A great organizer, Fr. Philip proceeded to put to use the economic power of the monastery. The infrastructure of the monastery was changed greatly. He began using stone for the monastery buildings. He built canals, harbors, and roads, while continuing the traditions of education and iconography. Between 1558 and 1566, [[Hegumen]] Philip supervised the construction of the five domed Cathedral of the Holy Transfiguration at Solovki. In spite of the reputation that his family held in the court of the tsar, Fr. Philip was elevated to Metropolitan of Moscow on [[July 20]], 1566 by Tsar Ivan IV (the Terrible). His tenure as [[metropolitan]] was short as the relationship between Fr. Philip and Ivan deteriorated; Fr. Philip opposed Ivan’s ‘‘oprichnina’‘. After a trial in November 1568 Metr. Philip was sentenced to exile at the Tver Otroch Monastery where he was strangled on [[December 23]], 1569. He was glorified in 1591.
During the reign of Ivan IV, the government made constant use of the remoteness of Solovetsky Island as a place of exile and detention. More than 400 persons were sent in exile to the island. The island would remain the only official prison of the Russian state until the nineteenth century, a place where many people of note were imprisoned, much to the lament of the [[clergy]] as [[
Archjmandrite]] Illarii wrote, “the name Solovki became terrible in the history of Russia.” It wasn’t until 1903 that the prison operation ceased to exist, but again to rise again some twenty years later.
In 1571, the Germans, Swedes, and Finns began to move into the White Sea, advancing into new territories. As the wooden stockades around Solovki were only intended for light protection and were easily destroyed by a determined force, construction began in 1582 of stone fortifications, making Solovki a formidable fortress. The monastic fortress thus preserved Russian possession of these northern lands.