The Solovki Encyclopedia (English)
The Solovki Archipelago (Solovki)
The Solovetsky Monastery. The Solovki Camp (GULAG)
The Solovki Site Content• Introduction
• Solovki Chronicle
Part I. General Information.• Encyclopedic Info "Solovki Archipelago"
• Physical-geographical Review
Part II. Solovki History• Solovki Ancient History
• Solovki and People
• Stone Labyrinths and others...
• The times of Northern Labyrinths
• Labyrinths are Labyrinths
• The Solovetsky Monastery Foundation
• Monastery after Founding Fathers
• Saint Phillip (Kolychev)
• From Metropolitan Phillip to Eleazar
• Eleazar to Anzerskiy
• Solovetsky siege - religious and military confrontation
• Tsar Peter I and Solovki
• Solovki in the XVIII-XIX centuries
• Russian-English War and Solovki
• The XX century. Prison
• Solovetsky Camp and GULAG
• The Northern Navy Training Group
Part III. Our days.• Monastery Today
• Solovki Bibliography
Encyclopedic Info "Solovki Archipelago"
The Solovki archipelago (Solovki) is located in the Onega Gulf of the White Sea, between the Karelian Sea and the Summer Coast. It's location is 164 kilometers from the Polar circle line. Geographical coordinates are between 64°57' and 65°12' north latitude.
The archipelago consists of six large and approximately seventy small islands. The total Solovki area is more than 320 sq. km: the Bolshoi (big) Solovetski island – measures 248 sq. km; the Anzer island - 47 sq. km; the Bolshaia (big) Muksalma island – 17.6 sq. km; the Malaya (small) Muksalma island – 0.57 sq. km; the Bolshoi Zayatskiy island - 1,25 sq.km; the Maliy Zayatskiy island - 1,02 sq.km. The highest mountain is Verbokolskaya, located on Anzer island and is 88.2 m under sea level.
The Solovki Archipelago (Solovki)
These island landscape were formed during the ice age.
This areas geographical location caused its own microclimate to develop. Cherries and wild-rose flowers grow on the islands. More than 500 forms of vegetation grow here. There are cedars, maples, nut-tree, snowball-tree and rowan. The archipelago landscape is covered both by softwoods and hardwoods, although some areas are tundra. Solovki has 639 fresh water lakes inland while surrounded by the very salty White Sea (27g of salt per liter of water). Atlantic cod, the Solovetsky Herring, flounder and wolffish are the main seawater fish. Perch, roach, pike, catfish, trout and ruff are in fresh water lakes. Members of the animal kingdom include field mice, squirrels, hare, fox and reindeer.
Marine animals are sea-calves, white whale, sea-hare and greenland seal. There are extraordinarily seaweed plantations in the coastal zone. History of the population and use of the archipelago can be traced back seven thousand years. There are about 1200 monuments of archaeological significance (habitable sites, mounds, seita (from the Saam's seita - "spirit"), labyrinths, symbolic computations and more than 250 historic and architectural monuments, connected with the history of the Solovki monastery. The most mysterious Solovki monument is an ancient sanctuary III-II millennium A.C., which includes the famous northern labyrinths.
The first in the USSR Camp of Special Designation (SLON), which marked During Soviet times, the beginning of Stalin's GULAG, known as the Camp of Special Designation (SLON), was located in the archipelago. More than one million people had become prisoners of SLON and its many branches on the continent.
Today this area is a protected historical reserve. In 1994, the Solovki museum-reserve become officially considered to contain the many very valuable objects of natural and the historical heritage of Russia and is now included in "The list of the world heritage" of UNESCO.