The Vologodskaya Region is situated in northwestern Russia 500 Km (311 MI) off Moscow and borders on the Republic of Karelia, on the Arkhangelsk, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Tver, Novgorod, and Leningradskaya Region. The region occupies the territory of 145.7 thousand square kilometres, which is equal to the territories of Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland taken together. The Vologda territory is crossed by important ways connecting central Russia with the Urals and Siberia. The rivers flowing through the region's territory carry their waters to the Baltic, White and Caspian seas.
The centre of the region is Vologda. The city of Vologda is the largest in the region and one of the most important junctions of railways, automobile roads and airways in the North of Russia. It is a river port that stands on the river under the same name.
The city of Cherepovets is the first city in the region by its population and industrial value. It is one of the largest centres of steel and chemical production in the country.
The leading agricultural branch is stock-breeding, which takes 70% of the region's agriculture and provides the population of the Vologodskaya Region with milk, meet and eggs. Butter making is popular in the region. Vologda butter, as well as Vologda lace, is nowadays known world-wide.
Today 1,324 thousand inhabitants of the region are being proudly named "Vologodians" (0.9% of Russia's population). From ancient times the Vologodians have been and still are famous for the love to their Motherland and their families and for their quite, imperturbable, and hardworking nature.
Seasons change each other and the Vologodians experience the so-called moderate-continental climate: a cold snowy winter followed by a short summer. The coldest month in Vologda is January, with an average temperature ranging between -15C and -17C. The summer, although short, is one of Vologda's most prized assets. It lasts about three months. People take an advantage of this special time by going to the country, festivals, side-walk cafes. The average temperature in July is between +23C and +25C.
The modest colours of the Vologda landscape, its epic spaciousness and almost primordial stillness have the charm of its own.
The Vologodskaya Region is famous for the number and significance of its historical and cultural monuments: the Vologda Kremlin, Spaso-Prilutsky, Kirillo-Belozersky, St. Ferapont, St. Michael and Archangel monasteries. Ancient towns of Vologda, Veliky Ustyug, Tot'ma, Ustyuzhna, Belozersk and Kirillov are well known all over the country.
Dionisy's frescoes in the Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral of St. Ferapont monastery are real treasure among the monumental fine art works.
The largest region’s museums are Vologda and Veliky Ustyug state museum-preserves, the Regional Picture Gallery, Cherepovets museum association, Kirillo-Belozersky museum, Totma, Vytegra and Ustyuzhna museums of local lore.
The poet K. Batyushkov, artist A. Vereshchagin, "King of reporters" V. Gilyarovski, modern writers and poets: A.Yashin, V.Tendryakov, S. Orlov, V. Shalamov, V. Astafiev, V. Belov, N. Rubtsov, and O. Fokina have brought the fame to the Vologda land.
Vast territory, tremendous nature resources, skilled and cheap labour, big scientific and technical potential and advantageous geographical location are indisputable favourable conditions for profitable investments in the Vologodskaya region.
Region has 234 monuments of nationwide significance in its territory.
The Vologodskaya region is one of the biggest regions of the European part of Russia, located in between two of Russia's major consumption markets - Moscow (450 km) and St.Petersburg (650 km). It is the land of monasteries and churches, magical white nights, rivers and blue lakes, a popular tourist region. The network of waterways, railroads and highways makes getting to and around the Vologda area easy.
In 2004 the number of tourists and guests to the region reached one million people.Many tourists go to the Kirillov district to see the Kirillo - Belozersky Monastery that won an international renown owing to the effect of stateliness and an artistic work of exceptional value.
Many historic sites of the Vologodskaya Region are associated with Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, the names of the monks - Kirill Belozersky, Ferapont, Paul Obnorsky and Ignaty Brenchaninov, and the renowned writers and poets - Konstantin Batyushkov, Vladimir Gilyarovsky, Igor Severyanin and Nikolai Rubtsov.
The nature is very picturesque. The lakes scattered throughout the region, the forests sprawling along the banks of slow-flowing rivers, the plains stretching away to the horizon have the charm of their own. Tourist will be captivated by the stern and romantic northern nature. There is National Park "Russian North" and the Darwin state reserve on the territory of the Vologodskaya Region. The reserves contain an adundance of wilderness, wildlife and spectacular beauty. They abound with rare varieties of plant and bird life. The peculiarity of the Vologodskaya Region consists in the vicinity of the wildlife which is unique in its beauty, with the ancient monuments of history and architecture.
Probably this explains the demand for water itineraries in the Vologodskaya region. One of them - Vologda-Kirillov-Belozersk-Vologda - passes through natural reserves, the Northern Dvina Canal and timbered sluices built in the 19th century. During this tour one can get acquainted with the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery (14th century) and the Ferapont monastery (14th century). The frescoes of the Ferapont monastery were painted by Dionisius, the genius of medieval Russian art and they are included into the UNESCO world heritage. On the grounds of the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery there is History and Art Museum with a collection of ancient icon painting and applied arts, monastery books of the 15-17th centuries.
Among the popular specialities of the Vologodskaya Region are the Northern niello, Vologda laces, coloured enamels with gold and silver veneer, carving on birch bark and the original technique of "tinplate frosting".
Fifteen cities and towns of the region - Vologda, Belozersk, Kirillov, Ferapontovo, Tot'ma, Ustyushna and others - preserved impressive structures and architectural ensembles that attract the ever-increasing numbers of visitors.
Vologda founded in 1147 is one of the cities that preserve the heritage of the North Russian school of architecture and city planning. In the panorama of its historical centre the dominant feature is presented by the city's oldest building - the St. Sophia Cathedral (16th century). The reign of Ivan the Terrible led to the rapid expansion of Vologda. It grew and quickly became one of the most important trade centres of Russia. At that time the city dealt with Siberia via the Sukhona river and the Vychegda, with England, Holland and other countries where the navy routes were laid through the White Sea. Peter I who came to the city on several occasions contributed greatly to the city's heritage. By the middle of the 17th century, Vologda was enjoying great prosperity. It boasted highly developed flax and wood processing, tanning industry and blacksmith's work.
Belozesk, the most ancient city of the Vologodskaya Region was first mentioned in 862. There one can see a 30-meter high earthern rampart built in the 15th century under the order of Grand Duke of Moscow Ivan III. White Lake is a natural sight of the place.
Your visit to Tot'ma, a city-museum, will leave a lasting impression. Twenty expeditions to America were arranged by the residents of the city. One of the ships that sailed to Alaska was known under the same name - Tot'ma. The image of the black fox on the city's blazon symbolizes discoveries of the local navigators.
Veliky Ustyug is a contemporary of Moscow and Vologda. In the 16th century it got the name "Veliky" (Great) for its special services in boosting trade. The city is famous for its handicraft products made of silver, flax and wood. Unique and charming are niello adornments produced by Severnaya Chern company. Since 1999 Veliky Ustyug has become homeland of Farther Frost.
Veliky Ustyug - Homeland of Farther Frost is a new tour in the Vologodskaya Region. Trains from Moscow, St.Petersburg and Vologda bring to Veliky Ustyug the ever-increasing numbers of visitors.
The Vologodskaya Region can boast its own "Switzerland" - the district of Vytegra which connects the Leningradskaya Region with Onega Lake. Onega is the second-largest lake in Europe next to Ladoga, having an area of 3764 sq. m. Lake Onega lies 125 ft. above the sea. The greatest depths, 318 to 408 ft., occur at the entrance to the double bay of Lizhemsk and Unitsk.
Tudoozero is popular with both children and adults and is famous for its salubriuos climate.
Next to Onega Lake there is one of the most interesting places on the planet - Atleka - the place where the basins of the Atlantic ocean, the Arctic ocean and the Caspian sea join together. This spot is accessible only for scieniists, geologists and small groups of tourists who dare to carry out independent study.
Cherepovets is a port of five seas. From Cherepovets one can make a trip by a comfortable ship to the picturesque island of Kizhi where the masterpieces of wooden architecture by unknown masters of the Russian North are collected and the island of Valaam. Cherepovets is a native city of two brothers - battle painter Vasily Vereschagin and butter manufacturer Nikolai Vereschagin. The recipe of the world famous Vologda butter belongs to the latter. A memorial museum is housed in the Vereschagins' country estate. The memorial museum of Igor Severyanin, the famous Russian poet, is situated near Cherepovets.
While travelling throughout the old Russian cities and towns which have preserved intact their historical character, architecture and their original northern lifestyle you will enrich your memory with unforgettable impressions.