Totma entered the top 12 original cities of Russia.
Totma is in the list of 12 original Russian cities located outside the famous tourist route "Golden Ring". The Golden Ring is a group of medieval towns and cities that form a ring to the northeast of Moscow.
Located in the eastern part of the Vologda Oblast, Totma is an open-air town-museum.
Tot'ma was first described by a chronicler in the 12th century, but the exact date of its foundation is unknown. It is situated in the Vologda Region.
Houses of baroque and classical period constitute a notable part in the town's architectural legacy. The town abounds with buildings of civic and ecclesiastic use which were designed in the 17th and 18th centuries. Dwelling houses of baroque and classical period design alternate with buildings of religious purpose: the Spaso-Sumorin Monastery complex (end of the 18th century - 1880), the Church of the Assumption (1775, 1800-1808), the Church of the Entry into Jerusalem (1774-1794), the Church of the Nativity of Christ (1745-1748, 1786-1793), the Cathedral of the Epiphany (1863-1872) and the Church of the Trinity (1768-1722, 1780-1788). The Church of the Trinity and the Church of the Nativity of Christ remain active. Their architectural unity remains intact, since the successive architects were faithful to the original plans.
The churches of Tot'ma merit special attention. Their distinctive traits lie in the elegance of the external décor, novelty, elongated forms and majesty. The churches are brick structures embellished with intricate decorative pattern such as the one shown here. Their décor features an original element that does not occur in any other Russian church - cartouches. The cartouche is a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription. The names of Egyptian Royalty were contained in an elongated oval called a cartouche. In the 18th century the cartouche was used a great deal in decoration of various kinds of furniture and the interior in France and later in Italy. But in Tot'ma handmade cartouche ornamentation was used to decorate the exterior of churches and temples.
The town has several museums, including the Museum of Local Lore, Kuskov Memorial Flat, Museum of the Russian Church Antiques, Museum of Russian Seafaring, Open Storage of Funds, Rubtsov Memorial Museum, Museum "Tsareva", and many historical monuments.
In 2020, the town was named one of Russia’s most beautiful historical towns.
Consider visiting Totma off the beaten path - historical gems and spectacular views aren’t only available in cities that make up the Golden Ring.