The Holy Trinity Anzer Skete. In the 16th century there were salt beds in Troitsky (Trinity) Bay belonging to the monastery and the church of Saint Nicholas. The skete was founded in 1619 by Saint Eleazar of Anzer with the blessing of Saint Irinarch the hegumen of Solovki on the spot of a miraculous vision in which the monastery fishermen saw “a pillar of fire reaching up to the heavens”. Saint Eleazar was the builder of the original Troitsky (Trinity) Skete from 1624 until his death in 1656. In the 1630’s Saint Eleazar tonsured a priest here called Nikita (Minin), the future Patriarch Nikon. Among Saint Eleazar’s pupils were the hermits Nikodim, Nikiphor of Novgorod and hieromonk Makary. Early in the 18th century the builder of the Troitsky Skete was the exiled spiritual father of Peter the Great, Saint Job (Jesus) of Anzer. In the nineteenth century Solovetsky ascetics lived here – the elder Naum, the hieromonk of the schema Ieronim (Lukin) and the hermit Philip. During the camp time the 4th Section of the Special Purposes Labour Camp was based at the skete. Political prisoners were kept here in 1924 and then women inmates on punishment (including nuns), there were craft workshops here.
Just in case you mistakenly heard that it was all ice and snow in Russia, take a peek at the Big Bikini Exposition. This is right on the river Moskva in Moscow!Moscow has been the capital of Russia for almost its entire history. The exception is during the period of the Russian Empire, which lasted from 1721 until the Russian Revolution 1917. For these two centuries the capital was St. Petersburg. The Russian Empire was the second largest contiguous Empire in world memory; only the Mongol Empire had been greater.Check out what's happening north of Mongolia these days, in ChitaAlthough you may not have heard of Sochi, on the Black Sea, they're building up quickly and hope to host the 2014 Olympics.Other periods of Russian history include the Tsardom of Russia, from Ivan IV to Peter the Great, and the Grand Duchy (14th-16th centuries).The earliest period of Russian history was ruled by the Novgorod Republic and Kievan Rus, which was the first Russian state dating back to 800AD in Kiev.Modern Russia remains one of the world's superpowers. They launched the earth's second satellite, called Sputnik 1, and were the first country to put a human being into orbit around earth. (The first one is called the Moon.)After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia became a federal republic of 83 states.Text by Steve Smith.