What to See in Arkhangelsk (Russia)

By | July 18, 2022

According to Top-mba-universities, Arkhangelsk is located in the northern part of Russia at the mouth of the Northern Dvina River, 45 km from its confluence with the Dvina Bay of the White Sea. In addition, Arkhangelsk includes numerous islands in the Northern Dvina delta. The city is the administrative center of the Arkhangelsk region.

As early as the 12th century, Novgorodians began to settle on the right bank of the Northern Dvina River. It is believed that it was at this time at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries that the famous Archangel Michael Monastery was built. However, the first mention of it dates back to 1419. Settlements gradually formed around this monastery. From the 16th century, trade began to develop here. The British and Dutch arrived at the mouth of the Northern Dvina, they founded trading posts here. Russian merchants from Moscow also came here, Vologda and the nearby settlement of Kholmogory. Soon this place became the largest center of foreign trade in Russia and was called Novye Kholmogory.

Under Ivan the Terrible in 1584, in connection with the threat of an attack by the Swedes, a fortress was built around the Mikhailo-Arkhangelsk Monastery. The tsar sent Moscow governors here, under whose leadership the construction was going on. In addition to fortifications, a ship pier was erected here. Near the walls of the fortress gradually began to equip the settlement. At the end of the 16th century, the fortress with the settlement was called the Arkhangelsk city, after the name of the monastery, and in 1613 it was officially called simply Arkhangelsk.

In 1637, the Mikhailo-Arkhangelsky Monastery completely burned down in a fire. It was rebuilt in a new place – in the area of the city port. In 1684, a stone Gostiny Dvor and many other stone buildings were built near the port. The port became the center of the city. In 1693, Peter I arrived in Arkhangelsk. By this time, he was already thinking about founding a fleet. In Arkhangelsk, the tsar got acquainted with shipbuilding and trade. He ordered the construction of a shipyard on one of the coastal islands – the island of Solombala. Peter I took part in the construction of one of the first merchant sea ships “Saint Paul”, and a year later he was present at its launch.

Under Peter I in Arkhangelsk At the beginning of the 18th century, the construction of the Novodvinsk fortress began. During construction, he and his son Alexei settled on Markov Island, from where he went on a campaign to Lake Onega, during which Noterburg (Oreshek) was conquered. Peter’s house has been preserved in the vicinity of Arkhangelsk to this day.

In 1708 Arkhangelsk became the center of the Arkhangelsk province. In 1713, Peter I issued a decree limiting trade in the region in favor of the developing port in St. Petersburg, which became the main port of the Baltic Fleet. Through Arkhangelsk they stopped exporting grain and importing most foreign goods. The number of ships that came to Arkhangelsk, has been drastically reduced. Under Catherine II, the ban was lifted, but Arkhangelsk has forever lost the status of the first Russian port and has become a major shipbuilding center.

At the end of the 19th century, the timber industry began to develop in Arkhangelsk, and timber was exported from here. In addition, the city was known as the main center for the development of the Arctic. Numerous Arctic expeditions were organized from here. An Icebreaking Bureau was opened in Arkhangelsk, whose icebreaking ships ensured the passage of ships from the White Sea to Arkhangelsk. Today Arkhangelsk is a large industrial center and an important transport hub.

The old part of the city is located on Cape Pur-Navolok. It was here that in 1584, by decree of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, a powerful fortress was erected, which gave rise to Arkhangelsk. This event is now immortalized in a monument, which is a sea wave. Next to it rises the surviving North Tower and the remains of the western walls of the Gostiny Dvor. Gostiny Dvor – the first stone building in the city, a unique architectural monument of the 17th century, today is a monument of federal significance. The complex was created in the period from 1668 to 1684. It served as a fortress and a trading center. Gostiny dvor consisted of 2 buildings – Russian and German, they were separated by a square. Later, city walls and corner towers were erected here, and ditches were dug around the perimeter. Thus, Gostiny Dvor also had defensive significance. Today there is a museum and exhibition complex of the Arkhangelsk Regional Museum of Local Lore – one of the oldest museums in Russia.. It was founded in 1937. The museum stores about 170 thousand exhibits, which are presented in various collections – historical, natural, archaeological and ethnographic, natural science, collections on the development of the Arctic, shipbuilding, ancient Russian and arts and crafts, numismatics and bonistics. The Arkhangelsk Regional Museum of Local Lore has three branches: the Museum of Local History in the city of Mezen, the Museum of Local Lore in the village of Pinega, and the Literary and Memorial Museum of F.A. Abramov in the writer’s homeland in the village of Verkola, Pinezhsky district. A granite embankment stretches from Cape Pur-Navolok along the Northern Dvina. Here, in the warm season, local residents and guests of the city like to walk and relax in parks and cafes. There is a monument on the embankment Peter I (1911). The Tsar is presented in full growth in the uniform of an officer of the Preobrazhensky Regiment. On the pedestal of the monument there is a plate with engraved dates, three of them mean the years when Peter I stayed in Arkhangelsk, and one – the date of foundation of the monument. On the embankment there is also the Obelisk “To the Victims of the Intervention of 1918-1920”, under which the remains of 49 dead heroes of the resistance to the interventionists are buried. Walking along the embankment, be sure to go to the State Northern Maritime Museum. It contains collections on the history of navigation and shipbuilding in the European North of Russia from the 12th to the 20th centuries, collections on the history of the study and development of the Arctic and collections telling about the underwater world of the northern seas. The most valuable exhibits of the museum are the books of the end of the 18th century, which were used by the Pomors, ancient navigational instruments, ship models and documentary and photographic materials of the 19th-20th centuries. A collection of anchors and artillery pieces is exhibited in front of the museum building. In the center of the city, the Chamber Hall of the Pomeranian Philharmonic Society with a large organ is interesting. Until 1917, this building housed the Lutheran Church of St. Catherine, which was built in 1768 for foreign residents of the city. Among the sights of Arkhangelsk, you can also highlight the monument to M.V. Lomonosov (early 19th century), St. Nicholas Church (rebuilt in 1904), Assumption Church and the monument “Obelisk of the North”, built in honor of the formation of the Northern Territory. Today, work is underway to restore the Mikhailo-Arkhangelsk Cathedral. The complex of the Archangel Michael Monastery appeared on this land in the 13th century and became the first religious building, but, unfortunately, it has not survived to this day. It was around him that a trading settlement grew, from which Arkhangelsk was later formed. Due to the historical significance of this structure, a decision was made to restore it. The cathedral should be located on Trade Union Square in the city center. According to the project, its height will be 70 m. Previously, there was a monument “Valiant Defenders of the Soviet North 1918-1920”, dedicated to the fallen soldiers. In connection with the desire to restore the Mikhailo-Arkhangelsk Cathedral on the site where the monument stands, it was moved several hundred meters.

The State Museum Association “Artistic Culture of the Russian North” operates in Arkhangelsk. It includes several museums. First of all, this is the Arkhangelsk Museum of Fine Arts. It was founded in 1960. The museum has one of the largest collections representing different schools and stylistic trends in the artistic culture of the Russian North. The museum funds contain about 30 thousand works. Here are works of ancient northern painting and wooden sculpture, ancient Russian arts and crafts, a collection of northern folk art, including folk costume, embroidery and weaving, carving and painting on wood, artistic metal and ceramics, works of Russian art of the 18th – early 20th centuries. Also here is a unique collection (the best in the country) of modern Kholmogory bone carving. Another member of the State Museum Association “Artistic Culture of the Russian North” is Museum of Artistic Exploration of the Arctic named after A.A. Borisova. Alexander Alekseevich Borisov is a famous Russian artist who, along with numerous expeditions, explored the Arctic. He worked in the difficult conditions of the far north. His works became the object of research for many scientists who studied the natural features of this region far from it. Some of Borisov’s works are exhibited in the Tretyakov Gallery. The museum contains not only the works of Borisov, but also the works of other artists of the North, works of art of the Nenets people, as well as historical expositions with maps of sea voyages. The museum, in addition to its cultural purpose, is also an educational institution. In addition to the listed museums, the “Artistic Culture of the Russian North” association includes Museum of S.G. Pisakhov and several buildings of the 18th-19th centuries. Arkhangelsk is home to the first literary museum in northern Russia, the Arkhangelsk Literary Museum. The museum’s funds include more than 50 thousand items – manuscripts, photographs and other documentary materials related to the life and work of famous writers of the North. The Historical and Memorial Museum of M.V. Lomonosov. The great Russian scientist was born not far from Arkhangelsk in a village near the city of Kholmogory, from where he set off for a convoy on a long journey to Moscow. For some time the Lomonosov family lived in Arkhangelsk. In the place where the Lomonosovs’ house was located, the museum building stands. Even the pond, which was dug by Lomonosov’s father, has survived to this day. The museum tells about the life and scientific work of Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov. The Aviation Museum of the North tells about the history of northern civil aviation, the events of the Great Patriotic War and the history of the development of astronautics in the North.

Many travel companies offer sightseeing tours on pleasure boats along the Northern Dvina. During such excursions, you can admire the small islands that are scattered along the Dvina Bay and see the remains of the Novodvinsk fortress. The fortress was built with the direct participation of Peter I to protect the northern part of Russia from the Swedes. Now it is the only building of the bastion type in the North of Russia. In the past, the fortress had the shape of a square with bastions at the corners and was equipped with 180 cannons. It is believed that it served as a prototype for the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg. Since 1864, when Arkhangelsk finally lost its status as the largest port in Russia, the fortress began to deteriorate. Now only fragments remain of it. Arkhangelsk State Museum of Wooden Architecture and Folk Art “Small Karely” is located 25 km southeast of Arkhangelsk near the village of Malye Karely. The museum was opened to the public in 1973. Here, under the open sky, the life of a typical northern village of past centuries is presented. 104 architectural monuments are concentrated on an area of ​​140 hectares. The museum is divided into 4 sectors, each of which introduces visitors to the way of life of different types of peasant settlements in the Arkhangelsk region. These are the Kargopol-Onega, Mezen, Pinega and Dvina sectors. In the Kargopol-Onega sector, a settlement is represented, where the estates are located around the square. The Ascension Church of 1669 and the bell tower stand on the square. The Mezen sector represents the northeastern regions of the region with steep banks. Here are six-wall houses with various types of porches, which were considered the main decoration of the house. In the Pinezhsky sector, the huts are placed facing the sun in rows. Between the Mezensky and Pinega sectors there is a seasonal settlement of Hornemskoye from the upper reaches of the Pinega River, where they lived during the haymaking period or during logging. In the Dvina sector on the central square stands St. George’s Church of the 18th century with a restored skeleton of the baroque iconostasis. There are houses around the church. In addition, the museum has 7 windmills and an exposition with a collection of bells “Northern Bells”. The museum organizes the main folk rituals with mass celebrations all year round, and their holding coincides with the folk calendar. There are houses around the church. In addition, the museum has 7 windmills and an exposition with a collection of bells “Northern Bells”. The museum organizes the main folk rituals with mass celebrations all year round, and their holding coincides with the folk calendar. There are houses around the church. In addition, the museum has 7 windmills and an exposition with a collection of bells “Northern Bells”. The museum organizes the main folk rituals with mass celebrations all year round, and their holding coincides with the folk calendar.

Small Karelians are located on the territory of the Uemsky biological reserve. 10% of the forests of the Arkhangelsk region are concentrated here. The reserve was created with the aim of preserving, reproducing and restoring wild animals, their habitats and maintaining the integrity of natural communities.

In the vicinity of Arkhangelsk there are also the Dvina Reserve, part of which is located on islands in the Dvinskaya Bay, and the Belomorsky Reserve, formed with the aim of preserving and restoring rare animal species, as well as economically valuable species of waterfowl and numerous other animal species.

Around Arkhangelsk there are opportunities for skiing. The slopes here are mostly gentle and suitable for beginner skiers. 20 km south of Arkhangelsk in the city of Novodvinsk there is an educational and sports base “Mechka”. There are 2 slopes about 100m long. They are illuminated, which allows you to ride in the evening. The base has two squeegee lifts, a cafe, a locker room and equipment rental. Not far from here is the village of Koskovo. In its vicinity there are 2 slopes with a length of about 130 m and 2 lifts – drag and squeegee. You can also ride in Kurtyaevo (50 km from Severodvinsk). There are 3 slopes open here, about 250 m long, which have irregularities, so it will be difficult for beginner skiers. There are opportunities for skiing in the city of Onega, where there are 2 slopes – a small, gentle and long stepped one – and 2 drag lifts.

200 km east of Arkhangelsk in the lower reaches of the Pinega River is the Pinezhsky State Nature Reserve.. The reserve was established in 1974 and occupied an area of 51.5 thousand hectares. Here is the northernmost area of wide development of surface karst on the East European Plain, where you can see the most incredible relief formations. There are about 400 caves in the reserve. The largest of them – “Constitutional” – has a length of 5.7 km. Underground galleries and halls have formed in the caves, streams and rivers flow, forming waterfalls, stalactites and stalagmites grow. Since 2004, the Karst Museum has been functioning in the reserve. Karst processes occurring on the territory of the Pinezhsky Reserve have formed more than 80 lakes. 91% of the territory of the reserve is occupied by forests, where both European and Siberian species of animals live. Near the Pinezhsky Reserve is located the tourist complex “Golubino” hotel and inn. In “Golubino” tourists are offered cozy rooms for accommodation, excursions to the karst reliefs of Pinezhye and to the Krasnogorsk Bogoroditsky Monastery of the 17th century, where fragments of wall paintings have been preserved, depart from here. Krasnaya Gorka ski resort is located 5 km from Golubino. “Krasnaya Gorka” is equipped with a ski lift and has a flat sloping slope 300 m long, which is suitable for those who want to learn how to ride. There is also a toboggan run on the slope. The proximity of hotel complexes, developed infrastructure and picturesque nature make this place very popular among fans of skiing.

. It was formed in 1991 and today is a natural, historical and cultural complex, covering an area of 139.6 thousand hectares. The administrative centers of the park are the villages of Morshchikhinskaya and Vershinino. There are 263 species of birds, 50 species of mammals, 5 species of amphibians, 4 species of reptiles, 2 species of lampreys and 27 species of fish on the territory of Kenozerye. But the main feature of the park is that ancient rural settlements with the original culture of the peoples of this region have been preserved here. They give a complete picture of the planning and development of settlements, religious, residential and commercial buildings, the spiritual culture and traditions of the inhabitants who inhabited the shores of Kenozero. The total number of architectural monuments reaches 100. The earliest historical monuments of the region are primarily Neolithic human sites, there are about 40 of them. the Church of St. George of the 17th century in the village of Porzhenskoye, and the Pochozersky temple ensemble of the 17th-18th centuries in the village of Vilipovskaya, which includes the tented Church of the Origin of the Honest Trees of Christ, the Church of the Finding of the Head of John the Baptist and the bell tower, united by a refectory and passages. The temples of Kenozerye have a unique feature – the so-called “heaven” – the overlapping of prayer halls, which are painted on biblical scenes. In addition, the ancient lake-channel systems, regulated by dams and water mills, have been preserved in the park.

A little north of the Kenozersky National Park lies the Vodlozersky National Park.. In the vicinity of Vodlozero, the original culture of the Russian North also developed for centuries. There are about 100 archeological monuments and more than 30 monuments of wooden architecture on the territory of the park. The most significant architectural monument near Vodlozero is the Ilyinsky churchyard ensemble with a unique wooden fence.

Undoubtedly, the most famous attraction of the Arkhangelsk region is the Solovetsky Islands, where the Solovetsky State Historical and Architectural Natural Museum-Reserve is located. The archipelago has more than 100 islands located in the Onega Bay of the White Sea. The popularity of Solovki was brought by its unique nature, monuments of archeology, history, architecture, hydraulic engineering and road construction of the 16th-20th centuries. The Solovetsky Spaso-Preobrazhensky Stauropegial Monastery for several centuries remained a place that kept the whole of Russia in fear – political prisoners were exiled here.

The Arkhangelsk region is rich in mineral springs and therapeutic mud, especially its southern regions. On their basis, several sanatoriums were opened. Near the city of Velsk there is a sanatorium “Sosnovka”. The mineral waters used for treatment in the Sosnovka sanatorium are extracted from a well 350 m deep and belong to sodium chloride brines with a high bromine content. In the southern part of the region, the balneo-mud resort “Solonikha” is also popular. Diseases of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems are treated here. On the territory of the sanatorium “Solonikha” there are natural springs with mineral water of chloride-sulfate-sodium composition. In addition, sulfide silt mud is used for treatment. The sanatorium “Solvychegodsk” operates in the city of Solvychegodsk. Its main focus is the treatment of children with diseases of the musculoskeletal system and the circulatory system. The mineral waters of the sanatorium are chloride-sulphate-sodium containing potassium, calcium, magnesium, iodine and bromine. Near the sanatorium there is Salt Lake, whose sulfide-silt mud is also used in treatment.

Arkhangelsk (Russia)