Kandalaksha, Russia

Description of Kandalaksha

Kandalaksha (Karel. Kandalakši, Kannanlakši, Kandalahti, Fin. Kantalahti, Koltta-Saami. Käddluhtt, old icelandic Handvik) is a city (since 1938) in the southwest of the Murmansk region of Russia. It is the administrative center of the Kandalaksha district and the urban settlement of Kandalaksha. Population - 31 329 people. (2018). The city is located beyond the Arctic Circle, at the base of the Kola Peninsula, deep in the Kandalaksha Bay of the White Sea. The port, the station on the railway line Petrozavodsk-Murmansk, an industrial center for the production of aluminum.


Travel Destinations in Kandalaksha

Culture, Tourism
Museum of the history of the city of Kandalaksha. The following expositions work in the museum on a permanent basis: "Crafts and life of Pomors", "Fighting in the Kandalaksha direction during the Great Patriotic War".
Museum of Nature of the Kandalaksha Reserve.
Cultural heritage sites
Stone labyrinth, 1500 BC e. (object of cultural heritage of federal significance)
Late Neolithic site, 2nd millennium BC e. (object of cultural heritage of federal significance)
A settlement dating back to the end of the Neolithic era, II millennium BC. e. (object of cultural heritage of federal significance)
Obelisk to the fallen railway workers during the Great Patriotic War (an object of cultural heritage of regional significance)
Monument to the victims of the intervention of 1918-1920 (object of cultural heritage of regional significance)
Monument to the Hero of the Soviet Union A. Spekov (object of cultural heritage of regional significance)

Embankments, squares
Friendship Alley is located in the central part of the city on the street 50 years of October. The official opening took place on December 17, 2017. On the alley are installed: a sculpture of a harp seal Grigory, a wooden sculpture "Communication" - a gift from the Finnish sister city Kemijärvi for the 500th anniversary of Kandalaksha; a sculpture created in honor of the achievements of the 50th anniversary of October, author's forged benches, a tourist sign with distances to cities. The implementation of the Friendship Alley project became possible thanks to the regional program to support local initiatives in 2017-2018.
The river embankment is located on the banks of the Niva River in the area of ​​the suspension bridge and the former Spolokhi hotel. The embankment construction project was completed in 2021.
The sea embankment "City by the White Sea" was officially opened on National Unity Day on November 4, 2022. In 2020, the project became the winner of the All-Russian competition for the best projects for creating a comfortable urban environment as part of the national project "Housing and Urban Environment".
Square near the city fountain. It was reconstructed in 2022 as part of a program to create a comfortable urban environment.
The square near the Metallurg Palace of Culture is located in the Niva-3 microdistrict. In the center of the square there is a monument to Lenin with a seating area and benches. Over the past few years, many new original art objects have appeared here: a photo frame, a piano-themed bench, and a sculpture of a rock guitarist.

Observer (1987)
Twice Born (1983)
Cuckoo (2002)
Petya on the road to the Kingdom of Heaven (2009)
Female (2010)
Freedom of Solitude (2010) - Documentary
Split (TV series 2011)



Kandalaksha is the southernmost of all cities in the region. The city is located on the coast of the Kandalaksha Bay of the White Sea, at the mouth of the Niva River, 200 km south of Murmansk, surrounded by the territory of the Zasheikovsky forestry.

The nearest settlements are White Sea (10 km), Luvenga (14 km), Nivsky (16 km) and Kolvitsa (28 km). The city includes four microdistricts: Central, Zheleznodorozhny, Niva-3 and Lesozavod.

In the vicinity of Kandalaksha there is the Kandalaksha Nature Reserve (a place for the protection of nesting colonies of seabirds on the islands of the White and Barents Seas).

It is included in the list of settlements in the Murmansk region subject to the threat of forest fires.



In 1478, the Kola North, as part of the former Novgorod Republic, became part of the Muscovite state. Kandalaksha, like other Russian volosts of the Kola Peninsula, located on the Tersky coast and in the west of the peninsula, was under the control of the governor of the Dvina land, who sent the Dvinians here, who farmed the collection of taxes from the Pomeranian population (“the tenth fish”) from the state and carried out legal proceedings according to petty offences. For the first time Kandalaksha is mentioned in documents dated 1517.

In 1526, on the right-bank side of the settlement, the Church of the Nativity of John the Baptist was built, in which the first Sami, who lived near Kandalaksha, converted to Christianity. Later, in 1548, the Kandalaksha (Kokuev) monastery was founded at the church. In 1554, Tsar Ivan the Terrible gave the monastery a charter for the surrounding land.

The payoffs gave the Dvinians great opportunities for abuse. In 1568, Kandalaksha and several other villages of the Kola Peninsula suffered from a pogrom ("Basargin pravozh") of Pomorye by Basarga Leontiev's oprichnina troops, provoked by Dvina tax-farmers.

In 1570, during these infamous events, the monastery ceased to exist. “And those varnits and places of the courtyards of Poryegubsky were deserted from the summer of 7078, from a dashing epidemic (epidemic) and from hunger and from Basargin, I got right.”

On the night of May 23-24, 1589, the Swedish troops practically destroyed the village. The monastery and peasant households were looted and burned. The survivors rebuilt the monastery, but already in 1591, Swedish and Finnish troops again invaded the Pomeranian lands. On May 23, 1598, they attacked Kandalaksha and plundered the monastery.

1742 - Kandalaksha Monastery was abolished.
Since 1785 - as part of the Kandalaksha volost of the Kemsky district of the Olonets viceroy.
Since 1796 - as part of the Arkhangelsk province.
1855 June 6 - during the Crimean War, the British attacked Kandalaksha. The inhabitants repelled the enemy attack.
1915 - construction of a pier in Kandalaksha began
November 3, 1916 - the Karelian part of the road was connected to the Kandalaksha part of the Murmansk railway.

Years of the USSR
1920 - Kandalaksha is included in the Karelian labor commune.
1927 - Kandalaksha district was formed as part of the Autonomous Karelian SSR with a center in the village of Kandalaksha.
1930 - the beginning of construction of the Niva HPP-2 - the first hydroelectric power station on the Kola Peninsula.
1931, February 10 - the first issue of the newspaper "Kandalaksha Communist" was published
1931 - the beginning of the construction of a mechanical plant
June 30, 1934 - Niva-HPP gave industrial current.
November 7, 1935 - the first stage of electrification of the Kandalaksha-Apatity railway section was put into operation.
1935 - Kandalaksha electric locomotive depot was formed; a test run of the first electric locomotive was carried out by the engineer of the Murmansk depot G. G. Ionas.
1936 - Kandalaksha wagon depot was created.
April 20, 1938 - the working settlement of Kandalaksha was transformed into a city.
May 28, 1938 - Kandalaksha and the region were withdrawn from the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and became part of the Murmansk region.
1938 - the first permanent berth in the port was put into operation.
1939, June 2 - the beginning of the construction of the Kandalaksha aluminum plant.
1941, July - in connection with the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, a fighter battalion under the command of Captain Kryachko and a regiment of the people's militia under the command of I. M. Uverov were created in Kandalaksha
1942-1944 - residents of the Kandalaksha region, together with units of the Red Army, stopped and defeated the Nazi invaders in the Kandalaksha direction during the Great Patriotic War.
1948 August - the construction and installation department "Kandalakshstroy" was formed.
1950 - Niva HPP-3 reached its full capacity.
January 28, 1951 - the first aluminum was obtained at the Kandalaksha aluminum plant.
1952, December - Niva HPP-1 gave industrial current.
1953 - the cascade of the Nivsky HPPs was created.
November 12, 1956 - the Kandalakshtransstroy trust was founded.
1971, June 6 - the museum of the history of the city was opened.
1971 - The coat of arms of the city was approved by the Kandalaksha City Council.
1974 — the Kandalaksha Heating Networks centralized heating company was founded.
1984 - for the exploits of the inhabitants of the city, the workers of the railway and the port during the Great Patriotic War, the city of Kandalaksha was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree.
In 2008, a new coat of arms of the city and the flag of the city were approved.


How to get here

By train
It is the city of Murmansk, with several connections each day in both directions. There are no train connections to Arkhangelsk. There are carriages coming all the way from Brest, Minsk and Pskov. However, it was prepared that most long distance trains arrive in the middle of the night. It is also a city of Kovdor. 1 Kandalaksha railway station is located on Murmanskaya ulitsa 1, a few blocks north of the city center.

By car
From Murmansk, St. Petersburg or Petrozavodsk on the federal highway M18 "Kola".
From Finland through the Alakurtti or Salla road crossings.



Kandalaksha is located significantly south of Murmansk, however, due to being far from the Barents Sea, its climate is more continental, and is transitional from temperate to subarctic. Summer is very short, cool; winter is colder than in Murmansk, but less snowy, but still protracted. Spring comes only towards the end of April, winter begins from the end of October. The minimum temperature -43.5 ° C - was recorded in Kandalaksha on January 8, 1985, the maximum temperature - +32 ° C - on August 1, 2018.

The average annual air temperature is 0.4 °C
Relative humidity - 80%
Average wind speed - 2.6 m/s



Industry is the most stable sector of the Kandalaksha economy. Key enterprises:
Kandalaksha aluminum smelter (branch of Rusal Ural JSC). Produces aluminum - products for the needs of the electrical industry. The plant's capacity is up to 76 thousand tons of aluminum per year.
Niva HPP-3 of the Kolsky branch of PJSC TGC-1.
Kandalaksha sea trade port.
Structural divisions of Russian Railways (including the railway station and locomotive depot). A major role in the city's economy is played by the railway transport hub - a large railway artery connecting the leading mining and metallurgical plants of the Murmansk region with the central regions of Russia.
Since 1936, the Kandalaksha experimental machine-building plant has been operating in the city. The enterprise was one of the largest Russian manufacturers and suppliers of spare parts for industrial diesel units, locomotive and marine diesel engines. In 2019, the company was declared bankrupt.

There are more than 250 trading enterprises in the city, including many food and non-food stores of federal and regional retail chains, such as Pyaterochka, Magnit, Magnit Cosmetic, Outskirts, DNS, Eldorado, Fix Price", "585", "Sports Market", "Rainbow Smile".