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My last picture was a total failure, you have found it not good and not interesting enough :(. Let's see how it will be with this one.
It is not easy to get to Solovki. First, 13 hours by train to Kem on the white Sea and then on the hour and a half by a steamboat, quite fun. And what is so interesting there that it is worth this effort?

The Solovetsky Islands (Russian: Солове́цкие острова́), or Solovki (Соловки́), are an archipelago located in the Onega Bay of the White Sea, Russia.

As an administrative division, the islands are incorporated as Solovetsky District of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. As of the 2010 Census, the population of the district was 861 inhabitants.
istorically the islands have been the setting of the famous Russian Orthodox Solovetsky Monastery complex. It was founded in the second quarter of the 15th century by two monks from the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. By the end of the 16th century, the abbey had emerged as one of the wealthiest landowners and most influential religious centres in Russia.

The existing stronghold and its major churches were erected in stone during the early reign of Ivan the Terrible at the behest of St. Philip of Moscow. At the onset of the Schism of the Russian Church, the monks staunchly stuck to the faith of their fathers and expelled the tsar's representatives from the Solovki, precipitating the eight-year-long siege of the islands by the forces of Tsar Alexis.

Throughout the imperial period of Russian history, the monastery was renowned as a strong fortress which repelled foreign attacks during the Livonian War (16th century), Time of Troubles (17th century), the Crimean War (19th century), and the Russian Civil War (20th century). In 1992, they were inscribed on the World Heritage List "as an outstanding example of a monastic settlement in the inhospitable environment of northern Europe which admirably illustrates the faith, tenacity, and enterprise of later medieval religious communities".

After the October Revolution, the islands attained notoriety as the site of the first Soviet prison camp (gulag). The camp was inaugurated in 1921, while Vladimir Lenin was still at the helm of Soviet Russia. It was closed in 1939, on the eve of World War II. (Wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11349 W: 121 N: 28954] (136802)
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