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
What is Solovki?
It is not difficult to write a guidebook. You take a map of a specific area, describe it's history, attractive landscapes, well-known monuments and outline places of interest worth visiting. It is helpful to add beautiful photos, readable maps, appropriate advertisements, phone numbers and recommendations for tourists. In other words, all that is necessary for a comfortable stay in an unfamiliar place.
If you are reading this introduction, it is safe to assume that you have an online copy of the Solovki guidebook. Solovki is probably one of the most uncommon places in the world. As a result this online guidebook could also be called "the walking labyrinth", where each turn opens an unbelievable new experience. This small site contains hypotheses, entertaining facts, scientific data, a photo-gallery and a guide simultaneously. In reality this site is the attempt to answer the question, repeated asked by the author himself: What does Solovki mean to the people?
This question gives no rest for people of past centuries. For now I prefer the answer of my old friend: "Solovki is the spiritual heart of Russia". There is a strong probability that this person is right. But his phrase explains nothing. The labor camp slogan "Today Solovki; tomorrow all of Russia" also explains nothing. Many natural and historical phenomenon complicate matters. There are ancient labyrinths, "the military monastery", the cold White Sea with ships and boats, islands with mountains and lakes, the unique microclimate and ecology, white whale herds and bird flocks, primeval forest and the tundra.
As our own understanding and attention to Solovki evolves, we may even gain a better understanding of the Russian people and feel deeper towards Russia – a great country positioned between two continents.
Russians believe that Solovki is a huge linen woven from spiritual forces and weakness, human happiness and universal grief, will power and treachery, lies and truth, whispering surf and glorious sunsets, silvery fish and sounds of rustling wings. This linen is pierced by heather roots, sun's rays, Illuminated by northern lights, covered with snow, blood, vodka and rains.
Oh the mystical world of Solovki, covered with hues of the northern sky and cooled by White Sea winds, awaits you with charming stories as never heard before.