about Vologda

Vologda is an administrative center of Vologda oblast of Russia standing on the banks of Vologda river. Vologda city is an important cultural, scientific and transport center of Russia. Vologda butter and lace are well-known in Russia as well as abroad. Vologda is comparably small (about 300,000 people) while the number of churches and monuments is surprisingly large. The town is clean enough, maybe everything is not so neat like in European cities but this “wild” beauty has the charm of its own.

The ancient city of Vologda could be easily included to The Golden Ring of Russia for it’s not interior to other great Russian cities in significance and beauty. They call Vologda the gate to the North because very important ways connecting central Russia with the North and the Urals pass through here. Vologda is one of the most charming and interesting city to visit after St.-Petersburg in the whole northwest region.

Vologda is among the most ancient cities of the East Slavs with first mentions in chronicle in 1147. The city lies along the Vologda river. Very few Russian cities can be compared with Vologda in the number of survived churches.

Vologda settlement first mentioning (small village with one church) happened in 1147 in Novgorod Republic chronicles. The village was surrounded by woods and populated by Novgorod Republic people busy with pulling ships from Volga River tributary to Northern Dvina River tributary. It was the way to connect White and Caspian seas.

In 1412 the lands of Novogorod state including Vologda village became the part of Moscow state. Vologda settlement was made an outpost on the Northern border of Moscow state. At the end of 15th century Vologda was larger and more important than historic center of the area Belozersk town.

Vologda is of same age as Moscow and its contribution to Russian history is very appreciable. What is more, it nearly became the capital of the Russian state. Ivan the Terrible intended to move his residence to Vologda in earnest, reasoning it that Muscovites were cantankerous and quarrelsome folks but Vologda inhabitants were solely staid and positive people. The legend has it, that a brick fell down on the tsar either in Sophiysky Cathedral or while he was walking through the Vologda Kremlin gates, which he interpreted as a bad sign and the final decision was not made in the favour of Vologda.

At the end of 17th century and the beginning of 18th century Vologda town was not only an administrative center of the region but also an important Russian trade center with countries of the West (bread, salt, livestock products). Vologda town became one of Russian major military bases during Russian Tsar Peter the Great ruling. Peter the First also used to visit the city and in the memory of his visits the first city museum was established in the house of Dutch merchants Goutmans.

In the 19th century Vologda city was developing quickly and numerous stone and wooden buildings were constructed. There are a lot of them on the streets on present day Vologda city.

Among the other attractions of Vologda city is Saint Sophia Cathedral (1570). There is a museum occupying Treasury chambers (1659). Also there are baroque churches (18th century) and Neoclassical mansions (19th century) in Vologda city of Russia.

Today Vologda is a quiet provincial town where the flow of time slows down.

Accommodation and food is relatively cheap. On the whole, the infrastructure in Vologda is well developed. The best time to visit Vologda is either in winter, when everything is covered with snow (the city turns unimaginably beautiful with an ineffable atmosphere of the Russian North) or in summer, which is short but rather hot. In summer the streets look extraordinarily green. Vologda experiences the moderate-continental climate, with an average temperature of January -15 and July +23.

Vologda is the city possessing special historical heritage: there are 224 historical, architectural and cultural monuments on the territory of the city; 128 out of them are protected by the state.

Vologda is one of the most preserved large cities in Russia which historical outlook was formed by harmonic combination of architectural monuments - in stone and wood.

The most famous monuments of Vologda city are as follows: Vologda Kremlin, Sofia church, Spaso-Prilutsky monastery, Vladimir churches ensemble, Konstantin and Yelena church, churches with frescos, architectural ensembles of the Stone bridge and Revolution square. Monuments of wooden architecture are of special interest. One of the most attractive sights in the centre is Kremlyovskaya Square and Sophiysky Cathedral. You can climb the bell tower to watch the city from the highest point of about 80 meters.

There are 10 museums in the city. Vologda State historical, architectural and art museum-reserve is the largest cultural center not only in Vologda but in the whole Russian North.

The other museums: Vologda Kremlin; Peter I house-museum - Petrovsky domik (small house); Architectural and Ethnographical museum of Vologodskaya oblast; Vologda butter museum; Museum “Vologda exile”; Vologda regional picture gallery; Modern art gallery “Krasny most (Red bridge)”.

 

Vologda drama theater, Children and young people theatre, puppet show theater “Teremok”, Chamber theater, Valery Gavrilin Philharmonic society, children’s music theater are also among the places of interest of Vologda city.

Among the annual exhibitions of Vologda city are “Russian flax”, “Russian forest”, “Northern gates”.

Vologda laces, goods made of flax and Vologda butter are traditional Vologda souvenirs.



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