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Solovki in Winter

The Solovki archipelago, known through the ages as the Northern Thebaid or Northern Athos, is a group of islands located at the mouth of Onega Bay in the southeastern part of the White Sea—the only inland sea of the Arctic Ocean. The White Sea is one of the most interesting geographical areas in Russia due to its unique origin, flora, and fauna. It is covered for nearly one half of the year with drifting ice, but when the ice recedes one can enjoy the daily sight of incoming and outgoing tides, watch the seals and white whales, and even spy mysterious mirages that turn reality into a fantasyland. The main point of interest and spiritual center of the islands is the Solovki Stavropegic Monastery, founded in 1436—the year that St. Zosima arrived on the islands from the Monastery of St. Cyril of White Lake.
In the early Soviet era it was the site of the first concentration camp, where hundreds of Orthodox clergymen suffered and died for their faith. Opened in 1921 at the orders of Vladimir Lenin, it was closed in 1939 on the eve of World War II. A Naval academy was instituted there at the beginning of the war, and in 1974 the islands were designated a historical and architectural museum, and nature reserve.
Monastic life was renewed on Solovki in 1990. In 1992 the museum complex was entered into the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
We offer our readers this collection of photographs, “Solovki in Winter”, by artist and iconographer Nadezda Terekhova.

The sketes