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Ferapontov monastery

Heart of Vologda

Veliky Ustyug - Homeland of Father Frost



The Vologda Oblast is one of the biggest regions of the European part of Russia, located in between two of Russia's major consumption markets - Moscow (450 km) and St.Petersburg (650 km). It is the land of monasteries and churches, magical white nights, rivers and blue lakes, a popular tourist region. The network of waterways, railroads and highways makes getting to and around the Vologda area easy.

In 2004 the number of tourists and guests to the region reached one million people. In terms of visits to the museums the Vologda Oblast ranks 7th in Russia. In 2005 the region received 784 ships which is an 11% increase compared with the year 2003. The bulk of visitors go to the Kirillov district to see the Kirillo - Belozersky Monastery that won an international renown owing to the effect of stateliness and an artistic work of exceptional value.

Many historic sites of the Vologda Oblast are associated with Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, the names of the monks - Kirill Belozersky, Ferapont, Paul Obnorsky and Ignaty Brenchaninov, and the renowned writers and poets - Konstantin Batyushkov, Vladimir Gilyarovsky, Igor Severyanin and Nikolai Rubtsov.

The nature is very picturesque. The lakes scattered throughout the region, the forests sprawling along the banks of slow-flowing rivers, the plains stretching away to the horizon have the charm of their own. Tourist will be captivated by the stern and romantic northern nature. There is National Park "Russian North" and the Darwin state reserve on the territory of the Vologda Oblast. The reserves contain an adundance of wilderness, wildlife and spectacular beauty. They abound with rare varieties of plant and bird life. The peculiarity of the Vologda Oblast consists in the vicinity of the wildlife which is unique in its beauty, with the ancient monuments of history and architecture.

Probably this explains the demand for water itineraries in the Vologda Oblast. One of them - Vologda-Kirillov-Belozersk-Vologda - passes through natural reserves, the Northern Dvina Canal and timbered sluices built in the 19th century. During this tour one can get acquainted with the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery (14th century) and the Ferapont monastery (14th century). The frescoes of the Ferapont monastery were painted by Dionisius, the genius of medieval Russian art and they are included into the UNESCO world heritage. On the grounds of the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery there is History and Art Museum with a collection of ancient icon painting and applied arts, monastery books of the 15-17th centuries.

Among the popular specialities of the Vologda Oblast are the Northern niello, Vologda laces, coloured enamels with gold and silver veneer, carving on birch bark and the original technique of "tinplate frosting".

Fifteen cities and towns of the region - Vologda, Belozersk, Kirillov, Ferapontovo, Tot'ma, Ustyushna and others - preserved impressive structures and architectural ensembles that attract the ever-increasing numbers of visitors.

Vologda founded in 1147 is one of the cities that preserve the heritage of the North Russian school of architecture and city planning. In the panorama of its historical centre the dominant feature is presented by the city's oldest building - the St. Sophia Cathedral (16th century). The reign of Ivan the Terrible led to the rapid expansion of Vologda. It grew and quickly became one of the most important trade centres of Russia. At that time the city dealt with Siberia via the Sukhona river and the Vychegda, with England, Holland and other countries where the navy routes were laid through the White Sea. Peter I who came to the city on several occasions contributed greatly to the city's heritage. By the middle of the 17th century, Vologda was enjoying great prosperity. It boasted highly developed flax and wood processing, tanning industry and blacksmith's work.

Belozesk, the most ancient city of the Vologda Oblast was first mentioned in 862. There one can see a 30-metre high earthen rampart built in the 15th century under the order of Grand Duke of Moscow Ivan III. White Lake is a natural sight of the place.

Your visit to Tot'ma, a city-museum, will leave a lasting impression. Twenty expeditions to America were arranged by the residents of the city. One of the ships that sailed to Alaska was known under the same name - Tot'ma. The image of the black fox on the city's blazon symbolizes discoveries of the local navigators.

Veliky Ustyug is a contemporary of Moscow and Vologda. In the 16th century it got the name "Veliky" (Great) for its special services in boosting trade. The city is famous for its handicraft products made of silver, flax and wood. Unique and charming are niello adornments produced by Severnaya Chern company. Since 1999 Veliky Ustyug has become hometown of Farther Frost.

Veliky Ustyug - Hometown of Farther Frost is a new tour in the Vologda Oblast. Trains from Moscow, St.Petersburg and Vologda bring to Veliky Ustyug the ever-increasing numbers of visitors.

The Vologda Oblast can boast its own "Switzerland" - the district of Vytegra which connects the Leningrad Oblast with Onega Lake. Onega is the second-largest lake in Europe next to Ladoga, having an area of 3764 sq. m. Lake Onega lies 125 ft. above the sea. The greatest depths, 318 to 408 ft., occur at the entrance to the double bay of Lizhemsk and Unitsk.

Tudoozero is popular with both children and adults and is famous for its salubriuos climate.

Next to Onega Lake there is one of the most interesting places on the planet - Atleka - the place where the basins of the Atlantic ocean, the Arctic ocean and the Caspian sea join together. This spot is accessible only for scientists, geologists and small groups of tourists who dare to carry out independent study.

Cherepovets is a port of five seas. From Cherepovets one can make a trip by a comfortable ship to the picturesque island of Kizhi where the masterpieces of wooden architecture by unknown masters of the Russian North are collected and the island of Valaam. Cherepovets is a native city of two brothers - battle painter Vasily Vereschagin and butter manufacturer Nikolai Vereschagin. The recipe of the world famous Vologda butter belongs to the latter. A memorial museum is housed in the Vereschagins' country estate. The memorial museum of Igor Severyanin, the famous Russian poet, is situated near Cherepovets.

While travelling throughout the old Russian cities and towns which have preserved intact their historical character, architecture and their original northern lifestyle you will enrich your memory with unforgettable impressions.


Presentation "Vologda Oblast. History. Culture. Traditions"