Main Event of the Year: the opening of the Pochezerotemple complex took place in Kenozero

In Kenozero National Park a particularly important event took place - the opening after years of restoration of the Pochezero temple complex of the 18th century. Exactly 80 years have passed since the closure of this outstanding monument of Russian wooden architecture. And all these years it had been waiting to become the Center of space again and to gather lakes scattered along its shade, village on its shores. It was waiting for the ringing of bells again over the whole area.

Festive events began on August 11 with the consecration of the bells of the Pochezero churchyard. The next day the first Liturgy and procession, held by Bishop Alexander of Plesetsk and Kargopol was held in the temple of the Origin of the Honest Trees of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord. 

About a thousand guests gathered for a holiday in the small village of Filippovskaya. Local residents, guests from all over the Arkhangelsk region and from different regions of Russia gathered to see with their own eyes a revived masterpiece, to become part of this Event, to share the joy of that holiday. 

Elena Shatkovskaya, director of Kenozero National Park, addressed the guests with a welcoming speech. Elena Flegontovna told that the Pochezero temple complex is a unique triple ensemble. It includes two churches and a bell tower. Once there were 150 of them in the Russian North, today there are only six. Among them, the Pochezero churchyard stands out by the fact that all its buildings are interconnected by passages and a gallery into a single complex. There are no analogues to this in Russia. Its architectural merits, harmonious interaction with the landscape and the presence of two picturesque Heavensin one church confirm the enormous value of the Pochezero churchyard for the whole world culture. 

From oblivion to rebirth. 20-year journey
She noted that during the 20th century there were many tragic pages. But at all times there were people who sought to preserve their shrine. These are priests and ordinary villagers. These are the participants of the Atheist student construction team, who in 1986, long before the formation of the national park, carried out repair and conservation work. And how valuable that after 30 years, its participants from different parts of Russia gathered for the opening of the Ensemble. 

Only in 2001 Kenozero National Park was able to begin the restoration of the Pochezero churchyard. Funding was provided by the Directorate of Cultural Heritage of Norway and the Ministry of Culture of Russia. It was here that for the first time in Russia, Norwegian and Russian carpenters-restorers performed a unique operation to lift a 200-ton summer-tent-church using lifting technology and replacing domes of the monument. Elena Flegontovna noted that the assistance of Norwegian colleagues in saving Kenozero monuments in the 1990s - early 2000s is hard to overestimate. Kenozero National Park has become the current model of the most humane, informal, human model of relationship between the two countries.
And all these years the founder of the Russian Research Institute of Heritage was Dr. Yu.A. Vedenin. Elena Flegontovna separately thanked T.M. Gudim, who managed to secure the federal program Culture Of The Russian North (2006 - 2011), in the framework of which funds were also allocated for the restoration of the ensemble.
But other times came, and in 2010 the financing of work on the monument, already insignificant, was completely discontinued. 

Resurrected Pochezero Bell Ringing
In 2014 thanks to the personal support of President of Russia Vladimir Putin, the full-scale restoration of two masterpieces of Russian wooden architecture of the 18th-century Porzhensky churchyard and the 18th-century Pochezero temple complex was resumed. At the same time work was financed by the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia.
“For the first time in Russia, the concept of the unity of natural and cultural heritage was implemented in practice. For the first time in Russia the interests of the state were put above the interests of departments. Of course, this is a huge merit of Sergey Donskoy - Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation in 2012-2018. Thank you, Sergey Efimovich, without you this holiday would not have happened, ”said Elena Shatkovskaya.
In memory of people and events the exposition Pochezero Churchyard. History, Architecture, Parish was installed in the bell tower, refectory and the gallery. Natives of Pochezero villages, employees of research centers, archives, museums of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Vologda, Murmansk, Plesetsk, Arkhangelsk took part in its creation. The designer of the exposition is Evgeny Korneev, the architect is Gleb Sobolev.
With warm words Elena Flegontovna thanked all those involved in this great work: scientists, architects, art historians, carpenters-restorers, volunteers, local residents and employees of the Park.
Kenozero National Park received a number of congratulatory letters from colleagues.
On behalf of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO, a congratulatory greeting was sent by Grigory Ordzhonikidze, ambassador on special instructions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “I am confident that this temple will become a center of spiritual and moral concentration in the Russian North, a symbol of goodness and mercy. Without exaggeration, this event can be considered not only significant, but also important not only for the Arkhangelsk region, but for the whole of Russia, because the opening of churches is the key to spiritual renewal, strengthening inter-religious and interethnic dialogue, which has been actively promoted on the UNESCO site in recent decades. Allow me to express my deep gratitude to the leadership of the Arkhangelsk region, Elena Flegontovna Shatkovskaya, employees of Kenozero National Park, masters of the carpentry school, Norwegian partners, as well as all the citizens involved in the reconstruction of this outstanding temple ensemble. I see in this event not only the commitment of our society to centuries-old spiritual traditions, but also a significant contribution to the preservation of Russia's rich historical and cultural heritage. ”