Blessed with a picturesque ensemble of Russian wooden churches, Kizhi provides a truly scenic traveler destination on the Mighty Volga. Literally at the geographic center of Europe’s second largest lake, Kizhi has long been a strategic stopover for travelers between Novgorod the Great and the White Sea coast. Through the Soviet era, the island was almost forgotten. By the 1950s, the original settlements on it disappeared.When the Soviet Union came to an end, this reserve was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1993, the Russian Federation likewise selected Kizhi as its first Cultural Heritage Site. The Church of the Resurrection of Lazarus is a must-see highlight, originally built for the Murom Monastery on the lake’s eastern shore. Dating back to the 14th century, it is by far the oldest building in the collection, and indeed, the oldest wooden church still standing in Russia. A pilgrimage destination, the building itself is said to be able to heal the disabled. The Chapels of Archangel Mikhail, of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, of the Divine Savior, complete the island’s spiritual ensemble.