Fire at New Valamo Monastery

Heinävesi, March 19, 2012

Image: Yle / Heikki Haapalainen Image: Yle / Heikki Haapalainen
A fire has broken out in the main building of the orthodox New Valamo Monastery at Heinävesi in eastern Finland. Fire fighters have ruled out arson. A monastery official says no one has been hurt in the blaze and no valuable items have been destroyed.

Fire fighters said the fire started in the loft, in unused residential space. Damping down operations continued into Monday morning.

The main old building of the monastery is a three floor structure and dates from 1840. According to Valamo’s Operating Director Veikko Halonen said that no valuable items had been destroyed. Icons and portraits on the second floor were removed to safety.

Father Viktor, the Monastery’s financial manager said the damage was considerable. The Monastery's Bishop Arseni told YLE that some 19th Century furniture remained on the second floor. However, he noted the building was not a protected structure as several renovations had been carried out.

The New Valamo monastery was established by the Finnish Orthodox Church in 1940, when 190 monks from the original monastery located on a group of islands in Lake Ladoga were forced to leave when the area was ceded to the former Soviet Union.

19 марта 2012 г.

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