Pearls of Russia
Museums and memorial estates
Open-Air Museum of Malye Karelie
Near to Arkhangelsk, at the village of Malye Karelie, the State Museum of Wooden Architecture is located between the hills of the Northern Dvina Region. 104 wooden buildings are brought here from the river banks of the northern rivers (Pinega, Mezen, Dvina and Onega). Technical and artistic methods of carpentry have been developed and perfected for centuries.
Beside the 'normal' russian isba, the small wooden house, painted and decorated with some decorative window sills, which you can find nearly anywhere in the northern part of Russia, the architecture from the Northern Region is quite more imposing. The houses, which are reconstructed here, served as farmhouses, offering shelter for people and animals and storing the harvest crop.
The houses were built for summer- and winter-use: in winter people lived in the part with the small windows, instead of glas, ice-blocks were used to shelter from cold sometimes.
Every living-room (here the summer - version) has a beautiful corner with the icon.
Only very respected visitors were asked to sit here.
Because of the wet ground in autumn or spring or snow and ice in winter, wooden planks served for walking.
The windmills from the Mezen District keep a pole in their foundation, dug deep in the ground. The pole is encircled with a massive log frame narrowed at its upper part.
To catch the direction of the wind, they turned the upper frame of the windmill with help of the slanting log. Only the millstones are made of stone, everything else is made of wood.
The Bell Tower from Kuliga Dracovanovo in the Krasny Bor District dates from the late 16th century and is one of the oldest examples of tent-roof-belltowers. This tower, decorated with a miniature-dome with wooden aspen tiles, is the oldest building in the museum.
The Ascension Church, dating from the 17th to 19th century, is crowned with 5 cupolas and has two stores with a roofed gallery.