Moscow • An 18th-century church widely seen as a marvel of Russia’s wooden architecture has been destroyed by a fire.

The blaze at the Dormition church in Kondopoga in Russia’s northwestern region of Karelia erupted Friday after tourists visited the building. Officials suspected some of them could have violated fire safety rules, but would not rule out arson.

The fire quickly engulfed the church built exclusively from wood, and fire teams that arrived within minutes were unable to save it.

The church, built in 1774 on the shores of Lake Onega, was widely admired as one of the most remarkable examples of northern Russia’s wooden architecture.

Authorities have promised to build a replica.