Kizhi Island was once part of an important 14th-century trade route from the town of Novgorod to the White Sea. The settlement grew around the Spasskiy Church that was founded in the mid-16th century.
Today the island is best known for its Museum Site of History and Architecture (opened 1960), where early wooden barns, houses, a windmill, and several churches were collected and restored as part of an open-air museum. The Preobranzhenskaya (Transfiguration) Church is often compared to St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square.
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