Valaam, July 25, 2015
A new function has appeared on the official website of Valaam Monastery in Russia—online-transmission from web cameras, installed on the bell tower of the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral. Now the world of Valaam can be viewed not only by pilgrims and tourists, but also by visitors of the www.valaam.ru website.
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“You see rocky, high, bare cliffs, proudly rising from the gulf: they stand, like giants, on the watch. You see the slopes, covered with woods, amiably bending to the lake”—this is how St. Ignaty (Brianchaninov) described Valaam. “The spirit of antiquity is in the air, proceeding from these dark forests and stones… On the domes, without the sunshine, the crosses glitter with pure gold”—in these words the Russian Orthodox writer Ivan Shmelev (1873-1950) admired Valaam, when the island opened up before him through a fog.
From now on the restrained beauty of the monastic island is also available for viewing straight from the web cameras installed on the Transfiguration Cathedral’s belltower. Thus, everybody can admire the coming sunset, when the sun is gradually hiding behind pine trees, lighting up the Lake Ladoga with its parting flare, and daybreak, resounding with the song of early birds. To see the change of seasons, the quiet autumn of Valaam and soft snowy winter, the regeneration of nature in spring and mysterious white nights of Valaam, when dusk does not come to the island at all. And, from the practical point of view, now many pilgrims can see with their own eyes the current weather conditions and understand how they should equip themselves for a trip to Valaam.
Now one more web camera is continually transmitting online from the “singing field” during the first St. Vladimir’s festival of Orthodox music in Valaam, called “Prosvetitel” (“Enlightener”), which was to be held on July 26-28, 2015. “On request, we may provide sound transmission as far as Sortavala (a town in the neighboring Republic of Karelia in far northwestern Russia), so our theatre lighting could be seen from outer space!”—the festival’s organizers said.
The www.valaam.ru website is planning to upload the recording of the festival to the Valaam Monastery’s electronic video library, the address is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC10klh4B3aSae9LeGdeE.