The Valaam monastery is located in Karelia, in the northern part of Lake Ladoga. The Valaam Archipelago has about 50 islands with a total area of 36 km2. The name “Valaam” goes back to the Finno-Ugric toponym “Valamo”, where “valo” is “light”, “oath” (according to another hypothesis - “high earth”), or to the Finnish word “valaa” which means “to cast from metal”. The dates of birth of the monastery differ: some researchers call the end of the X century as the date of birth, others call the XIV century. It is known for certain that the holy monastery was founded by St. Sergius and Herman.
Northern Athos, as Valaam is often called, was a place of pilgrimage for Russian tsars and their families, it inspired great representatives of Russian culture and science.
Valaam used to be a part of Sweden (XVIII century) and Finland (1917-1940). The monastery reached its highest bloom by the middle of the 19th century, and the most tragic period of the monastery’s history was in the 40s – 80s of the last century, when school of boatswains and cabin boys housed in the monastery walls. Later there was housed home for disabled in the monastery. Also the fish industry plant operated on Valaam. Monastic life revived in 1989, and since 1991 the monastery has the status of stauropegial.
Valaam has many holy places that are common to Christians of different faiths. This amazing corner of the earth will surely be interesting to all lovers of cultural and educational tourism: holy places located in lands with such a rich history and nature (there are about 480 plant species on Valaam), old and graceful architecture, excellent infrastructure and pleasant atmosphere are important and useful to know for everyone.