The Republic of Karelia is situated between the Baltic and the White Seas. It has quite an extended territory – around two thirds of the size of UK. You will probably have to google the distance to a certain location. Although, Karelia’s capital, the city of Petrozavodsk, is 50min flight from St. Petersburg, and 1h 20 min flight from Moscow.
There are a lot of sites worth filming in Karelia: here you will find prehistoric petroglyphs, pagan shrines, medieval temples and monasteries, wooden architecture, castles and ruined military fortifications left after the II World War. However, Karelian nature is no less remarkable: Karelia’s dense forests cover almost all of the republic’s territory, and there are also many lakes with islands and skerries that make up incredible views. The locals are proud of their nature and protect it by taking care of Karelia’s nature reserves and national parks. Our fixers can help you in gwtting the perimts for filming the 10,7m Kivach waterfall in the Kivach Nature Reserve, the Saami settlements, and hunting grounds in the Kalevala Park (also perfect for filming small peoples of Russian North traditional activities), archaeological monuments from Mesolithic and Neolithic eras in the Vodlozersky National Park. This last one is considered more of a cultural landscape as the Kozheozersky convent and some examples of northern wooden architecture are located there.
Among the Karelian forests, you can film the abandoned village of Pegrema. It is located on the banks of the Onega lake. Once there were several wooden peasant houses and a wooden chapel built in the XVIII c. by Varlaam Hutynsky, a Russian religious leader and saint. The hipped roof of the chapel rises lonely above the trees and reflects in the lake’s water.
FilmSPbTV can provide you permits for filming in the Valaam Monastery, a unique religious center situated in the Valaam island in the Ladoga lake. Valaam is famous for its numerous sketes where the monks are living: the monastic community for ms the main part of the island’s population these days. The white-stoned hipped-roof All Saints and the Nikolsky sketes
were built in the characteristic northern manner. However, two of the sketes are built as log houses – the Konevsky skete and the St. Elijah skete.
On the Valaam island, you can film the main Cathedral of the complex, the Transfiguration Cathedral. It was built in the XIX c., abandoned during the early Soviet times and then beautifully restored. The temple is richly decorated from the inside and outside, and can berightfully called the real pearl of Valaam.
In the 1920-1930s, a defensive fortification line against the Soviet Union was built byFinland. In was called ‘the Mannerheim line’. On the Valaam archipelago, some of the line’s ammunition warehouses, several bunkers, pillboxes, and earth-and-timber emplacements were abandoned in the woods and till this day lie on the ground covered with moss. Those artifacts
resemble an open-air museum: nobody cares for them, although they have witnessed how an Empire was built and then, how it collapsed. Our local fixers can help you in finding and filming some of the Mannerheim line’s sites.
More great locations for filming in Karelia
- The open-air Kizhi Museum consists of 89 monuments of Russian northern wooden architecture, churches, peasant’s izbas, saunas, forges, mills, granaries, drying houses, and stables among them. The Kizhi Museum-Reserve shows vividly the life of a Karelian peasant
- The Konevsky Monastery. It is situated on the Konevets island on the banks of the Ladoga lake. Founded in the XIV c., the Konevsky Monastery was very popular among the Russian nobility. Here you can film not only the architectural ensemble of the monastery but also the ancient pagan sanctuary – the Kon’-Stone (or ‘Horse-Stone’)
For filming in Karelia with all the needed permits – please contact us.