VALAAM

The skete of st. John the Precursor


The Church of st. John the Precursor.

The Predtechensky island with an area of about three square kilometres is located approximately four kilometres from the main monastery. Its previous name was "Monashesky", probably in honour of an old skete. Early in the XIX century fishermen lived there.

In 1855, the chapel of St. John the Precursor was built at the highest point of the island. Soon, Abbot Damaskin instructed that the wooden church of Transfiguration, [built by Valaam monks in the Vasiljevsky Staro-ladozhsky monastery in early XVII century after their own cloister had been destroyed] be relocated on Predtechensky Skete. In 1858, the church was completely restored on the stone foundation according to the design of A.M. Gornostajev. It is a single-domed church with a high belfry was built in the Russian style and consecrated by St. Petersburg Metropolitan Grigory. It was decorated by ancient icons and a bell of Boris Godunov's time.

The memorial cross.
 
In I860, father Damaskin consecrated the winter church in the basement, cut in the rock, the church of Three Saints: Vasily the Great, Grigory the divine, and loann, [John] Chryzostom. The icons were painted by V. Poshehonov. In the altar, there is a well decorated by grey granite, it was dug in the exact place pointed out by father Damaskin.

In the skete, ravaged by war, nothing remained the way it used to be. Only nature and the cross by the precipice. Now monastic life in accordance with the old rule is being gradually restored in the skete.

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VALAAM