Murmansk religious scene

Seventeen registered denominations is and impressive number for a city of less than half a million. They have a Catholic church, Lutherans, Baptists, Jehowa’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Pentecostals, and Hare Krishna devotees whatever their official name is. Don’t see such liberties being allowed in the Russian mainland.

A mysterious maze

labirintBabylon as they call it in the north. 2000 years before this era. Many scientists studied the northern labyrinths. There is no clear view of their appointment. Fish traps? Place of sacrifice? The means of communication? Door to other worlds? .. There are several such labyrinths on the Kola Peninsula. But only to one of them within easy reach. It is walking distance of Kandalaksha but you will not find it without a guide.

From the history of the Solovki prison

Adding this story here so that it does not get lost. I won’t bother translating it but the core is that Solovki was used as a prison way before the Bolsheviks took over. Bolshevik sympathizers among monks became the first and particularly cruel guards when Solovki was converted into a political prison. Some see the story as one of many illustrations that Red Terror, the campaign against peasants, or the 1937-1938 purges was a manifestation of Russians self-devouring tendency. More stout russophobes will even say that it can’t be otherwise because Russians as a nation consist of enemies who partly forgot their origins but haven’t changed their nature.


В 1905 году экипаж одного из военных судов попал в плен в Японию. В плену моряки дали зарок стать монахами. После интернирования им дали (без прохождения послушания) статус иеромонахов и отправили на Соловки. Сплочённая группа моряков стала постепенно перехватывать управление монастырём, старые монахи начали исходить на скиты. В 1917 году эта “группировка” поддержала переворот в Питере. В двадцатых годах XX века монахи уже закрытого большевиками Соловецкого монастыря приняли активное участие в создании новой соловецкой тюрьмы. После официального учреждения Соловецкого лагеря Особого Назначения, монахи отослали в Санкт-Петербург телеграмму, в которой выражали полное согласие с фактом создания концентрационного лагеря на базе бывшей обители. Мало того, большая часть монахов выразила желание… работать в этом лагере. Монахов устроили инструкторами и выплачивали им заработную плату. Любопытно, что эти же монахи выделялись особенно жестоким отношением к священнослужителям-заключённым.
Православные историки очень не любят эту часть истории монастыря. Кстати, что для Васи Матонина “трагическая” история, для меня – закономерность. В тюремном монастыре по-иному и случиться не могло…

Источник – Олег Кодола, Союх независимых гидов  http://www.inguide.ru/data/guides/archreg/kodola/index.php

Solovki info

By Alexandra

Solovki Archipelago Tourist Information  >>

A recent but very informative site full of travel practicalities: housing, food, transportation, tours etc. Unlike many modern sites, this one is locally made and authentic. That’s my I’d like to call you attention to it.

At the moment it is Russian but site owners promise the English version soon. 

Ferapontovo

Let’s skip over what makes Ferapontovo famous, all these medieval paintings and whatever else that makes the place a popular destination for the Orthodox intelligentsia in Moscow, and concentrate on practicalities, in in particular on where to stay in Ferapontovo.

The following are widely advertised and recommended locally:

  • Russkiy dvorik (“Russian court”), a “boutique hotel” type place with 13 rooms from 2800 to 4000 roubles ($100-130) per night as of December 2012. Ulits Slobodskaya 4, +7 81757 49281, +7 921  535-5692.
  • Summer only private accommodation on the Borodayevskoye lake. Water from the bucket, classic outhouse, ul. Slobodskaya 65, tel. +7 909 596 9225, speak with Vera Alexandrovna. Probably inexpensive.
  • Another private accommodation option near the monastery. Sauna, fishing. arhat2125@rambler.ru, + 7 931 503 5453, Andrey Alexandrovich Kondratyev.
  • A guesthouse, two rooms able to accommodate up to 10. Water from the lake. Paddle boat available. Sauna only when the owner is home. He works shifts and is away every second week. +7 921 830 3818, Nikolay Pavlovich Morozov.
  • Fishing and hunting camp “Lukinskoye”, 2 miles from Ferapontovo. A compfortable 3-story house, 8 rooms/16 beds, 2100 to 2500 roubles per night. Sauna. Look for the village of Lukinskoye or Pyalnobovo on the map. +7 (81757) 4-91-85