The monastery is known as the Valaam Monastery and the lake is named Ladoga. Ladoga is the biggest lake in Europe (15th largest lake in the world by surface area). At over 200 km long, Ladoga is longer than a football pitch, in fact, it’s longer than 2,000 football pitches. Pop that in your pipe.
Ladoga’s deepest spot is about 200 m deep, which is deeper than the deep end of 100 swimming pools sat directly on top of each other.
The monastery was founded at least 500 years ago, but may be as old as 1,000 years, which is older than Paul McCartney x 5.
Enjoy these moody shots, like I just have:
They have their own type of chanting on the island, referred to as the Valaam chant; they also boast a professional choir that raises money for bits and bobs around the monastery.
The chanting is awesome and the video at the bottom of this post has some more cool pictures and chanting, if you’re down with it. According to those in the know, the songs combine Byzantine and Znamenny styles.
Znamenny is a word I have never seen, spoken or written before today, that’s a great feeling. Just so you know, the Znamenny chant was the principal chant of the Russian Orthodox Church dating to the time Christianity was first imported from the Byzantines, all the way up to the late seventeenth century.
And this is how it was notated:
Here’s what the monastery looks like today, it’s even more awesome, and a little less creepy in colour: