VALAAM

The Resurrection skete


A general view of the skete.

The skete is located where the disciple St. Andrew, according to legend, erected a stone cross. Later, there stood a chapel of St. Andrew, renovated in 1846. In the early XIX century, in a cave, lived hieromonk Nikon (1745(6)-1822), in whose name two bays were called: the Large and the Small Nikonovsky bays. In the autumn, monastery fishermen lived here in a wooden house. In 1896, a famous philantropist I.M. Sibiryakov suggested to Abbot Gavriil to build a skete there, and donated 10,000 roubles to that purpose. The two-storey church was designed by the architect V.I. Barankeev (1850-1902). In 1901 the foundation was laid in a pit cut in the diabase rock by means of explosions and sledge-hammers. The church was erected in a year, and in 1905 the interior finishing was completed. On July 30,1906, the main Resurrection altar was consecrated by the archbishop of Finland and Vyborg, later Patriarch, Sergius (Stragorodsky).


Bell-tower.
 

The church standing upon the foundation of grey granite is made of Valaam bricks. Its architecture combines the features of classicism, barocco, and Russian style (the 50-step staircase with granite columns). Its eight bells, donated by Moscow philanthropists, could be heard for many miles. The interior of the upper church, full of light when services were held in summer, remindes one of Christ's resurrection. Easter canticles were continuously sang there. The lower church of St. Andrew was consecrated by Abbot Pafnuty, it was designed to resemble the Cathedral of the "Cave of the Lord's Tomb" in Jerusalem.


The Resurrection church.

After the outer restoration work was finished, the gilded dome of the Resurrection church, as in the older days, provided guidance for the ships arriving to Valaam. Nikonovsky bay, with one of the best docks on Ladoga, is now the main harbour on Valaam. There the monastery guides live, and there they meet pilgrims.


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VALAAM