Arkhangelsk is a city in the north of the European
part of Russia. It is the administrative center of the Arkhangelsk
region and Primorsky municipal district. The city of regional
importance, forms the municipality of the city of Arkhangelsk with
the status of the city district. Population: 349,742 people. (2018).
Arkhangelsk is the largest city among the regions of the North of
European Russia (Arkhangelsk, Murmansk,
Vologda regions, the Republic of Komi and Karelia).
settlements founded in the 12th century by the settles from Novgorod
in 1584, by the decree of Ivan the Terrible. It was formed into the
city around the Mikhail Archangel Monastery located on the Cape
Pur-Navolok. In the middle of the next century, the monastery burned
down and was revived in a new place, to the south of the actively
constructed city. During the years of Soviet rule it was demolished,
now this place is built up with residential houses. The history of
the emergence of Arkhangelsk is reflected in its coat of arms, which
depicts Archangel Michael, traditionally striking devil with a sword
(the arms of the same subject are seen on coat of arms of Brussels
and Biala Podlaska). In Soviet times, the design of the coat of arms
was replaced with something nautical and logging subjects, but to
the 400th anniversary of Arkhangelsk, it was returned to the city,
although the composition was somewhat modernized. Interestingly, the
name of the city, despite its “ideological alienation,” did not
change during the Soviet era, while neighboring Severodvinsk, formed
around another monastery, Nikolo-Korelsky, managed to get to both
Sudostroem (Shipbuilding) and Molotovsky (after Soviet leader
Molotov) before obtaining its current name.
In 1984 he
was awarded the Order of Lenin. In 2009 he was awarded the honorary
title of the Russian Federation City of Military Glory.
Travel Destinations in Arkhangelsk
Orientation Arkhangelsk is located on the shores and islands
of the Northern Dvina. Several bridges are thrown across the river
and its arms. The historical core - the present central areas of the
city - was formed from Cape Pur-Navolok as a reference point; The
cape is located on the right bank of the river, near the place where
the large sleeve called Kuznechyk departs from it. The streets here
are either parallel to the embankment of the Northern Dvina in a
smooth semicircle, or depart from the embankment inland. Now
Arkhangelsk is divided into several urban districts:
Lomonosovsky and Oktyabrsky okrugs are central areas of the city,
the first of which is located to the south, and the second - to the
north Varavino-Factoria District - areas on the right bank in the
southeastern part of the city, in popular language Varavino and
Factoria areas Isakogorsk District - Isakogorka, a district in
the south of the city, on the left bank of the Dvina Maimaksa
district - Maimaksa, a region in the northwest beyond Solombala
Okrug May Hill - a district in the southeast, between Lomonosov and
Varavino Solombala District - the historic district of Solombala
on the left bank of the Northern Dvina Northern District - area
on the left bank north of Solombaly Tsiglomen district -
Tsiglomen, district in the west, behind Kegostrov
Most of the attractions of Arkhangelsk are concentrated on or
near four city highways: Troitsky Avenue, the Northern Dvina
Embankment, Lomonosov Avenue and Chumbarov-Luchinsky Avenue.
Something remarkable is in Solombala. Arkhangelsk has a lot of
various monuments, as well as several dozen old buildings. Each
building is carefully furnished with a large brass plate with a
brief description of the monument of architecture, so you will not
pass by. However, a coherent excursion route to these attractions
does not exist.
The most comfortable time to see Arkhangelsk is summer. During
May, June, and July the sun seems to spend 24/7 in the sky. This is
actually not so: Arkhangelsk is 300 km south of the Arctic Circle,
so it doesn't have polar days or polar nights. But prepare to be
awakened by sun peering through you window at 2 AM in summer. The
other side of this is 2-4 hours of light per day in winter.
Spring is late (snowfalls in May are quite usual), summer is
relatively warm (+20-25C), first snow comes in October or November,
winters are harsh (-20-30C, windy). From November to May, the
Northern Dvina and White Sea are covered with ice, and ship
navigation is possible with icebreakers only.
History of Arkhangelsk
Early history Vikings knew the area around Arkhangelsk as
Bjarmaland. Ohthere of Hålogaland told circa 890 of his travels in
an area by a river and the White Sea with many buildings. This was
probably the place later known as Arkhangelsk. According to Snorri
Sturluson, Vikings led by Thorir Hund raided this area in 1027.
In 1989, an unusually impressive silver treasure was found by
local farm workers by the mouth of Dvina, right next to present-day
Arkhangelsk. It was probably buried in the beginning of the 12th
century, and contained articles that may have been up to two hundred
years old at that time.
Most of the findings comprised a
total of 1.6 kilograms (3.5 lb) of silver, largely in the form of
coins. Jewelry and pieces of jewelry come from Russia or neighboring
areas. The majority of the coins were German, but the hoard also
included a smaller number of Kufan, English, Bohemian, Hungarian,
Danish, Swedish and Norwegian coins. It is hard to place this
find historically until further research is completed. There are at
least two possible interpretations. It may be a treasure belonging
to the society outlined by the Norse source material. Generally such
finds, whether from Scandinavia, the Baltic area, or Russia, are
closely tied to well-established agricultural societies with
considerable trade activity. Alternatively, like the Russian
scientists who published the find in 1992, one may see it as
evidence of a stronger case of Russian colonization than previously
The Mikhailo-Arkhangelsk monastery on Cape Pur-Navoloka was first
mentioned in the annals in 1419, when it was devastated by the
In 1553, the English navigator Richard
Chansler sailed along the White Sea to the village of Nenoksa on the
Summer Beach, and then to the Nikolo-Korelsky Monastery on the
island of Yagra (now the territory of the city of Severodvinsk).
Since that time, trade with the British and Dutch began to develop
rapidly at the mouth of the Northern Dvina.
with the threat of an attack by Sweden on March 4 (14), 1583, Ivan
the Terrible signed a decree ordering the construction of a fortress
on Cape Pur Navolok.
In 1584, which is considered the year of
the founding of the city, the governors "one year ... put the city
in the circle of the Arkhangelsk monastery" prison. The resulting
settlement was called Novokholmogory. Opposite the fortress, a
ship’s pier was built on the Dvina bank. On March 26 (April 5),
1596, the new city on Dvina was first named the Arkhangelsk city by
the monastery that was in it, and on August 1, 1613 this name was
approved in connection with the official decision on the
administrative independence of the city of Arkhangelsk from
As part of the Russian kingdom Since the late
80s. XVI century Arkhangelsk became the center of Russian foreign
trade, bringing up to 60% of the revenue of the state treasury. The
growth of trade was accompanied by the development of the city. The
dense wooden building was the cause of many fires, in one of which,
in 1637, the Mikhailo-Arkhangelsk monastery, which was named the
city, burned down.
The vigorous activity of the international
trading port contributed in the second half of the 17th century to a
change in the traditional structure of that medieval Russian city as
it was during the first century of its existence. Its center became
the port. The former center, the wooden prison, lost some of its
administrative functions, as the cottage was transferred from it to
the "stone city". By the end of the XVII century and in the
subsequent century, Arkhangelsk grew along the Dvina.
the outbreak of the Northern War, the White Sea became for Russia
the only safe trade route to Western Europe. In this regard, the
production activity of the Solombala shipyard increased.
1708, among the 8 provinces of the Russian Empire, the
Arkhangelogorod province was formed, the city became the center of
the province. The first governor was appointed Dvina governor P. A.
Beginning in 1713, Tsar Peter I began to restrict
trade through Arkhangelsk with his decrees, effectively sacrificing
his interests in favor of the new Baltic port of St. Petersburg.
Here he allowed to import only such a quantity of goods that was
necessary "for feeding the population." In 1718, Peter I issued a
decree prohibiting the export of bread and the import of most
foreign goods through Arkhangelsk.
As part of the Russian
Empire The reign of Catherine II lifted restrictions on foreign
trade through the northern gates of Russia, but the city was no
longer able to regain the status of the country's main port.
During the Napoleonic Wars and in connection with the continental
blockade of Great Britain in 1807-1813. Arkhangelsk experienced a
new economic boom, as it was the only port in Russia where British
goods could arrive. The city continued to be one of the major
In the late XIX - early XX centuries it
turned into the largest timber industry and timber export center of
the country. The city also served as an important base for the
development of the Arctic and the establishment of shipping along
the Northern Sea Route.
In 1915, under the management of the
Arkhangelsk Commercial Port, an icebreaking bureau was opened, which
included 13 icebreakers and icebreaking vessels, which laid the
foundation for the icebreaking flotilla. These vessels in winter
navigation provided for the passage of vessels from the throat of
the White Sea to Arkhangelsk.
More than two hundred polar
research expeditions departed from the berths of the port, including
V. Ya. Chichagov, F. P. Litke, V. A. Rusanov, P. K. Pakhtusov, G.
With the foundation of the port of Murmansk on the
shore of the ice-free Kola Bay in 1916, where fish processing and
ship-repair enterprises were moved over time, the city lost its
unique significance as the main northern port.
As part of the Soviet state During the Civil War, it became
the backbone of the formation of the Northern White Army under the
command of General Miller and the center of foreign intervention. At
this time, Arkhangelsk was the capital of the Northern Region. Taken
in 1920 by units of the Red Army.
The Decree of the Presidium
of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee “On the Formation of
Administrative and Territorial Associations of Regional and Regional
Significance in the RSFSR” dated January 14, 1929 from October 1,
1929, formed the Northern Territory with its center in the city of
Despite the ideology of the Soviet state and
religious connotations of the name of the city, they did not change
it. Nevertheless, the Soviet period was marked by the destruction
and demolition of many monuments of ancient architecture. Over a
dozen churches were destroyed, including the oldest buildings of the
city: the Arkhangelsk monastery with a cathedral in 1685-89, the
Christmas Church in 1696-1712, the Resurrection Church in 1699-1715,
the Trinity Cathedral in 1709-1743, the Assumption Church in 1744 .
and Transfiguration Cathedral on the island of Solombala.
During the war years, Arkhangelsk with Murmansk and Molotovsky was
one of the main ports that received cargo from the Allied countries
under Lend-Lease. Materials totaling 11.3 billion - for the USSR
(138.31 billion dollars in 2008 prices) were sent to recipients. The
first military winter was harsh; navigation began hard. The
preparation and arrangement of moorings in Arkhangelsk and Molotovsk
went in a hurry. In December, assistants to the commander of the
U.S. Navy arrived to organize permanent U.S. missions at pick-up
points. The assistant attache, Philip Warchell, led their work. By
the winter of 1942-1943, the situation in the northern directions
sharply worsened. The enemy sought to cut the Kirov railway, the
land connection with Murmansk would then be interrupted. At the
direction of the Soviet government and the People’s Commissar of the
Navy Nikolai Kuznetsov, the main recipients of Lend-Lease goods were
Arkhangelsk and Molotovsk.
In 1956, the Kuznechevsky Bridge
was opened, connecting the center of Arkhangelsk with Solombala.
After 8 years, the Severodvinsk bridge was opened, connecting the
center of Arkhangelsk with the left-bank part of the city. In 1984,
Arkhangelsk was awarded the Order of Lenin.
period In the 1990s, the city experienced a severe economic
crisis. The population of the city decreased by 70 thousand people.
In the 2000s, the first pedestrian street appeared in Arkhangelsk -
Chumbarova-Luchinsky Avenue. In 2004, the Arkhangelsk tram ceased to
exist, and after another 4 years - the Arkhangelsk trolleybus. In
March 2004, a residential building on Sovetsky Cosmonauts Avenue was
blown up by a drunk fitter, 58 people died.
In 2009, the
Drama Theater named after MV Lomonosov, the old building was
repaired and the new building of the puppet theater was built. In
2010-2012, the main educational institutions of higher education in
the Arkhangelsk region were united, according to the decree of the
Government of the Russian Federation of April 7, 2010, into the
Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after MV Lomonosov. In
2012, the following were closed in Arkhangelsk: sawmill No. 2, LDK
im. Lenin (Sawmill No. 3); in 2013 - Solombala Pulp and Paper Mill.
By plane Arkhangelsk has two airports: Talagi (ARH IATA) for
interregional flights and Vaskovo for flights within Arkhangelsk
region. Talagi is the hub for Nordavia. There are several daily
flights from Moscow (from Sheremetyevo Intl. Airport served by
Nordavia, and Vnukovo Intl. Airport served by UTair), and Saint
Petersburg (from Pulkovo Intl. Airport served by Nordavia and
Rossiya Airlines). One-way domestic flights usually range between
Apart from seasonal flights to and from a few
holiday destinations in the Mediterranean and Black Sea,
international flights are limited to services to and from Tromsø in
Talagi airport is about 25 min drive from the city
centre. The going rate for a taxi to the airport is about 200 rubles
but in the opposite direction, enterprising cab drivers ask for
around 400 rubles. Buses 12 and 12к get you from Talagi to city
centre for a mere 18 rubles but takes almost an hour and the
timetable is not optimal.
By train A slightly more
adventurous traveller will probably opt for the train, which from
Moscow's Yaroslavsky Vokzal takes about 23 h with one to two trains
per day. A train journey from Saint Petersburg clocks in at around
27 h with up to three services per week, other cities with direct
trains to Arkhangelsk includes Kotlas and Murmansk. Also, there is
one international train service from Minsk, the capital of Belarus,
every Wednesday taking three nights. As in most northern Russian
cities extra trains to and from the Black Sea usually appears during
the summer months, catering to domestic tourists but open for anyone
to use. Schedules change from year to year so check beforehand.
The train station is situated on the eastern edge of town, at
Prospekt Dzerzhinskogo 2. Buses and taxis are available and will
whisk you to the city centre in a just few minutes.
1200 km by M8 road from Moscow via Yaroslavl and Vologda, and you
are in Arkhangelsk (couple of hundreds km more if you drive from St
Petersburg). The road is paved, but its quality wishes to be much
By ship Archangelsk is a significant commercial
and fishing port acting as well as a gateway to Northern Sea Path
(Северный морской путь). But there are no any regular ship
connections with Arkhangelsk excluding river commuter ships.
Get around Arkhangelsk is spread for 42 km via Northern Dvina
river and has even several islands with no bridge connection
included into its metropolitan zone. So getting around certain
districts can be complicated. But all main attractions are located
in the center and can be explored by foot.
transportation is represented with buses and marshrutki (shared
minibuses). It is difficult to use without knowing Russian.
River transport is active during the summer season to connect river
island vicinities with the city center.
service connects several suburbs with the city, but is interesting
mainly for locals keeping their dachas. Each destination usually
have one train in the morning and one in the evening.
around by car or taxi is probably the best way to explore
Arkhangelsk. Taxis are inexpensive and could be found near most
attractions. Car rental service is represented by local providers
All means of transport including taxis reduce their
activity significantly after evening rush-hours. This can be
especially sensitive in winter, so do not allow yourself to stay
half an hour on a -30C frost - order taxi by phone.
Most tourists visit Arkhangelsk as a transit point to Solovetsky
Islands, so the sleeping infrastructure there is quite scarce and
oriented mostly on business visitors.
Belomorskaya Hotel. Built for budget tourists during Soviet times,
still offers typical Soviet way of service. Located between city
center and the railway station. Cheapest rooms have shared
bathrooms. from 990 rubles per night. 2 Hotel Meridian. Located
between city center and Solombala, with shared bathrooms in cheapest
rooms. from 1040 rubles per night.
Midrange: 3 Hotel
Dvina, ☎ +7 8182 28-70-98, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A Soviet-time
12-floor building was renovated recently and is the best location
right in the center but still lack in service and comfort. 3 stars.
From 2300 rubles per night. 4 Pur-Navolok Hotel. Probably, the
most comfortable and expat-friendly hotel in the city, located in
the center on the embankment of Northern Dvina. 4 stars. From 3000
rubles per night. 5 Business Center Hotel. A new 4-star hotel,
located in the center of the city. 6 Malye Karely, ☎ +7 (8182)
462472, e-mail: email@example.com. Located near the Malye Korely
museum, 24 km from city center, this hotel offers both room and
cottage accommodation, as well as handful of daily activities like
skiing in winter etc. From 2100 rubles per night.
1 Biblio-cafe (Кофейня "Высотка"), Lenin square. A nice
caffeterie in the heart of the city. Shared with a library and
performed with old books and writers' portraits on walls. Lovely
place for a cup of coffee. 2 Treskoed (Трескоед), prospekt
Chumbarova-Luchinskogo, 8, ☎ +7 8182 44-03-02. An authentic
restaurant of traditional Arctic fish cuisine. Menu includes both
Russian and Norwegian dishes, the prices are reasonable, and all
information is accessible in English and Norwegian.