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Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands

Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands

The Solovetsky archipelago comprises six islands in the western part of the White Sea, covering about 300 km2 . They have been inhabited since the 5th century B.C. and important traces of a human presence from as far back as the 5th millennium B.C. can be found there. The archipelago has been the site of fervent monastic activity since the 15th century, and there are several churches dating from the 16th to the 19th century.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Ensemble culturel et historique des îles Solovetsky

D'une superficie totale de environ 300 km2 , les six îles de l'archipel Solovetsky se trouvent dans la partie occidentale de la mer Blanche. Elles furent peuplées dès le Ve millénaire av. J.-C. et conservent d'importants vestiges d'une occupation humaine remontant au IIIe millénaire. À partir du XVe siècle, l'archipel a connu une activité monastique intense et il conserve plusieurs églises construites entre le XVIe et le XIXe siècle.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

المجموعة التاريخيّة والثقافيّة والطبيعيّة لجزر سولوفيتسكي

تمتد جزر أرخبيل سولوفيتسكي الستّة على مساحة إجماليّة قدرها 300 كم مربع وهي تقع في الجزء الغربي للبحر الأبيض. بدأ السكن فيها حوالى الألفيّة الخامسة ق.م وهي تأوي آثاراً مهمّة تعكس الوجود البشري وترقى إلى الألفيّة الثالثة. بدءاً من القرن الخامس عشر، عرف الأرخبيل نشاطاً رهبانياً كثيفاً وهو يُحافظ على العديد من الكنائس المشيّدة بين القرنين السادس والتاسع عشر.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

索洛维茨基群岛的历史建筑群

索洛维茨基群岛是由位于白海西部的6个岛屿组成,占地300平方公里。在这里人类生存的重要痕迹可以追溯到公元前三千年,而且证明公元前5世纪就有人居住于此。从公元前5世纪始,这个群岛就是热衷于宗教的修道士们的活动场所。于16世纪至19世纪期间兴建的许多教堂至今仍保存完好。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Историко-культурный комплекс Соловецких островов

Соловецкий архипелаг, располагающийся в западной части Белого моря, состоит из 6 островов общей площадью более 300 кв. км. Они были заселены в V в. до н.э., однако самые первые свидетельства пребывания здесь человека относятся к 3-2-му тысячелетиям до н.э. Острова, начиная с XV в., стали местом создания и активного развития крупнейшего на Русском Севере монастыря. Здесь также расположены несколько церквей XVI-XIX вв.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Conjunto histórico, cultural y natural de las Islas Solovetsky

Situadas en la parte occidental del mar Blanco, las seis islas del archipiélago Solovetsky suman una superficie total de 300 km². Poblado desde el quinto milenio antes de nuestra era, el archipiélago conserva vestigios importantes de un asentamiento humano que data de dos milenios después. El sitio posee varias iglesias construidas entre los siglos XVI y XIX, testigos de la presencia de las piadosas comunidades monásticas que se establecieron en las islas desde el siglo XV.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

ソロヴェツキー諸島の文化と歴史遺産群

source: NFUAJ

Cultureel en historisch geheel van de Solovetsky eilanden

De Solovetsky archipel bestaat uit zes eilanden in het westelijke deel van de Witte Zee en beslaat in totaal 300 vierkante kilometer. De eilanden zijn bewoond sinds het Mesolithicum. Toen waren de weersomstandigheden gunstiger dan tegenwoordig. De Solovetsky eilanden vormen een uitstekend voorbeeld van een kloosternederzetting in de onherbergzame omgeving van Noord-Europa. Het illustreert het geloof, doorzettingsvermogen en ondernemerschap van laatmiddeleeuwse religieuze gemeenschappen. Het Solovetsky klooster werd opgericht door drie monniken in 1430 en uitgebreid in de daaropvolgende eeuwen. Hierdoor spreidde het zich niet alleen uit over de belangrijkste eilanden van de archipel, maar ook over grote stukken van het vasteland.

Source: unesco.nl

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Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands © Jacopo
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief Synthesis

The Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands comprises six islands of the Solovetsky Archipelago situated in the western part of the White Sea, 290 km from Arkhangelsk, the centre of Arkhangelsky region.

Founded in the 1430s, the Solovetsky complex is an outstanding example of the tenacity, courage and diligence of monks of the Russian Orthodox Church in the inhospitable environment of Northern Europe. The complex is unique in its integrity and safeguarding of its religious, residential, domestic, defence and waterside constructions, its road network and irrigation systems of the Middle Ages harmoniously blended with the surrounding natural and cultural landscapes as well as archeological sites that reflect the ancient and medieval culture of the islands for six thousand years. The Solovetsky complex represents all periods of the history of the archipelago and the Russian North in general.

The Cultural and Historic Ensemble of the Solovetsky Archipelago comprises a monastery-fortress of 15th to the early 20th centuries, a former monastic village of 16th to the early 20th centuries, cells and hermitages of 16th to the early 20th centuries, insular hydraulic and irrigation systems, sacred sites and dozens of settlements of 6 to the first millennia BC, groups of memorial constructions of the Solovetsky Special Prison Camp of 1923-1939 and the surrounding natural and cultural landscapes throughout the archipelago.

The heart of the historic and cultural complex of the archipelago is the architectural ensemble of the Solovetsky Monastery, which is a holistic unique architectural complex. Its constructions are characterized by their monumentality, individuality and integrity of all components resulting from the centuries-old tradition of building.

The Solovetsky historic and cultural complex is the only large set of monuments in northern latitudes, built from local boulders in combination with rare brick and forge iron produced on Solovki. The peculiar linear design of the facade and high density of buildings on small areas contribute to the integrity and architectural expression of the ensemble. The fortress is the only Russian fortification complex built with the use of large boulders, which adds greatly to its individuality.

The vast variety and uniqueness of the Solovetsky monuments together with the northern wilderness create a rare cultural and natural synthesis. Archeological studies over the last 20 years have identified some interesting new materials that expand the cultural context of the property.

The Solovki is often recognized by the public as one of the first and best known Soviet special purpose camps of the GULAG. The islands have been used as a place of exile since the 17th century.

Criterion (iv): The Solovetsky complex is an outstanding example of a monastic settlement in the inhospitable environment of northern Europe, which admirably illustrates the faith, tenacity and courage of late medieval religious communities. The subsequent history of the monastery is graphically illustrated by the wealth of remains of all types that have survived.

Integrity

All the identified attributes are within the property boundaries, which include the whole territory of the archipelago.

A number of the site’s elements (buildings and structures) have been rehabilitated in the process of restoration and other works for the conservation of the cultural heritage, works which have revealed its values as a whole. However, these large-scale works, under certain conditions, can have a negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the site, and so can active development of the archipelago area, especially in the vicinity of the protected historical and cultural monuments.

The site is exposed to the severe subpolar climate. The specific ground conditions together with the abundance of water (lakes and swamps) and high humidity create difficult conditions for the site’s preservation, which is why programs for current monitoring of buildings and constructions have been developed. Special engineering maintenance of the structures as well as mandatory archaeological research are provided by restoration projects.

Authenticity

The elements of the site fully represent the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The level of authenticity of the preserved buildings is high. Archaeological research is a mandatory step in implementation of preservation activities on cultural heritage sites.

Restoration and research activities carried out on the archipelago have had a positive effect on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property.

Sacred service has been brought back to the cathedrals and this fact has contributed to better perception of the heritage site by visitors.

The possession of most of the buildings is delivered to the Solovetsky Saviour Transfiguration Monastery, and they are used according to their original purpose. Some buildings are used by the Solovetsky historical, architectural and natural museum-reserve.

Protection and management requirements

At present, the World Heritage Site is managed under the following documents at the level of the Russian Federation:

- Article 44 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation adopted by national vote on December 12, 1993;

- Federal Law No. 73-FZ dd. June 25, 2002 “On Cultural Heritage Sites (historical and cultural monuments) of the Peoples of the Russian Federation” – the fundamental law of the Russian Federation for preservation, use, promotion and state protection of all cultural heritage sites in Russia;

- Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR No.1327 dd. August 30, 1960 “On Further Improvement of Cultural Monuments Protection in the RSFSR”. Under this normative legal act, the objects forming an integral part of the Solovetsky Monastery Architectural Ensemble are recognized as Cultural Heritage Sites;

- Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1662-r dd. September 27, 2011 changed the name of the site to “The Ensemble of the Solovetsky Monastery and separate structures of the Solovetsky Archipelago Islands, the XVI century – first half of the XX century” (Arkhangelsk region, Primorsky district). By this document all cultural heritage sites included in the Architectural Ensemble of the Solovetsky Monastery from 1960 were revised, their dating and names were made more specific;

- Order of the Ministry of Culture of Russia No. 1467 dd. November 27, 2012 on registration of the Solovetsky Monastery Ensemble and separate structures of the Solovetsky Archipelago Islands in the Unified State Register of Cultural Heritage Sites (historical and cultural monuments) of the Peoples of the Russian Federation;

- Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 759-r dd. June 1, 2009, through which all the state protection powers in relation to the World Heritage property are exercised by the Ministry of Culture of Russia. This document grants the state protection powers to the Federal Authority of Cultural Heritage Sites Protection that ensures the most effective protection in the Russian Federation;

- Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1939-r dd. October 1, 2014 “On approval of the set of organizational measures on the Solovetsky Archipelago preservation and development”. These measures will be implemented by responsible federal executive authorities within the limits of the federal funds;

- Order of the Ministry of Culture of Russia No. 2333 dd. December 24, 2013 “On approval of the protection zones boundaries of the Cultural Heritage Sites of federal significance forming part of the Cultural Heritage Site of federal significance “The Ensemble of the Solovetsky Monastery and separate structures of the Solovetsky Archipelago Islands, the XVI century – first half of the XX century” added to the World Heritage List (Solovetsky settlement, Primorsky district, Arkhangelsk region), as well as requirements to lands use policies and urban planning regulations within the boundaries of these zones”;

- Order of the Ministry of Culture of Russia No. 946 dd. June 3, 2014 “On approval of the protection zones boundaries of the Cultural Heritage Sites of federal significance forming a part of the Cultural Heritage Site of federal significance “The Ensemble of the Solovetsky Monastery and separate structures of the Solovetsky Archipelago Islands, the 16th century – first half of the 20th century” added to the World Heritage List (Arkhangelsk region, Primorsky district, Bolshoy Solovetsky island, Bolshaya Muksalma island, Anzer island and Bolshoy Zayatsky island), as well as requirements for lands use policies and urban planning regulations within the boundaries of these zones”;

- Concept of preserving the Cultural Heritage of the Solovetsky Archipelago developed by the federal state unitary enterprise “Central Scientific-Restoration and Design Workshops” in 2013-2014 (on request of the Ministry of Culture of Russia) and approved by the resolution of the Board of the Russian Ministry of Culture on June 25, 2014 (Minutes No. 14). This includes status analysis and main issues in regard to the preservation of cultural heritage sites situated in the territory of the Solovetsky Archipelago and proposals on the order, terms and procedures of restoration activities.

In addition, a number of fundamental documents have been adopted at the level of the subject of the Russian Federation – Arkhangelsk region:

- State Program of Arkhangelsk region “Development of the Solovetsky Archipelago Infrastructure (2014-2019)” approved by the Resolution of the Government of Arkhangelsk region No. 314-pp dd. July 16, 2013;

- Development Strategy of the Solovetsky Archipelago as a unique site of historical, cultural and natural heritage approved by the Resolution of the Government of Arkhangelsk Region No. 310-rp dd. July 16, 2013. Requirements of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for the preservation of the World Heritage Site “Historical and Cultural Ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands” were taken into account by making corresponding supplements to the above-mentioned strategy, which were approved by the Decree of the Government of Arkhangelsk Region No. 190-rp dd. July 21, 2015.

State institutions, the Russian Orthodox Church and the public of Russia work together to preserve and restore the Solovetsky Monastery Architectural Ensemble as a whole.

Proper coordination of all actions of the branches of government and the Russian Orthodox Church for the purpose of preservation and up-to-date development of the Archipelago as an integral site of the historical, cultural, natural and spiritual heritage is achieved through the application of the program-target method. Targeted programs (federal, regional, municipal) in accordance with the competence and established sphere of jurisdiction allow the development and reconciliation of the priorities of the federal, regional and local levels as well as relations between the state and the church; the accumulation and best use of resources to address the problems of the Solovetsky Archipelago development; and the evaluation of the effectiveness of the program measures through use of indicators and indices.

The choice of the program-target method as a basic approach to carry out the actions aimed at providing state support to the Government of the Arkhangelsk region to solve the issues of sustainable social and economic development of the Solovetsky Archipelago was recommended by the President of the Russian Federation to the Government of the Russian Federation in the Instruction No. Pr-1625 dd. June 25, 2012.

The Government of the Russian Federation through the Ministry of Culture of Russia provides long-term federal financing of the restoration works to the World Heritage property within the framework of the Federal Target Program “Culture of Russia (2012-2018)” (approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 186 dd. March 3, 2012) in accordance with the annual list of sites proposed by the Russian Orthodox Church for financing after its approval by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. Restoration activities on the Solovetsky Islands are arranged and carried out in accordance with the Concept of preserving the Cultural Heritage of the Solovetsky Archipelago and the Action Plan up to 2018.

All the works being undertaken are aimed at scientific restoration with the recovery of the Cultural Heritage Sites’ historical functions.