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The aim of this article is to present the architectural ensemble known as “Kizhi Pogost,” as it appeared prior to its restoration and before it was surrounded by an open-air museum. The presentation is based on photographs from the period 1912 through the 1920's, as well as the first accurate map of the entire island of Kizhi in Lake Onega in the State of Karelia, Russia, which dates from 1868.
The pogost ensemble — consisting of the Preobrazhenskaya Tserkva (Church of the Transfiguration) and the Pokrova Bogoroditsy Sobor (Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin), its wall of boulders, cemetery, and, beyond the cemetery, the clergymen's house and landing stage — is described. The parishioners lived outside the pogost walls in the numerous villages on the island, which are shown on the map, and also on the neighboring islands and the mainland.
The plan of both churches, their structure, and the iron-clad roofs are described. The process of the repair of the churches in the nineteenth century is documented. The interior of Preobrazhenskaya Tserkva is also described. The photographs of the Preobrazhenskaya Tserkva show the altar, the icon screen, and “heaven” (the ceiling, which was destroyed during the war). The majority of the photographs, as well as the map of the island, are published here for the first time.
Vice Director, Professor, St. Petersburg Institute of Restoration, State University of Construction & Architecture, St. Petersburg,