Kizhi is an island near the center of Lake Onega in the Republic of Karelia, in Russia. On it is a cordoned-off area, or “pogost,” containing one of the most jaw-dropping clusters of 18th century Russian architecture still in existence.
Settlements and churches on the island were known from at least the 15th century. The population was rural, but was forced by the government to assist development of the ore mining and iron plants in the area that resulted in a major Kizhi Uprising in 1769–1771. Most villages had disappeared from the island by the 1950s and now only a small rural settlement remains.
In the 18th century, two major churches and a bell tower were built on the island, which are now known as Kizhi Pogost.