District of Tot'ma


Church of the Nativity of Christ

Tot'ma situated in the eastern part of the Vologda Oblast sprawls picturesquely on the hilly bank of the Sukhona River. Its fame are baroque churches of the 18th century, productions of the local artistic school. They are characterized by vertically elongated forms and facade reinforcement in the form of ceramic "rocailles" showing beautiful parti-coloured patterns.

This small city was first described by a chronicler in 1137.

The peculiarity of the district of Tot'ma consists in the vicinity of the wildlife which is unique in its beauty, with the ancient monuments of history and architecture.

Take a trip to Tot'ma and step back in time to an era that exemplified grace and tranquility. Enjoy your visits to the city's museums:

  • Museum of Local Lore that boasts a good collection of folk crafts and other exhibits that are of great historical value;
  • Museum of the Russian Church Antiques located in the Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God;
  • Memorial Flat of Kuskov, the world famous navigator, explorer of Alyaska and Northern California;
  • Memorial Museum of Rubtsov, a leading representative of "village" poetry;
  • Museum of Russian Seafaring situated in the Church of the Entry into Jerusalem;
  • Museum "Tsareva" displaying graphic works of art belonging to the brush of a Moscow - born painter Boris Terekhov and an exposition of flax;
  • Spaso-Sumorin monastery - the Cathedral of the Ascension, the Church of the Transfiguration and abbot cells strike the visitors by the way they fit organically in the surrounding northern landscape. Today the monastery houses an exhibition of distaffs, swingles, handicrafts made of birch bark, pottery, tiles, utensils and furniture.

Peter the Great visited Tot'ma on several occasions (in 1693, 1694, 1702). There are many legends connected with his name and cherished by the residents.

Tot'ma used to be a major centre for salt production. Those interested in it can take a guided tour to the salt-mines and relish the process of salt extraction.

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. 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.