The Solovki Islands, located in the marvelous northern microclimate of the White Sea, has known human habitation since pre-historic times. From the early fifteen century it became a monastic land, a specially blessed refuge for ascetics who left the vanity of the world behind. With time, a monastic fortress was built, the architecture and engineering of which astounds visitors to this day.
During the Soviet years, the monastery was turned into a concentration camp, where hundreds of innocent men and women, especially priests and bishops, died for their Christian faith. These austere isles became stepping-stones from earth to heaven for these new martyrs and confessors of the Russian land.
Now Solovki is home both to monks within the monastery walls and villagers in their humble log houses. Always a place of singular beauty, Solovki is especially illumined by the grace and joy of the Lord’s Nativity. Photographer Nadezhda Terekhova, who lives on Solovki, has collected her Christmastime photographs for OrthoChristian.com, which we present here for our readers. Feast your eyes on this unearthly yet cozy beauty!