A rainy mid-morning obscured a riverside landmark, the flooded Krokhino church at the upper Sheksna river, a 19th century building officially called the Nativity Church. It is the only surviving structure once part of a complex, all others lost to neglect and flooding when the hydroelectric plan was built. This complex included a church and a thriving monastary built in the 15th century. The village of Krokhino founded close by 1673 flourished as a important White Lake port.
Once the largest monastery in northern Russia, the Kirillo-Belozersk Monastary today has only four monks. The vast walled area of the monastery encloses two separate priories with eleven churches, most of them dating to the 16th century. Erected by Rostov masters in 1497, it was the largest monastery church built in Russia up to that date. Its 17th-century iconostasis features many ancient icons, arranged in five tiers above a silver heaven gate endowed by Tsar Alexis in 1645. Many of of the valuable objects kept in the sacristy are personal gifts of the czars who visited the monastery.
The monastery walls, 732 meters long and 7 meters thick, were constructed in 1654-80. They incorporate parts of the earlier citadel, which helped to withstand the Polish siege in 1612. The walls feature numerous towers, each built to a particular design.
After the Bolsheviks secularized the monastery and turned into museum in 1924, a wooden shrine from 1485 and several traditional timber structures were relocated here and put on exhibit on the grounds. During Soviet restoration works, superb 16th-century frescoes were discovered in the gate church of St. Sergius dating from 1560–94.
There is also Lace museum featuring a locally famous style of lace.