Testament of Kenozero Lake
Testament of Kenozero Lake is part of the Tentative list of Russia in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
Lake Kenozero is a freshwater lake of glacial origin. It has over 70 islands. The area was settled between the 12th and 16th centuries. Wooden churches and chapels with distinct interior paintings were added to the landscape by the rural population.
Map of Testament of Kenozero LakeLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
Kenozero National Park was the second tentative site we visited on our weekend stint via night train (for logistic details, have a look at my Lake Onega Petroglyphs review). As an alternative, one can travel to Nyandoma, a regional centre on a train line to Arkhangelsk. From there a transport has to be arranged to Kargopol and one of the local tourist hubs in the National Park - Morschikinskaya on Lake Lyokshmozero, which forms the southern sector of the national park, or to Pershlakta, which is the main entrance point to the northern sector.
The Kenozero park is a lovely place where not only Russian, but foreign tourists as well enjoy spending their holiday. It specializes in ecotourism: you stay either in homestay, rented wooden house or pitch a tent. The main problem is to get there, but once you get to the hubs and manage to find information centre, there are maps available, informing about accommodation, tours, tourist trails and everything else. There is not only splendid nature all around, but the area also contains many wooden houses and churches, which add to the picturesqueness of it all. Some info is available in English, but if you travel by yourself, you might encounter slight communication issues.
We drove from Kargopol, local centre that has exactly one decent hotel and it gets full in season rather fast, so book ahead. I would also recommend stocking up in any food store you can find. We haven't seen any restaurants in Morschikinskaya or Maselga further up the road. The drive from Kargopol takes about 70 kilometres of a bumpy ride on unpaved dirt or gravel road. Morschikinskaya has an info centre, which gives out permits to enter the National Park, sells souvenirs and offers guided tours. Just outside the centre which sits on bank of the lake with a lovely wooden church next to it, there's a short ecotrail called "Route of the anthills". Apart from quite large anthills, it has a small wooden chapel and many art-objects and noticeboards informing on the life of local fauna. It can be done in about half an hour and it's less than 3 km. The main village road leads to Maselga, which is an entrance to the park itself, again, it has many lovely hiking trails, both along the way and in Maselga are official camping grounds. Maselga has an outdoor museum of wooden architecture, lovely lake views and beaches as well as a wooden church on the top of Kizhgora, 1,8 km hike. Graves of local residents can be found along the way.
We only stayed for couple of hours, but to fully enjoy this site, it's best to stay for three or four days, enjoy hikes and the lake, maybe even fish. The local groundkeepers are nice and helpful and the nature is beautiful. I really enjoyed the combination of natural and cultural aspects of the landscape and think the site is unique and worth visiting.
2014 Added to Tentative List
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