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Wooden Churches: Travelling in the Russian North Hardcover – 1 Dec 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: White Sea Publishing; First edition (Dec. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957045603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957045606
  • Product Dimensions: 30.5 x 26 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 895,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

"80% of Russian wooden architecture that existed pre-1917, no longer exists. But luckily, there is still something left to fight for." Professor Vyacheslav Petrovich Orfinsky, Architecture Department, Petrozavodsk State University, August 2008

The photographs in this book have been taken over a period of nine years. These churches are the remnants of thousands that were built all over Russia from the time of Prince Vladimir, who, on his conversion to Christianity in 988, 'ordained that wooden churches should be built and established where pagan idols had previously stood.

Most of those that survive are to be found in the sparsely populated north-western corner of Russia - specifically, in the Leningrad, Vologda, Murmansk, and Archangel Regions and the Republic of Karelia. The area is vast and many thousands of miles have been travelled by car, jeep, aeroplane, boat, train, snowmobile, sledge and foot to track them down.

These fragile, desecrated structures retain a spiritual presence that commands respect even in the absence of their gilded icons. They are nearing the end of their days. It is extraordinary that a country as rich and powerful as Russia, with a cultural legacy beyond compare, should let these wonderful, life-enhancing treasures slip through its fingers.

Along with the photographs of Richard Davies, there are first-hand accounts by Matilda Moreton of their journeys, and the insights and interpretations of writers and artists, travellers and historians, propagandists and politicians.

"Wooden architecture, the most original and most unique part of the cultural heritage of Russia, is on the verge of total extinction." Mikhail Milchik, St Petersburg, October 2011


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