Solovetsky Islands

Solovetsky Islands

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Solovetsky Islands

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The Solovetsky Islands () are located in the Onega Bay of the White Sea, Russia. The islands are administrated from Arkhangelsk as Solovetsky District and are served by the Solovki Airport. Area: 347 km². Population: 968 (2002 Census); 1,317 (1989 Census).


This archipelago consists of six islands known collectively as the Solovki:

  • Bolshoy Solovetsky Island – 246 km².
  • Anzersky Island (Anzer) – 47 km².
  • Bolshaya Muksalma – 17 km².
  • Malaya Muksalma – 0,57 km².
  • Bolshoy Zayatsky – 1,25 km².
  • Maly Zayatsky – 1,02 km².

The shores of the islands are very indented. They are formed of granites and gneiss. The relief of the islands is hilly (the highest point is 107 m). Most of the Solovetsky Islands are covered with Scots Pine and Norway Spruce forests, which are partially swampy. There are numerous lakes, which were joined by monks so as to form a network of canals.

One interesting feature of these islands is stone labyrinths and other stone settings, especially the Stone labyrinths of Bolshoi Zayatsky Island. Such labyrinths were typical for Northern Europe, but most have perished and now Solovetsky Islands have some of the best remaining examples.


Historically the islands have been the setting of the famous Russian Orthodox Solovetsky Monastery complex. It was founded in the second quarter of the 15th century by two monks from the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery....
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