Tourist Information Center Partnership Project

“Kizhi” Open-Air Museum


Republic of Karelia
Island of Kizhi in Lake Onega, in 68 km. distance from Petrozavodsk
Phones: +7 921 224 5358
Web site:
Kizhi: Experience Life of the Northern Peasants and See Pictures of the Past Brought to Life.The Kizhi Museum is one of the largest open air museums in Russia. This unique historical, cultural and natural complex is a particularly valuable object of cultural heritage of the peoples of Russia. The basis of the museum collection – the Kizhi Ensemble – is the UNESCO World cultural and natural heritage site.


“Kizhi” Open-Air Museum is one of the first and largest open-air museums in Russia, located on Kizhi Island in Lake Onega, 68 kilometers from Petrozavodsk, the capital of Karelia. In 1990, the Kizhi Pogost Ensemble was included in the UNESCO list of the World Heritage sites.

Be sure to visit:
1. Open-Air “Kizhi” Museum
the collection includes 81 monuments of wooden architecture: old chapels and houses, windmills and granaries, threshing barns and racks for drying crops. The guests can join sightseeing and ecological tours; participate in workshops on folk crafts, tasting sessions of traditional dishes and performances by folk music ensemble. Such activities as horse carriage and biking are also available.

2. Church of the Transfiguration
is a unique building, established in 1714.It is the most remarkable part of the Kizhi pogost. The church houses 105 icons in the iconostasis. . It was built by unknown craftsmen on the site of the old church, which was burnt by lightning.
A legend tells that the church was built without a single nail.
3. The Church of the Intercession
Built in 1764, it is of the “octagonal prism on a cube” type. Its elegant crown of eight cupolas is a unique element in Russian wooden architecture.

4. Villages Vasilyevo and Yamka
Each of them has only two or three households. Tourists are attracted here by the incredible landscapes and the opportunity to immerse themselves in the peasant way of life.
5. The Oshevnev house in the second half of the 19th century belonged to a prosperous peasant. It provides a great opportunity to get acquainted with the life and customs of wealthy peasantry abiding in Zaonezhye in the late 19th to early 20th centuries.

Churches, chapels, houses and windmills on Kizhi Island look like animated paintings of the past. Men plow the land, harvest, ring bells, and sing epic ballads. Women weave and sew, make lace and bead jewelry, press and beat flax, sing folk songs and dance. Excursion programs are held all year round.


It is known that for the first time Kizhi temples attracted the attention of specialists in the XIX century. In 1867, during his trip to the northern provinces of Russia, the island of Kizhi was visited by Academician L. V. Dal. At the beginning of the 20th century, a pilgrimage of artists and architects began to the North, who firsthand sought to see the ancient monuments. I. Ya. Bilibin (1904), I. E. Grabar (1909) and M. V. Krasovsky (1916) visited Kizhi Island. I. Ya. Bilibin wrote: "... nowhere have I ever seen such a scale of construction imagination as in Kizhi. ... What was the architect, who built churches like this!". Gradually Kizhi became famous: postcards with views of the Kizhi pogost were published, and in 1911 a painting by the artist Schlugleit depicting the Kizhi pogost was purchased by Emperor Nicholas II.

Interesting Facts

How to get there: cruise ships from St. Petersburg and Moscow, or high-speed vessels from Petrozavodsk.

A great reason to visit "Kizhi" can be the holidays that are held in the museum. They turn an ordinary trip into an exclusive vacation, and participation in a spectacular event gives an unforgettable experience!