There are several villages in Karelia which represent the culture and history of the local population. In some villages one can observe the examples of wooden architecture such as small churches and chapels as well as traditional houses.
The village of Kinerma is situated in Prazhinsky district of the Republic of Karelia. The village is a unique monument of wooden architecture. It was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1563. The most splendid architectural monument is the Chapel of Our Lady of Smolensk, which was built in the second half of the 18th century.
In 2000 the exterior of the Chapel was reconstructed. Some new buildings were created in the village in place of old ones, but they still preserve traditional architectural and constructional methods of ancient times and add to the historical appearance of the village.
Every year different historical and cultural festivals are held in the village. One can enjoy wonderful nature, the Lake of Vedlozero with its sandy beaches as well as the hospitality of local people.
Manga is a small village, which is situated in Prazhinsky district of the Republic of Karelia. The village is located on the right bank of the river Manga. The village was founded in the middle of the 16th century and it consisted only of four houses. In the 1580's the village was burnt down by the Swedish army. And only half a century later it was restored and the life in the village started to revive.
In the second half of the 18th century the Chapel of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin was constructed in the village. The building has survived till present days. The Chapel is situated on the top of the hill, which is surrounded by other wooden structures. The village has preserved the traditional image of the northern Karelian Villages. One can observe two-storeyed Karelian houses, built at the end of the 19th century - beginning of the 20th century. These are typical northern houses which combine living quaters and service rooms.
Rubcheila is a small village in Prazhinsky district of the Republic of Karelia. The village was founded in the 18th century. In 1820 there were only 7 houses in the village. And in 1905 the total population of the village was only 86 people.
At the beginning of the 20th century the village was reconstructed in an interesting way. Some of the houses looked to the south according to an old Karelian tradition and the others overlooked the road. Today there are 8 houses which are monuments of wooden architecture. The village also contains the chapel of St. Ivan, which dates to the second half of the 19th century. This village is considered to be a complete architectural and natural ensemble.
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Regarding the sites, the highlights for us were the visit to Kinerma (we have been involved in raising money to restore a traditional barn in our own small village (only 12 houses) so we could empathise with their efforts and problems), and of course the Solovetsky Islands.
My visit in Kinerma touched me very much. It is a delightful village and it was fantastic to meet people and to hear about the history of the place and what is going on. The food was fantastic, and I would like to go back there.
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