Kargopol is located in the south-west of the
Arkhangelsk region, in Zavolochye, and is among the most interesting
cities of the Russian North. It was found on Onega in the XII
century and about 400 years ago it was one of the ten most important
cities in Russia. Having survived the heyday, Kargopol gradually
faded away and would have turned into a little-known northern town,
if not a couple of remarkable temple ensembles were preserved in it.
But this is not all: a lot of wooden churches around the city,
magnificent landscapes and the nearby
Kenozersky National Park are a
good reason to spend at least a few days in these parts.
Travel Destinations in Kargopol
In Kargopol there are two first-class ensembles of temple
architecture - the Old Torg and the New Torg. The Resurrection
Church, located next to the remains of the fortress, also deserves
attention. The historical buildings of the end of the 19th –
beginning of the 20th century are, on the whole, inexpressive, but
constitute a rather solid ensemble of wooden and stone low-rise
buildings with the same low-rise intersperses of buildings of the
Soviet era. Historical houses are easily found by information signs,
and at the intersections there are signs with old street names:
Bazaiha, Potanikha, Poltonikha, Ponomariha, Shelkovnya. The
Stalinist Kargopol is represented by wooden barracks on the southern
outskirts of the city.
Except for the neighborhoods and
museums, a cursory inspection of the main monuments of the city
should be enough for 2-3 hours.
It is not clear when Kargopol was founded, but, when first
chronicled in 1146, it was a trade station of the Novgorod Republic
and one of the most northerly permanent Slavic settlements. Although
documentation for its early history is scarce, it is believed that
Kargopol was the most significant trade center of Bjarmaland
throughout the 13th and 14th centuries. In 1447, it was the place
where Dmitry Shemyaka found refuge from Vasily II's ire.
Situated on the ancient route between Moscow and Arkhangelsk (then
the only Russian seaport), Kargopol became one of the most
prosperous cities of Russia, especially after the Muscovy Company
started to operate in the mid-16th century. During the Time of
Troubles it withstood a siege by Polish and Lithuanian brigands. The
peasant rebel Ivan Bolotnikov was executed in Kargopol in 1608.
After Russia regained access to the Baltic Sea and St.
Petersburg was founded, Kargopol gradually faded to obscurity.
However, the people of Kargopol were still active in the exploration
of Asian Russia. Alexander Baranov, the first governor of Russian
America (Alaska), was born in this town.