Valaam Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery
Valaam monastery was founded on Valaam archipelago in the 16th century. The exact date of the foundation is unknown, though many historians agree that it happened during the period of Christianization of Kievan Rus'. However, according to the monastery legend, Valaam monastery appeared even in 960, the founders of it were Saint Herman and Sergius.
By 15th century the monastery has become very popular during that time there dwelled more than 600 monks. For some time Valaam island belonged to Finland and was merged in the USSR in 1940.
Going to Vallam by a hydrofoil will see you arrive at Monastery cove, where you'll start exploring the monastery. The territory of the complex comprises several beautiful gardens, grown by the monks. Despite the unfavorable climate, here you will be surprised at bushy vineyards, Japanese quince, apple-trees and other plants.
the major cathedral of the monastery is Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral. It was erected after Peter the Great decree in 1720. Originally the cathedral building was made of wood, that's why it often suffered from fire like many other cathedrals of that time. At the end of 18th century Spaso-Preobrazhensky cathedral was rebuilt with Uspenskay church and Nikolskaya church in the vicinity.
Since its erection up to the present day, Valaam Monastery is considered to be one of the most important places for Christian pilgrims and a remarkable cultural and architectural sight. If you aspire to explore this marvellous landmark, the best way to do it will be to go on a hydrofoil trip to Valaam and fully enjoy the "pearl" of Lake Ladoga.