Culture of Arkhangel'skoye


The triple church ensemble in the seloof Lyadiny, Kargopolsky District

Arkhangelsk Oblast is famous for its wooden buildings which include churches, chapels, peasant houses and farms, and city houses. The choice of wood as the construction material is natural for a region almost exclusively covered by taiga and still being one of the biggest timber producers. Some of these buildings date from 17th century. Churches and chapels are considered particularly fine, and almost all of these constructed prior to 1920s have been declared the cultural heritage at the federal or local levels. More than 600 buildings (both of timber and stone) are protected on the federal level. An open-air ethnographic museum was open in the village of Malye Korely close to Arkhangelsk, with the purpose of preserving this heritage.

The most notable wooden churches are triple church ensembles, which consist of two churches (a bigger, not heated, church used in the summer, a smaller, heated church used in the winter, and a bell-tower). Not more than a dozen of these triple wooden ensembles survived, the best known being the one located in the Kizhi Pogost in the Republic of Karelia and is classified as World Heritage. Most of these ensembles are located in the Arkhangelsk Oblast, in particular, in the villages of Lyadiny (Kargopolsky District),Varzogory and Abramovskaya (Onezhsky District). Other notable wooden churches are located in Kargopolsky (Oshevenskoye, Krasnaya Lyaga, Saunino and others), Verkhnetoyemsky (Soyezerskaya Pustyn), Onezhsky, Primorsky, and Plesetsky (Porzhensky Pogost) districts. Despite being listed as cultural heritage, most of these buildings are neglested and regularly burn down. As a matter of fact, the majority of the churches considered as masterpieces has been lost. For instance, Verkhnemudyugsky Pogost in Onezhsky District, a triple church ensemble, burned down in 1997.

The oblast preserves some of the best stone