New Valaam Android app lets users order commemorations, take 3-D tour of monastery

Valaam, December 19, 2019

Photo: Photo: A new app for Android phones has been launched in honor of the 30th anniversary of the revival of monastic life at the ancient Holy Transfiguration-Valaam Monastery.

The app, entitled simply “Валаам” (“Valaam”), allows users to order commemorations for the living and the departed at the monastery, to order monastic handiwork, take a 3-D tour, and watch online excursions. It also provides the Orthodox daily calendar, a comprehensive prayer book, and Scriptural studies, reports RIA-Novosti.

According to Konstantine Dyachkov, director of the developing company Parsun, the prayer books provides texts in both Russian and Slavonic and is the most comprehensive prayer book to date, acquainting the reader with both the life of Valaam Monastery and the Russian Church as a whole.

“The Valaam app is a unique thing. You can take a virtual trip even to places where it is difficult for an ordinary pilgrim to get to,” said Bishop Pankraty of Troitsk, the abbot of the monastery.

Photo: Photo: The 3-D tour section of the app includes about 1,000 high resolution panoramas of the monastery and its many sketes.

The excursion section includes an audio guide, and you can also walk around the island wearing VR glasses, which was especially designed for children.

Work on the app lasted 1.5 years.

The abbot of Valaam, Bp. Pankraty was awarded by the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation on December 13 for his labors in reviving the monastery over the past 30 years.

The revival of the monastery began in 1989 with 6 monks. Today, the ancient site is home to about 200 monks. The complex includes the main monastery and 12 sketes. The monastery is visited by more than 100,000 pilgrims and tourists annually.

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