The Russian North is an inexhaustible source of traditional Russian art and architecture. Although many common features unite them, each region of Russia in the forest zone has its distinctive traditional forms of wooden architecture.
And today many regions have created outdoor museums that attempt to preserve or recreate the remnants of this heritage. The northwestern part of Russia is especially rich in these museums, just as the north still has a large percentage of the surviving wooden monuments.
Remarkable wooden churches as well as log houses that are themselves works of art still survive in the Vologda Oblast.
Located on the main highway between Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, Vologda has long been an important destination for those with an interest in Russian history and culture. Its impressive array of structures ranges from small chapels to large houses.
Indeed, Vologda itself was built primarily of wood until the 20th century, despite its renowned masonry churches and cathedrals dating as far back as the 16th century.
Fortunately, there are villages where monuments of wooden architecture are still preseved in their original appearance. One of the most remarkable sites is the village of Semyonkovo, a few miles from Vologda, where a Museum of Ethnography and Wooden Architecture is located. There, a number of the house interiors have been preserved or recreated in the traditional manner.
The Museum of Ethnography and Wooden Architecture in Semyonkovo is a collection of some of the old Russian churches and houses from the last two centuries that are constructed from wood. These structures have been brought from many locations of the Vologda Oblast, restored and relocated in the museum. Besides the wooden structures of the museum have also preserved the household utensils and features found in the cottages of the rural farmers.
Vologda is one of the best preserved big cities of Russia combining traditional wooden architecture and stone monuments.
Of 116 historical cities of Russia only 16 have monuments of wooden architecture. Vologda is among them.
Wooden architecture of the Vologda Oblast is one of the most remarkable forms of traditional Russian architecture. Traditional wooden houses in Vologda are adorned with decorative trim around the windows and on the roof, porches, and gates, which served to protect houses from evil spirits, maintain well-being, attract positive energy, and ensure fertile soil for farming.
The more elaborate houses of this type, like the larger peasant houses, have carved galleries on raised porches and are decorated with carved end boards that protect the roof beams.
Wooden architecture of the Vologda Region is the most original and most unique part of the cultural heritage of the oblast.