Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum in Izvara
Nicholas Roerich
Estate Museum

in Izvara

N. Roerich «Ancient Finnish Churches»
Original in Russian

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In Finland wise women still boil potions of snake heads. There, along hillsides stone labyrinths are scattered in curious configurations, whose outlines defeat comprehension – they bear witness to unknown rites and traditions. Ancient burial mounds house the dead warriors of late. The kantele is still heard. Olafsborg is still reminiscent of exuberant knighthood, the life of robust and tall Swedes. They are remembered by old stone churches. Yet timber temples are also encountered, a link with Norway and the Russian North; one such timber church still stands in Keuro.

There’s a hoard of important things to be found in Finland – the great northern crossroads.

There resides a beautiful Northern fairytale – in interminable mountains, unexpectedly encountered lakes, hoary boulders and white-water rapids.

The Scandinavian issue remains one of the most attractive amongst all historic and artistic dimensions. Its profundity is only comparable with that of all things oriental. Mysterious are the people who imbued ancient countries with their unfathomable might and imparted to them the powerful culture. In all places where the Scandinavians left traces of their presence the influence happened to be one of the best and most wholesome. Such precious quality as self-integrity followed the northern men into the foundations of states and countries which they contacted. Their memorials are soaked in profound noblesse.

For the Russian lands the meaning of the Scandinavians is even bigger. Uppsala gave us anthropomorphic deities, the fjords – navigation, the Varangians – battle formation. Over several centuries we were getting used to receiving support and power from the North. Studying the North is close and important for us. However the Varangian issue is normally listed amongst the tasks for the future. Very slowly, as if with a spade and a shovel, archaeology is sifting through a medley of fact and fabrication. So far the matter has only become more complicated. Regarding the details of the inception of the current millennium one so far may only speak with a relative precision of two centuries. Well, isn’t that sufficient a measure?!
Illustrations throughout this article represent fragments of wall frescoes in Lohja Church (Finland).

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Museum Address: 188414, Izvara Village, Volosovo District, Leningrad Region, Russia.
Phones: +7-813-73-73-273 (group tours); Phone/Fax +7-813-73-73-298 (general)
Museum Director: Cherkasova Olga Anatolievna