Located on the Solovetsky Islands, a White Sea archipelago, Solovki is an Orthodox monastery complex with a tragic history.
Founded in the 15th century, the monastery used to be an important religious, cultural, and educational center, as well as a frontier fortress in the north of Russia.
However, in the Soviet times, between 1923 and 1933, it was turned into a dreadful GULAG forced-labor camp where thousands of prisoners were tortured, killed, or simply froze or died of starvation or severe diseases. ☹
Nowadays, it’s a working monastery again as well as a tourist attraction. The monastery buildings are very beautiful and there is a museum on site where you can learn a lot about the history of the place.
Make sure you try the monastery food — although simple, it’s also very delicious and prepared with love.
Visiting Solovki is highly recommended to everyone who wants to get a good insight into the history of Russia!
And what’s the most tragic landmark you have ever visited? Or do you prefer more cheerful sightseeing objects?