In the middle of Lake Vuoksa, about two hours north of St. Petersburg, sits a small stone island that just barely rises above the waters. The island is so small that it is almost entirely taken up by a miniature wooden church perched charmingly atop it. While that church might seem like the stuff of Baba Yaga and Father Frost, it is actually a modern bit of whimsy built in 2000.
The Church of Andrew the Apostle is a Russian Orthodox Church designed by Russian architect Andrei Rotinov, and was modeled on the famous Church of the Ascension at Kolomenskoye, a former royal estate in Moscow. Although there are no regularly scheduled ceremonies or masses at the beautiful, idyllic little chapel, it is available by appointment for baptisms and weddings.
The island is currently reachable only by boat or ferry (except when the lake is frozen solid, of course), but there are reportedly plans to build a bridge to provide easier access. There are numerous references to the church being in the Guinness Book of World Records for being “the world’s only church built on a tiny island,” but these claims have proven difficult to confirm. Andrew the Apostle is the patron saint of fishermen.