Angelic Life in Old Valamo- Summer 2015

Angelic Life in Old Valamo

RIISA Summer Exhibition from June 30th till August 30th 2015

RIISA's Summer Exhibition takes visitors on a journey to the Monastery of Valamo in Lake Ladoga, sometimes referred to as "Old Valamo". The exhibition features photographs, litographs and souvenirs mostly dating to the early 20th century and tells of the pilgrimage and tourism typical to the monastery and the natural beauty of the region.

Monastic life is calledan angelic life. The term refers to the forgetting of earthly worries, denial of self, constant praise of God and preparing to an angelic excistance even in this world. The litographs in the exhibition depict the hermitage cottages of hermits and the captions tell of the lives of specific hermits.

The attraction of the monastic islands was due to the rich religious life, the unique natural scenery and the splendid architecture. The rugged shores f the islands hidaway lush forests. The plantlife included verdant gardens planted by the monks with tall trees and flowers that covered the islands with sweet scents all summer long.

The monastery's pilgrims and other visitors were to purchase mementos of their visit and the monastery had a store that sold various high quality items, often made in the monastery itself. These included icons, carved crosses and spoons and boxes. A particularly popular souvenir was a wooden cross, painted in red or white that had a tiny image of related to the monastery in its centre.