Kirillo Belozersky Museum Preserve

Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Preserve

The Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Preserve of History, Architecture and Decorative Arts was established in 1924 and comprises monuments of stone architecture - the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery (1397), Ferapontov monastery (1398), Goritsky Nunnery (1544) and a wooden Prophet Elijah Church (1775). This opened new prospects for study, restoration and display of its treasures. It is a wonderful architectural monument containing a multitude of art works. It has long been acknowledged as one of Russia's major cultural centres.

In Russia museums usually opened in places where old architecture and paintings were preserved. So icons, wooden sculpture and decorative art became objects of viewing and special studies.

The museum-preserve is noted for its architectural monuments, the interior walls of five of them are covered with invaluable frescoes including those by the great medieval painter Dionisy. The museum houses 15-17th-century iconostasis that features many ancient icons, arranged in five tiers, a collection of handicrafts of Belozero, painted pieces of furniture, ceramics, and a unique collection of manuscripts and hand-written books.

The Museum of Dionisy's Frescoes that boasts miraculously preserved Dionisy's wall painting is an affiliate with the Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Preserve.

The abundant collections of the Kirillo-Belozersky Museum attract many visitors from all parts of Russia and guided tours become increasingly popular. Annually about 260,000 people (60% of them being foreign tourists) flock to the Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Preserve and the Museum of Dionisy's Frescoes.

Since 1981 the RF Ministry for Culture Scientific Methodological Council has been supervising scientific research and conservation works, carried out in line with methods, developed specially for Dionisy's frescoes, thus controlling the temperature, humidity and condition of the white chalk ground and pigments. Preventive conservation of the frescoes and controlled temperature and humidity level formed a scientific basis for preserving Dionisy's frescoes as a National Heritage monument of Russian and European culture.


Research and exhibition work are indicated as priority for the Museum staff, historians and archeologists. The collections which are of great artistic and historical value were closely studied and classified, which produced many scholarly essays and publications on individual objects and parts of the collection. The Museum's scientific and educational standards also rose markedly. The Museum holds annual conferences and publishes scholarly essays and catalogues on different subjects. The exhibits are constantly enriched and restored to their original state.

The Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Preserve undoubtedly belongs to Russia's richest museums and greatest attractions. By a presidential decree of 1997 it was included in the State Register of Russia's priceless cultural heritage.

Museum collections:

  • archeological finds,
  • graphic arts,
  • stone exhibits,
  • Old-Russian paintings,
  • documents, manuscripts and books.

For more information on the Museum and excursions, please visit the website www.kirmuseum.ru or contact at kir-museum@mail.ru or telephone +7 (81757) 31479.

Postal address: 161100 Kirillov, Vologda Oblast