SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2000

Monitoring Deformations on the Church of the Transfiguration


The Church of the Transfiguration or Tserkva Preobrazhenskaya, located on Kizhi Island, Karelia, Russia, is a unique monument of the 18th century that has no analogs in world architecture. It is included on the UNESCO list of the most significant monuments constituting the World Cultural Heritage. The Kizhi Pogost includes three structures: the Tserkva Preobrazhenskaya (the summer church), the Tserkva Pokrovskaya (the winter church), and the Bell Tower. The Church of the Transfiguation is the focal point of the ensemble and is constructed of a system of log octagons that rise to a height of 34 meters (111.5 ft).

Typically, wooden buildings in Northern Russia last no longer than 250–300 years. The Church of the Transfiguration reached this critical age in the last quarter of the 20th century. This fact highlights the importance of restoration work and the monitoring of the general condition of the building.

A precise description of the wood log structure of which the church is composed is given. The monitoring of seasonal movement of the building is given starting from the erection of a steel frame inside the building in 1981 to 1983. Monitoring of building deformations have been monitored to analyze the interaction of the log structure and the steel frame.

Measurements conducted and discussed in the paper reveal interesting data regarding the seasonal movement of the structure as a whole and the behavior of the elements of which the structure is composed. Based on the systematic monitoring of the building it can be concluded that, apart from the seasonal movement, the building is stable. The observations did not reveal interaction between the steel framework and the wood structure.

Author Information

Vahrameeva, TI
State Open-Air Museum “Kizhi”, Petrozavodsk, Russia
Lubimov, V
State Open-Air Museum “Kizhi”, Petrozavodsk, Russia
Tsvetkov, VJ
“Spetsprojektrestazratsia” Institute, Moscow, Russia
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Developed by Committee: E06
Pages: 61–65
DOI: 10.1520/STP13373S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5415-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2497-4