The Kizhi Museum is one of the largest open air museums in Russia. This unique historical, cultural and natural complex is a particularly valuable object of cultural heritage of the peoples of Russia. The basis of the museum collection – the Kizhi Ensemble – is the UNESCO World cultural and natural heritage site. Restoration of the Kizhi monuments is being carried out “in front of the world”.
The name of the museum is given on the island of Kizhi where the main part of the museum is located. The museum’s facilities are also located in Petrozavodsk and a number of settlements in the Medvezhiegorsk district. All the temples located on the territory of the Kizhi State Open Air Museum of History are included in the Spaso-Kizhsky Patriarchal Yard.
The museum has existed as a state cultural institution since 1966, but received its first visitors in 1955. It originally consisted of two churches and a bell tower of the 18th and 19th centuries of the Kizh Pogost – monuments of ancient architecture surrounded by a fence. At present, it is complemented by chapels, houses, icons, household items and economic structures from Karelian, Russian and Vep villages, as well as a number of historical sites in Petrozavodsk.