Solovki Islands
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One of the most famous of Russia’s northern archipelagos is Solovki, also known as the Solovetski Islands, located in the Arkhangelsky Region. In ancient times, the islands housed one of Orthodoxy’s most influential monasteries, which was converted during the Stalinist era into a high-security GULAG.

Today, the Solovki Islands, which now fall under the protection of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, are a tourist destination and can be freely accessed by anyone.
History tells us that in 1429 three monks fled north from the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery in search of a new frontier on which to found a much stricter order. Zosima, Savathius and German, now consecrated saints, settled on a picturesque island three days by boat from the southern coast of the White Sea. The island had previously been used as a pagan sanctuary. The small site established by Zosima, Savathius and German became a powerful monastery in less than 100 years. The Solovki Islands have always played a crucial role in Russian history.