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While communism, collectivism, worms, dry rot and casual looting failed to destroy the majestic wooden churches of Russia, it may be ordinary neglect that finally does them in. Dwindled now to several hundred remaining examples, these glories of vernacular architecture lie scattered amid the vastness of the world’s largest country. Just over a decade ago, Richard Davies, a British architectural photographer, struck out on a mission to record the fragile and poetic structures. Austerely beautiful and haunting, “Wooden Churches: Traveling in the Russian North” (White Sea Publishing; $132) is the result. Covering thousands of miles, Mr. Davies described how he and the writer Matilda Moreton tracked down the survivors from among the thousands of onion-domed structures built after Prince Vladimir converted to Christianity in 988.


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Verkhniaya Uftiuga, Arkhangel region, Church of St Demetrius of Thessalonica (1784)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Belozersk, Vologda region, Church of the Prophet Elijah (1690)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Verkhniaya Uftiuga, Arkhangel region, Church of St Demetrius of Thessalonica (1784)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Permogorye, Arkhangel region, Church of St George (1665)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Belozersk, Vologda region, Church of the Prophet Elijah (1690)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Permogorye, Arkhangel region, Church of St George (1665)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Verkhniaya Uftiuga, Arkhangel region, Church of St Demetrius of Thessalonica (1784)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Samino Pogost, Arkhangel region, Church of The Prophet Elijah (1692 -1702)

Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Samino Pogost, Arkhangel region, Church of The Prophet Elijah (1692 -1702)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Tsyvozero, Arkhangel region, Bell Tower (1658)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Kizhi, Karelia, Church of the Transfiguration (1714)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Kondopoga, Karelia, Church of the Assumption (1774)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Samino Pogost, Arkhangel region, Church of The Prophet Elijah (1692 -1702)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Kondopoga, Karelia, Church of the Assumption (1774)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Akhpoila, Karelia region, Chapel of the Holy Spirit (16th C)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Samino Pogost, Arkhangel region, Church of The Prophet Elijah (1692 -1702)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 
1

Kondopoga, Karelia, Church of the Assumption (1774)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Kokkoila, Karelia region, Chapel of St Barbara (early 18th C)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Kokkoila, Karelia region, Chapel of St Barbara (early 18th C)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Polya, Karelia region, Church of the Prophet Elijah (18th C)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Kosmozero, Karelia region, Church of St Alexander Svirsky (1769)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Polya, Karelia region, Church of the Prophet Elijah (18th C)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Yandomozero, Karelia region, Church of St Barbara the Martyr (1650)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Ust'Yandoma, Karelia region, Chapel of St George (17 - 18th C)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Kem, Karelia region, Cathedral of the Assumption (1714)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Yandomozero, Karelia region, Church of St Barbara the Martyr (1650)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Yandomozero, Karelia region, Church of St Barbara the Martyr (1650)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Ust'Yandoma, Karelia region, Chapel of St George (17 - 18th C)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Kondopoga, Karelia, Church of the Assumption (1774)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Kovda, Murmansk region, Church of St Nicholas (1651)


Wooden Churches - Travelling In The Russian North By Richard Davies Part 1

Liadiny, Arkhangel region, St Blaise's Church of the Intercession (1761)


Richard Davies
25 Nov 2013 12:47:00