Kizhi Pogost is a gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage site in Russia that contains a trio of ornate 17th century church buildings made entirely of wood. The structures were built entirely from wood without the use of nails, and they've withstood the test of time. Even today, the 22-domed church on the site is one of the world’s tallest wooden structures.
Kizhi Pogost photo from Shutterstock
Two domed timber church buildings and an octagonal wooden bell tower were constructed on Russia’s Kizhi Island in 1714. The Church of the Transfiguration is the most ornate, featuring 22 domes and reaching 121 feet in the air. Impressively, the church was built using interlocking wooden joinery instead of nails.
The nine-domed Church of the Intercession is just as impressive – reaching 105 feet tall, the church sits comfortably as one of the taller wooden structures in the world. Each dome is made up of hundreds of diamond-shaped wooden tiles layered together to form the bulbous shapes.
Both churches are made from a combination of pine, spruce and aspen wood, and they’ve withstood weather extremes throughout the centuries. Kizhi has become an impromptu home for timber structures – In the 1950s, several other historic wooden buildings from Karelia were relocated to the island.