Monday, December 19, 2016

Solovetsky Islands | Russia

Unesco WHS Russian Federation
The Solovetsky Islands are six islands located in the forbidding waters of the White Sea in northern Russia, just 165km from the Arctic Circle. Known for their scenic beauty but difficult to access even today, the islands have long been used for both retreat and exile.

Founded in the 15th century, Solovetsky Monastery was one of Russia's most famous and holy monasteries, and became a major pilgrimage destination. But it was also a place of exile, and in the 20th century it was used as a brutal Soviet prison camp. Over a million prisoners are estimated to have died here, many of whom were priests, artists and writers. The prison was closed in 1939.

Today, Solovetsky Monastery is a World Heritage Site, museum, and home to a handful of monks.



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