VALAAM

The skete of st. Avramy of Rostov and the Oboronnyje islands


The ruins of the Church in the name of St.Abraham of Rostov.

The skete of St. Avramy was located on the island of Yemeljanov on the southern end of the Valaam archipelago, in the region of Zhelezniaki. The life of St. Avraamy is evidence of the old age of the monastery. According to the hagiography, St. Avraamy was born in the time of the adoption of Christianity in Russia, into a heathen family, and was bedridden from his childhood by an illness. Having heard from Novgorod merchants about the God hallowed in the Trinity, the young man prayed to him and suddenly recovered. After that he left for Novgorod monasteries and then for Valaam. There was already a populous Trinity cloister headed by Abbot Feognost there. There St. Avraamy was baptized, took vows, and lived in labour and prayer. Later he baptized the people of Rostov the Great.

The skete of St. Avraamy, like many others, was founded by Abbot Damaskin. The architect G.I. Karpov turned the old wooden chapel into a single-domed church with a high belfry. Father Damaskin consecrated it on October 9, 1873. There were six monks living in the skete.


The observation tower on 'Mannerheim line' on the Oboronnye Isles.
 

After Finland received independence, the first troops arrived at the archipelago. During the war of 1939-1940, coast artillery was located there. On September 19th 1944, after the armistice, the last Finnish troops left Nikonov and Oboronnyje islands. Some of Finnish fortifications still remain, but the skete is totally destroyed.

Of special interest is one of the Oboronnyje islands, the small island of divny (Wonderful), which is so wonderfully conceived by the Creator that looks like an impenetrable fortress floating in the waters'.


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VALAAM