Church of Elijah the Prophet in Yaroslavl

Church of Elijah the Prophet in Yaroslavl

You easily may pass by this Church of Elijah the Prophet, once you find yourself at Soviet Square in Yaroslavl, just in 0.5 km from the famous Monastery of Savior Transfiguration (Spaso-Preobrazhensky) in the very city center. You see white-blue-red flags that draw your attention from this church with simple white exterior. Why is it so remarkable?
Well, we know in advance, this church is the true architectural pearl. Still were impressed by its grandeur. And it′s not that much about the church′s conical roof above the bell tower, very typical to Yaroslavl architectural tradition, and not about russian ceramics in church fence decoration, and even not about its festive entrance. What really blows your mind away are frescoes. They span the walls from the floor up to the arched ceiling. Even window sides and church head inner walls are covered with painting despite the fact you see them only at a very low angle. The frescoes are dated to 17th century and not only well preserved, but are also very bright thanks to the last renovation. I use to feel like a time traveller in such places, to feel put back some centuries to the past. However, here everything is too vibrant and bright to be a reality from the past.
Everybody says that the church is big and spacious. I would not say it feels packed inside, maybe you are just so attracted to viewing frescoes that stop thinking about the building′s inner volume architectural solution.
To look at frescoes at the ceiling, you have to throw up your head and even turn 180°! Just don′t feel dizzy!
Carved guilded iconostatis is another one thing on its own. It even claims to be the richest part of the church′s interior. Nevertheless, the combination of pride of this guilded iconostasis with purity of frescoes feels harmoniuos, in contrast to that of newborn russian churches.
For sure, gallery which connects the church with bell tower, and the entrance staircase are covered with frescoes, too. When moved to Holy Protection Chapel, your are impressed with interior one more time. But here you feel the age better due to slightly worse preservation of frescoes. These remarkable paintings were made in 17th century by painters led by Guriy Nikitin and Sila Savin from Kostroma. You may find their mark on the wall, which is quite rare in our churches. It is situated in the left bottom corner under cast iron hedge along the wall, next to the door to Holy Protection Chapel. I will not cite it here—better see it yourself. Church of Elijah the Prophet belongs to Yaroslavsky State Museum-reserve and is opened for visitors during the warm season excluding rainy days.

Kizhi: the hide for Russian soul

Kizhi: the hide for Russian soul

After a few steps on the land of Kizhi island I felt calm and quiet. Wooden buildings around adjust the tourists′ mind in a natural way. This feeling of peace and extraordinarity of the place comes even before you approach the island while the boat glides over the waters of Onega skerries. Open waters of Onega lake were left just after the lighthouse on Garnitsky isle, and then the boat goes through the skerries. “Meteor” moves around another one cape, and then another one village shows, then a leading beacon appears, followed by a nice yellow birch and dark spruce trees, and then again a village with a pier… Then finally Church of the Transfiguration shows off. The church looks like a spaceship at a launch pad, floating in the air. It turns out that the church is under renovation, and some timber layers are excised in a top-down way for a treatment while the top of the church is suspended on jacks. If not this, nothing suggests you that you are actually in the 21th century. Nothing break the silence but the bells which ring from time to time in Chapel of Michael the Archangel at the southern cape of Kizhi island. You won′t notice any power lines suspended on ugly masts. Here are only forests and waters till the horizon, and various clouds are above. You see old wooden buildings from 18th and 19th centuries, and Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus among them suggests even greater age. And let the traffic beacon be next to the Church! It tells us that this place is habitated, ships move by, and the locals continue their fishing. Surprisingly, my iPhone shows full 3G signal. And this is a dream, a dream for the Russian North – the harmony between the tough nature, civilisation and the priceless heritage from the past.

Vyborg castle, RAW

This photo of the Castle in Vyborg (Viipuri) is ten years old right now! It’s incredibly far ago!
I have thought about this, and got three ideas.
First, this was taken with a low-end Canon EOS 350D with kit lens, and it worked… sometimes! To tell the truth, I held another kit copy few times, and that one was just crap.
Second, it’s a great fun to get back to your own pics at some time – and dig out some interesting missed thing.
Third, ten years ago I was unable to process this as I wished, or did not understand how to do that, and abandoned that. With digital technology, we got an almost time machine when one can return to old shoots with new software and squeeze out a whole new level of quality from the old RAWs!