The World Heritage Site «Kizhi Pogost»…

The World Heritage Site «Kizhi Pogost» (Kizhi Pogost, С544), the object of federal ownership, is in day–to–day management of the Kizhi Federal Museum of Architecture and Cultural History that is subordinated to the Ministry of Culture of RF. All kinds of activities on Kizhi Pogost are controlled by the Department of Surveillance for Compliance with the Law in Cultural heritage at the Ministry of Culture of RF.


The site is managed according to the legislation in force and the recommendations of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the preservation of cultural and natural heritage, on the basis of strategic and current planning to be undertaken by the Kizhi Federal Museum of Architecture and Cultural History.

The Supervising Committee at the Ministry of Culture of RF was established in 2011 on the initiative of the Kizhi Museum. On the 1st and 2nd of December, the Committee members together with ICOMOS mission controlled the first stage of restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration.

On the 6th of December, the Expert Group for wooden architecture within the Federal Council for Methodology at the Ministry of Culture of RF held a meeting in Moscow. The results of the Supervising Committee’s mission on Kizhi Island were summed up. The first stage of the restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration was viewed favourably.

On the 28th of April, 2011, the Russian Federal Surveillance Agency for Compliance with the Law in Cultural Heritage Protection issued permission №05-4/48 for the continuation of the first stage of the restoration on the Church of the Transfiguration. This permission had previously been in force until the 31st of December, 2011.

On the 18th of January, the Russian Federal Surveillance Agency for Compliance with the Law in Cultural Heritage Protection issued permission №05-4/6 for performing repairs and preventive works on the roof and porch of the Church of the Intercession.

The web–camera installed in the restoration complex was set to work in September. The picture is shown on a special web–page made for the communication with the experts of the World Heritage Committee.

Kizhi parish of Petrozavodsk eparchy was given a legal status in 2011.


The development of management plan for the World Heritage Site Kizhi Pogost in 2012–2011 started in the museum in 2011. The government contract with the Institute of Economy at the Karelian Science Center of the Russian Academy of Science was signed on tender basis.

In fact, so far, there have not been any documents of this kind in Russia. The Kizhi Museum is a pioneer in Russian Federation in developing such a document set to protect a UNESCO site.

In 2011, the general strategy for the management plan was developed, the concept structure was approved, and the source information was collected. The analytical and methodological basis was prepared for developing the document, risk factors based on the SWOT–analysis were defined, and expert groups focused on different plan sections were formed.

The management plan will determine the required condition of the World Heritage Site on the basis of criteria for the World Heritage List of UNESCO and ICOMOS Principles for the Preservation of Historic Timber Structures. The natural and architectural surrounding that defines the authenticity and integrity of the monument will be considered in the protection measures stipulated in the plan. The criteria for choosing restoration methods for separate design elements and parts will be determined as well.

Much attention is devoted for the issue of establishing effective partnership between business, government and public, for strategic planning in the site development, for the issues of protecting historical landscape, for developing cultural and historical destination of Kizhi.

The specific values of the territory and legal possibilities of its use will be stipulated in the plan.

The management plan aimed at the overall protection of authenticity and integrity of the World Heritage Site will be developed by the end of 2012 and submitted for consideration to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.


In 2011, State Budgetary financing in the amount of 51 858, 6 thousand RUB was secured for the restoration of the Kizhi Pogost monuments including:

complex restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration, 1st stage33477,1 thousand rub
restoration of the iconostasis of the Church of the Transfiguration11 896,7 thousand rub
development of research and design work for the complex restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration2 226,0 thousand rub
engineering supervision for the implementation of the 1st stage of complex restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration582,2 thousand rub
development of design estimates for water intakes for fire-fighting purpose1 939,6 thousand rub
development of project for lifting brackets (for dismantling log walls)96,0 thousand rub
monitoring of the condition of logs stocked for the restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration96,0 thousand rub
examination of the design estimates for the restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration45,8 thousand rub
development of a management plan for the World Heritage Site Kizhi Pogost1 326.2 thousand rub
monitoring of biodeteriorations of the Pogost buildings and surrounding monuments of wooden architecture91,0 thousand rub
monitoring of deformations of the Pogost buildings82,0 thousand rub


In December 2011, the Ministry of Culture of RF issued the Decree of Approval for «the Project of Protected Zones for the Kizhi Pogost Monuments»

The project was developed according to the effective legislation of RF in protection of Cultural Heritage and was harmonized with the regulations of the International Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (the World Heritage Convention). It was approved in the Ministry of Regional Development of RF, in the Ministry of Natural Resources of RF, in the Russian Federal Surveillance Agency for Natural Management. The Vodlozersky National Park approved the project at the request of the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The protected zone of the World Heritage Site Kizhi Pogost includes the whole Kizhi Island and the surrounding water area of Onego Lake. Four models of land use and town planning were fixed for Kizhi Island to ensure development of infrastructure in the Kizhi Museum.

Boundaries of protected nature landscape coincide with the boundaries of the museum protected area that was fixed by Decree of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Karelia N Х П-16/484 on February 19, 1993. The zones with regulations for land use and town planning were fixed within the boundaries of protected landscapes in historic villages.


Fig.1. Sensors of infrared monitoring system mounted around the Kizhi PogostFig.2. System of the Kizhi Pogost perimeter guarding by the use of infrared monitoring sensors

The site security system is managed by the employees of Museum Security, by the Subdivision of General Board of Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergency Management and Natural Disasters Response, and by the Subdivision of Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Karelia

In 2011, the system of infrared scanners was set in operation to improve the security of the World Heritage Site. The system controls the Kizhi Pogost and surrounding areas and detects humans or heat source in any kind of weather day and night. This innovation greatly improved the protection of the site from unauthorized access, vandalism or ignition. Simultaneously, the security system with a radio–wave emitter «RADIY» was set in operation to control the Kizhi Pogost perimeter. It gives extra control from unauthorized access beyond the protected perimeter.

The project of the outdoor fire–fighting system for Kizhi Pogost is submitted to the state expert appraisal. The defects elimination process is going on. It is planned to complete the state expert appraisal in 2012. It is planned to start the construction stage in 2013 and to complete in 2014.

The project of water intakes for the fire–fighting purpose in the Kizhi Museum has been developed, and it specifies extra water intakes at some of the museum objects including Kizhi Pogost

In May and October 2010, seasonal testing of fire–fighting system was done as well as the adjustments for winter/summer operating regime. Testing and maintenance of fire–fighting system is done on regular basis.

The wooden floors on the restoration site on the Pogost and the scaffolds for roof repairs by the Church of the Intercession were treated with fire retardant agent.

In 2011, the employees of Museum Security in cooperation with the District Police officer and the officers of Paramilitary fire station № 14 performed a permanent monitoring of the objects under protection. The performance of contractual obligations of the officers from the Non–Departmental Security Agency was controlled as well as job responsibilities of the officers from Paramilitary fire station № 14 during the patrolling of the Kizhi Museum objects. Seasonal guarding post of policemen near the booking office was organized and worked since May to September.

In May, 2011, the Museum Security officers participated in the tactical exercises organized by the Situation Headquarters in the Republic of Karelia within Russia’s National Anti–Terrorism Committee. These exercises were aimed at improving the antiterrorist protection.

Museum employees received training and instructions for emergency situations and use of fire fighting equipment during the year. The persons arriving at Kizhi Island are given security instructions. The work of Museum Security office is organized on regular basis.

The Video Monitoring System that works day and night near the Pogost collects all security and fire alarms and video surveillance. The annual maintenance of fire–protection monitors and alarm systems was performed.


Fig.3. 3D model developed as a result of laser scanning of the Church of the Transfiguration in 2010-2011

The Kizhi Museum continued a complex monitoring of Kizhi Pogost monuments in cooperation with experts of the Forest Research Institute at the Karelian Research Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences (Petrozavodsk) and «Spetsprojectrestavratsiya» Institute (Moscow).

A part of the monitoring programme for deformations was fixing reference points on facades of the buildings. The points were fixed during a complex geodetic survey of the monuments (the Church of the Transfiguration, the Church of the Intercession, and the Bell–Tower) in June and September, 2011. The survey has not revealed any changes in the existing deformations as well as in heights and turns of the monument. The alternations in reference points lie within the measurement error and have seasonal character.

In 2011, the Kizhi Museum in cooperation with the experts from the Forest Research Institute at the Karelian Research Center continued a complex monitoring of biodeteriorations of Kizhi Pogost monuments. Regular inspections of the monuments, monitoring of temperature and humidity, of fungi growth and insects lesion focus were performed.

The database of information on the condition of wooden design elements has been developed during 14 years period. This data makes it possible to find humidifying areas in time, to detect fungal activity, to localize the focus of borers, to develop a programme of preventive measures.

The monitoring activities in 2011 revealed the overall stability condition of monuments. The preventive measures taken in 2010–2011 improved the microclimate in the Church of the Intercession and eliminated highly humidified areas in the Bell–Tower.

According to the monitoring results, it is recommended to perform preventive works on some rotting and borer–affected elements of the octagonal part of the Church of the Intercession. Permanent monitoring, preventive conservation and maintenance were performed during the year.

1.7. STUDY

The Kizhi Architectural Ensemble is the main tourist sight of the Kizhi Museum and the focal point of the main outdoor tourist exposition. Thus, the main research is one way or another focused on the Kizhi Architectural Ensemble.

The 6th scientific conference dedicated to a local epic–singer Ryabinin took place in the museum in 2011. More than 300 researchers from Russia and abroad singed up for the participation in this conference. One of the most important topics is restoration and preservation of folk architecture. The reports on the Kizhi Architectural Ensemble were included into the programm of the conference.

In 2011, the regular 13th issue of collected research papers «Kizhi vestnik» was published in the Kizhi open–air museum. Articles on building and study history of the Kizhi Pogost Architectural Ensemble were published in this issue along with the others. The work on compilation of the materials and documents for the publication of «The Chronicles of the Kizhi Architectural Ensemble» was finished. This chronicle contains some historical facts about the ensemble since it was first mentioned in the documents until 1945. The publication is planned for 2012.

During the year 2011, researchers of the Kizhi Museum developed the following research and development projects: «Interiors of Kizhi churches», «History of Kizhi district in peasants genealogy (XVI–XIX cc.)» and «Historical and ethnographic study of villages in Kizhi district».

Archeological heritage of the Kizhi Pogost is studied permanently. The preparation work for the Archeology Monograph of Kizhi in the Middle Ages was performed during 2011. This publication is planned for 2012.


Fig.4. Work of film crew of Japanese TV broadcaster NHK on the Pogost

Total amount of tourists in 2011 comprised 159 000 persons. Twenty two permanent exhibitions were organized in the monuments located in the immediate neighborhood of the Kizhi Pogost Ensemble in 2011. The following exhibitions were made in the Church of the Intercession: interior exposition in the church proper, icon painting exhibition in the refectory, and «History of Kizhi parish» in the hall. In addition to that, the church bells were exhibited in the Bell Tower.

The exhibitions dedicated to A. Opolovnikov, to wooden architecture of Kizhi Island, and travelling exhibitions of photos and paintings were set in Petrozavodsk. The Museum Center of Pedagogy organized travelling exhibitions into 16 organizations in Petrozavodsk and in some Karelia districts. The topics of these exhibitions were «Kizhi through children’s eyes», «The wooden fairy–tale of Kizhi», «Open–air paintings on Kizhi Island», «Monuments of wooden architecture on Kizhi», «The Museum through children’s eyes», «Kizhi is the island of inspirations», «Zaonezhiye fairy–tale».

One of the main activities of the Kizhi Museum Press Service is providing informational support for the works on preservation and restoration of the Kizhi Pogost. Monthly paper «Kizhi» publishes fresh restoration news. In 2011, twelve news materials on restoration of the Churches of the Transfiguration and the Churches of the Intercession were published in the news in the main column. The paper published eight analytical materials during the year.

The quickest way to communicate information is the distribution of press–releases on current events. In 2011, the Museum Press Service prepared six press–releases about the restoration workflow, and these releases were sent to more than 530 addressees.

The restoration of a UNESCO Site, the Church of the Transfiguration, attracts intense attention of Karelian and Russia journalists. Twelve materials were published in local papers «ТВР–Панорама», «Карелия», «Мой Петрозаводск», «Karjalan sanomat». Two materials were published in the Federal newspaper «Российская газета».

The materials concerning the preservation of the Church of the Transfiguration are broadcasted several times a year on different TV and radio channels in Russia. Seven materials were broadcasted on local channels. Six materials were broadcasted on Russia channels and in a report on radio «Golos Rossiy». Two materials were broadcasted abroad, namely on Japanese channels «TBS Vision» and «NHK». In addition to that, 14 news based on museum press–releases were made on TV and radio.

All printed materials, i.e. press–releases, news and authors’ articles are placed immediately on the museum web–site. The video–recordings of works performed on the Pogost and in the restoration complex are placed on the museum site as well. Six news materials, five press–releases, seven articles from the Kizhi newspaper concerning the restoration were placed on the web–site during the year 2011. The report on the preservation of the Kizhi Pogost monuments in 2010 was published. Four videos about the workflow of restoration activities on the Church of the Transfiguration in 2010 were placed in «Gallery» section of the web–site as well as the album of photos «Restoration of the Church of the Transfiguration in 2011». A video report of Russia NTV Company was placed in the «Callery», too. More than 400000 unique users visited the Kizhi Museum web–site in 2011.

Ninety seven references were published on web–sites of Russian and Karelian News Agencies, news digests and portals, five press–releases about the Kizhi Pogost were placed on

The project activities of the Summer School on Kizhi Island and Summer Univercity on Kizhi Island were performed in summer, 2011. These activities popularize the Kizhi Pogost among children and teenagers.

Lectures and classes on five topics were given in the Museum Center for Presentations. Some activities were organized and performed on the International Day of Monuments and Historical Sites and on the day of the Transfiguration.

In 2011, the museum printed about 30 kinds of promotional materials that included images of the Kizhi Pogost monuments with the total circulation of 14 500 items.


Fig.5. 3D model of the Kizhi island. A fragment

Preservation of landscapes, natural and architectural environment is one of the important tasks for the Kizhi open–air museum.

The Commission for Preservation of the Historical Landscape supervises all activities on the Kizhi landscape and natural environment. This Commission ascertains how and why the landscape changes and prescribes the measures to eliminate these changes.

The Museum implements an environmental monitoring programme, an environmental safety programme (meant for visitors and Museum staff), and a landscape clearing programme on Kizhi Island.

In 2011, landscape protection activities included sanitary felling and clearing out the meadows from the growth of bushes.

The initial stage of landscape management plan development became the decisive move for the year 2011. Comprehensive analytical materials were compiled, a three–dimensional landscape model was made by the means of MapInfo system, and the landscape analysis was performed. The developed MapInfo system is the main tool of expert estimation for impacts on the environment. It will become the basis for developing the principles of preservation and improvement of the visual landscape characteristics within the general strategy of the World Heritage Site management. The work on visual evaluation of the landscape and on the landscape management plan will continue in 2012.

The working agreement was signed with the Vodlozersky National Park to preserve the Natural Heritage. This National Park is in charge of protecting the natural environment of the Federal Nature Reserve «Kizhi» (the territory of the Kizhi Museum is a part of this Nature Reserve).

The Kizhi Museum performs systematic control of the impacts of humane activities on the environment.


Fig.6. New cargo terminal on Kizhi

The building of a loading terminal on Kizhi Island is completed. The terminal is more than 3 km. remote from the Kizhi Pogost. It is a modern hydrotechnical structure equipped with a fire–protection system and wastewater treatment. The terminal is used for the receipt of cargo, mooring of small–sized boats; it has a ramp for snowmobiles as well. The building costed 182,3 mln. RUB including 13,9 mln. spent for equipment.

The adjustment of the project for «Administrative and Public Center on Kizhi Island» is going on. In December, the architectural aspect of the project was submitted for consideration to the Expert Group by the Council on Historical and Cultural Heritage of Karelia at the Ministry of Culture of Karelia. The Expert Group expressed approval and recommended to keep the work going.

In 2011, «Sever Stroy Project» Co Ltd started the works on electric power supply (4 MW) to Kizhi Island. This step will improve the reliability of power supply on Kizhi Island. The works are planned to be completed in 2013.

The building of road from Velikaya Guba to Oyativtshena Village was started. The work will be completed in 2014. This road makes it possible to transport loads and passengers straight to Kizhi Island all year round.

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