tale

Mystery: Glimpsed through the snow and icy fog, the serene monastery resembles a castle from a fairy tale

Red sky in the morning: Under a crimson sky all is peaceful and serene in the remote village

Red sky in the morning: Under a crimson sky all is peaceful and serene in the remote village

Chill factor: An epiphany ice hole cut into the frozen water outside the Solovestsky Monastery

Chill factor: An epiphany ice hole cut into the frozen water outside the Solovestsky Monastery

Humble beginnings: Founded by two hermit monks in the 15th century, the Monastery became one of the wealthiest landowners and most influential religious centres in all of Russia

Humble beginnings: Founded by two hermit monks in the 15th century, the Monastery became one of the wealthiest landowners and most influential religious centres in all of Russia

The existing stronghold and its major churches were erected in stone during the early reign of Ivan the Terrible at the behest of St. Philip of Moscow.

At the onset of the Schism of the Russian Church, the monks staunchly stuck to the faith of their fathers and expelled the tsar's representatives from the Solovki, precipitating the eight-year-long siege of the islands by the forces of Tsar Alexis. The stunning photographs of the magical island and its imposing place of worship were captured by Sergey Veretennikov, who visited Solovetsky in both summer and winter.

Lonely island: The monastery stands proud over the bleak landscape of the Solovetsky Islands, a tiny archipelago tucked away in the White Sea, more than 775 miles from St Petersburg

Lonely island: The monastery stands proud over the bleak landscape of the Solovetsky Islands, a tiny archipelago tucked away in the White Sea, more than 775 miles from St Petersburg

History: The existing stronghold and its major churches were erected in stone during the early reign of Ivan the Terrible at the behest of St. Philip of Moscow

History: The existing stronghold and its major churches were erected in stone during the early reign of Ivan the Terrible at the behest of St. Philip of Moscow

Beauty: The stunning photographs of the magical island and its imposing place of worship were captured by Sergey Veretennikov, who visited Solovetsky in both summer and winter

Beauty: The stunning photographs of the magical island and its imposing place of worship were captured by Sergey Veretennikov, who visited Solovetsky in both summer and winter

Landscape: The Solovetsky Islands are an archipelago located in the Onega Bay of the White Sea, Russia

Landscape: The Solovetsky Islands are an archipelago located in the Onega Bay of the White Sea, Russia

Peaceful: The monastery is still inhabited by Russian Orthodox monks

Peaceful: The monastery is still inhabited by Russian Orthodox monks

Heavenly: One monk prays inside one of the monastery's many rooms

Heavenly: One monk prays inside one of the monastery's many rooms

Secure: Throughout the imperial period of Russian history, the monastery was renowned as a strong fortress which repelled foreign attacks

Secure: Throughout the imperial period of Russian history, the monastery was renowned as a strong fortress which repelled foreign attacks

Despite their remote location the six islands, which are located in the Onega Bay, are reachable via the Solovki Airport from which there is a regular service to Arkhangelsk.

The largest island of the group is the Bolshoy Solovetsky Island, which measures just 18 square miles and houses Solovetsky. As of the 2010 Census, the population of the district was 861 inhabitants.

The smallest island is Malaya Muksalma, which is just a quarter of a square mile.

Serene images of the Russian village of Solovki-credit S. Veretennikoveast2west news,queries Will Stewart 007 985 998 94 00.jpg

Serene images of Russian Village-The first beam of light-credit S. Veretennikoveast2west news,queries Will Stewart 007 985 998 94 00.jpg

Outpost: As of the 2010 census, the population of the islands was just 806 inhabitants  

Terrain: Formed of granite, most of the Solovetsky Islands are covered with Scots Pine and Norway Spruce forests, which are partially swampy

Terrain: Formed of granite, most of the Solovetsky Islands are covered with Scots Pine and Norway Spruce forests, which are partially swampy

Bleak: After the October Revolution, the islands attained notoriety as the site of the first Soviet prison camp, or gulag

Bleak: After the October Revolution, the islands attained notoriety as the site of the first Soviet prison camp, or gulag

Preserved: In 1974, the Solovetsky Islands were designated a historical and architectural museum and a natural reserve of the Soviet Union and in 1992 joined the World Heritage List

Preserved: In 1974, the Solovetsky Islands were designated a historical and architectural museum and a natural reserve of the Soviet Union and in 1992 joined the World Heritage List

Frosty morning: These frozen bells show just how cold it can get for those living on the remote islands in the White Sea

Frosty morning: These frozen bells show just how cold it can get for those living on the remote islands in the White Sea

Serene images of Russian Village-Boat-credit S. Veretennikoveast2west news,queries Will Stewart 007 985 998 94 00.jpg

Serene images of Russian Village-Holy lake-credit S. Veretennikoveast2west news,queries Will Stewart 007 985 998 94 00.jpg

Enterprise: There are numerous lakes, which were joined by monks so as to form a network of canals

Formed of granite, most of the Solovetsky Islands are covered with Scots Pine and Norway Spruce forests, which are partially swampy. There are numerous lakes, which were joined by monks so as to form a network of canals.

Throughout the imperial period of Russian history, the monastery was renowned as a strong fortress which repelled foreign attacks during the Livonian War, in the 16th century, the Time of Troubles in the 17th century, the 19th century Crimean War, and the Russian Civil War  in the 20th century.

After the October Revolution, the islands attained notoriety as the site of the first Soviet prison camp, or gulag. The camp was inaugurated in 1921, while Vladimir Lenin leader Soviet Russia and closed in 1939, on the eve of World War II when it became a naval cadet training camp for the Soviet Northern Fleet.

In 1974, the Solovetsky Islands were designated a historical and architectural museum and a natural reserve of the Soviet Union and in 1992 joined the World Heritage List when it was described by body UNESCO 'as an outstanding example of a monastic settlement in the inhospitable environment of northern Europe which admirably illustrates the faith, tenacity, and enterprise of later medieval religious communities'.

Silent prayer: Monks have been living at the monastery since the 15th century

Silent prayer: Monks have been living at the monastery since the 15th century

High praise: The islands have been described as 'an outstanding example of a monastic settlement in the inhospitable environment of northern Europe'

High praise: The islands have been described as 'an outstanding example of a monastic settlement in the inhospitable environment of northern Europe'

 

Captured: Russia in Color

1

View of the monastery from Svetlitsa Island, Saint Nil Stolbenskii Monastery, Lake Seliger; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

2

Peasant girls, Russian Empire. Three young women offer berries to visitors to their izba, a traditional wooden house, in a rural area along the Sheksna River, near the town of Kirillov; 1909 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

3

Trans-Siberian Railway metal truss bridge on stone piers, over the Kama River near Perm, Ural Mountains Region; ca. 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

4

Cotton textile mill interior with machines producing cotton thread, probably in Tashkent; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

5

Man and camel loaded with packs; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

6

Three yurts, man seated in doorway of yurt in foreground; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Altar side of the Dmitrievskii Cathedral, Vladimir; 1911 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Bashkir switchman; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

9

Isfandiyar, Khan of the Russian protectorate of Khorezm (Khiva), full-length portrait, in uniform, seated on chair, outdoors; between 1910 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

10

Austrian prisoners of war near a barrack, near Kiappeselga; 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Church in the village of Shaidoma; 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Photographer posing with two others; 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Shuia River; 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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In Little Russia (Ukraine); between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Alim Khan, Emir of Bukhara, seated holding sword; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Log buildings in the Ural Mountain Region; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Corner tower of the Trinity Cathedral in the Solovetskii Monastery, Solovetski Islands; 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Boy standing by wooden gatepost; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Work at the Bakalskii mine; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Bashkir's yard, Ekhia; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Rafts on the Peter the Great Canal. City of Shlisselburg, Russian Empire; 1909 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress).#

Captured: Russia in Color

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City of Cherdyn; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Old church of Saint Nicholas the Wonder Worker, Nyrob; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Church in Vetluga settlement; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Andrei Petrov Kalganov. Former master in the plant. Seventy-two years old, has worked at the plant for fifty-five years. He was fortunate to present bread and salt to His Imperial Majesty, the Sovereign Emperor Nicholas II, Zlatoust; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Dvinsk, Roman Catholic church; 1912 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Mills in Ialutorovsk district of Tobolsk Province; 1912 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Molding shop at the Kasli plant; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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On the Karolitskhali River, self portrait of photographer Prokudin-Gorskii in suit and hat, seated on rock beside the Karolitskhali River, with mountains in background; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Assumption Cathedral in the Goritskii Monastery, near Pereiaslavl-Zalesskii; 1911 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Chapel on Olga hill, Russian Empire; 1909 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Garden of the M.P.S. (Ministry of Communication and Transportation) and Saint Paul sluice, Deviatiny, Russian Empire; 1909 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Pinkhus Karlinskii, eighty-four years. Sixty-six years of service. Supervisor of Chernigov floodgate, Russian Empire; 1909 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

34

Crew of the steamship "Sheksna" of the M.P.S. (Ministry of Communication and Transportation), Russian Empire; 1909 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Sawmill, Oka River, Several men standing near a sawmill; 1912 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Church of the Resurrection in the Grove (from the other side), Kostroma; 1910 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Dagestani types, Group of women posed outdoors; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Gallery in the Church of the Resurrection of Christ, Rostov Velikii; 1911 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Construction of iron-concrete frames for the lock's walls, Beloomut, Uniformed man posed in framework of lock; 1912 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Mosque in Vladikavkaz; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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General view of the Shakh-i Zindeh mosque (evening photo), Samarkand; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Shepherd posed near a hillside, Samarkand; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Georgian woman standing on a carpet, outside, near a tree; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Mugan, Settler's family, Settlement of Grafovka; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Group of workers harvesting tea. Greek women, Chakva; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Dagestani types, Man and woman posed outdoors; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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General view of the Likanskii palace from the Kura River; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Portion of entrance door on right side of Tillia-Kari, Samarkand; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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On the Saimaa Lake; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Camel caravan carrying thorns for fodder, Golodnaia Steppe; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

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Melon vendor, Samarkand; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

52

At work on the upper reaches of the Syr-Darya, Golodnaia Steppe, Four men on a horse-drawn cart, next to a cliff; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

Captured: Russia in Color

53

Migrant farmstead in the settlement of Nadezhdinsk with a group of peasants, Golodnaia Steppe; between 1905 and 1915 Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii Collection (Library of Congress). #

 

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