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Valaam Monastery

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The Valamo Monastery was founded on the island of Valaam (Finnish: Valamo), the largest in Lake Ladoga, in the 10th century as a Northwestern outpost against the Heathen. Since the break 1054 between East-Rome and West-Rome the monastery has belonged to the Eastern Orhodoxy. After the establishment, some centuries later, of Catholic Christianity in the neighbourhood it marked the Northern outpost against Catholicism.

Russian weakness (see: Ivan IV & The Time of Troubles) and growing strength of the then Lutheran Swedes pushed the border eastwards in the 16th century: In 1578 monks and novices were deadly beaten by the Swedes. The monastry was desolated 1611-1715 after another deadly beating, the buildings being burnt to the ground, and the border between Russia and Sweden being drawn through the Lake.

The monastery was magnificently restored in the 18th century.

1812 it came under the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland.

The Winter War (during the Second World War) led to the evacuation of the monastery in 1940, but it was able to resume its normal life at its present site in Heinävesi (New Valaam) in Finland later the same year.

1941-1944 an attempt was made to restore the buildings during the Continuation War.

1989 Monks' life on the Old Valaam was resumed.

External links The official site of The Valaam Monastery (http://www.valaam.ru/en/)
New Valaam Monastery in Finland (http://www.valamo.fi/eng/)

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