Petrozavodsk is industrial, cultural and science center of the republic. The population of the town is 266,000 people.
Climate and Nature
The climate in Petrozavodsk is temperate, with short warm summers and long cool winters. The average temperature in January is -12 C, the average temperature in July is +15 C.
Petrozavodsk stands on the western shore of Onega Lake. Its length and width are 10 km and 2 km respectively. It is built on several plateaus.
There are nature parks in Petrozavodsk. In the Kivach, relict trees and the famous Karelian birch grow. Also close to Petrozavodsk is Martsialnye Vody, the first spa in Russia famous for treating heart diseases.
Petrovskaya Sloboda, the first settlement on the territory of Petrozavodsk, was founded in 1703 to serve a great cannon factory built on the shores of Onega at the command of Peter the Great. The production of the factory was very popular throughout the country, and several artifacts are still preserved in the country’s museums.
The village grew rapidly. It was granted the status of a town and renamed Petrozavodsk in 1777, under Empress Ekaterina.
The name of the town in Finnish and Karelian is Petroskoi, but under the Finnish occupation of East Karelia during the World War II (1941-1944) the town was renamed Äänislinna. That name was taken from the Finnish name of Lake Onega, Ääninen. Despite the destruction brought during World War II, Petrozavodsk is still an attractive town.
Economy and Transportation
The major industries in Petrozavodsk are timber production and pulp and paper industry. They make up about 57% of the town economy. Among the other industries are machine building and metallurgy as well as food production.
The harbour of the town carries freight and passenger traffic. The railway travels through Petrozavodsk and the region's main road extends north to the city of Petrozavodsk. There are two airports in Petrozavodsk.
The City Today
The city's main street is Lenin Street. It goes from the railway station to the Onega Lake. There are numerous fountains, many shops, bars and restaurants at the street.
Nearby there is Lenin Square, a historical center of the city and one of the city's main architectural sites that survived the Nazi occupation. Formerly it was called the Round Square. It is interesting that many Petrozavodsk streets and squares names remained Soviet.
Karl Marks Street also bears the Soviet name. Yet, one of the first names of the street was English Street. Down Karl Marks Street there is the Onega Lake area. Close there is the Kirov Square with its four theatres.
Petrozavodsk has a number of sister cities, and there are uncommon architectural installations, presented by them, at the Petrozavodsk waterfront. There are sights from Duluth (USA), Varkaus (Finland), Umea (Sweden), Mo I Rana (Norway), Neubrandenburg and Tubingen (Germany), La Rochelle (France).
There are several theatres in the town, including the Theatre of Music and Russian Drama, the building of which was erected in 1955 by architect S. Brodsky, National Theatre of the Republic of Karelia and the Puppet Theatre.
Museums of the town include Homestead Museum, Museum of Visual Arts and Kizhi National Park Museum located on Kizhi Island of the Lake Onega. Kizhi was opened in l959 and is classified as one of the 300 heritages in the world.
A monument to Peter the Great, the founder of the town, was set up in 1873. Nowadays, the monument stands at the marina of Petrozavodsk. Town founder wears uniform and holds the sword.
The Lenin statue was erected in the 1930s. During the Soviet-German War the local authorities had no time to evacuate the monument when Finnish troops were about to seize the city. This statue survived through the occupation though became dilapidated.
The Grave of the Unknown Soldier with the eternal fire burning, and the Grave of Brotherhood are located in Lenin Square.