Hotels, motels and where to sleep
Restaurant, taverns and where to eat
Cultural (and not so cultural) events
Interesting information and useful tips
Description of Totma
Totma is located in the eastern part of the
Vologda region. Totma is not less interesting than the neighboring
Great Ustyug, and from the tourist
point of view, this city of the Russian North, underestimated, lying
on the Sukhona River. The city, which at the present time, bears the
memory of Russian explorers and navigators who have mastered Siberia
and Russian America. Evidences of this are on every corner, be it
monuments, temples-ships of authentic Totma baroque and even an
American silver fox, unique from the point of view of Russian
heraldry, located on the city's coat of arms. The natural objects on
Sukhona are interesting in the vicinity of the city.
to the city will be especially interesting for pilgrims, travelers
who are interested in the history of Russia, lovers of auto
expeditions. The trip is better to plan for summer time.
History of Totma
It was first mentioned in the chronicles in 1137 (according to
other sources—in 1138) as the pogost of Todma (Тодма). It was
founded by Novgorodians, who used the Sukhona as the main waterway
leading to the north and eventually to the White Sea. The name
"Totma" is nevertheless of Finno-Ugrian origin, which, together with
archeological discoveries, indicates that an earlier settlement on
the site of the present town was established by the Merya people.
The original pogost was located 16 kilometers (9.9 mi) downstream of
the current location, close to the mouth of the Staraya Totma River.
In the 13th century, salt production started around Totma and the
town was relocated. In 1539, Totma was plundered by Kazan Tatars; a
fortress was built after this event. In 1554, monk Feodosy Sumorin
founded the Transfiguration Monastery. In the 16th–17th centuries,
Totma was one of the most prosperous towns of the Russian North, due
to the trade and to the salt production. In the 17th and 18th
centuries, Totma was visited several times by Peter the Great, which
was rather exceptional given the remote location of the town.
In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708
by Peter the Great, Totma was included into Archangelgorod
Governorate and named one of the towns constituting the governorate.
In the 18th century, Totma was one of the main centers of the
exploration of and the trade with Alaska. In particular, Ivan
Kuskov, the first administrator of Fort Ross, a Russian fortress in
California, was a native of Totma. In 1780, Totma became the seat of
Totemsky Uyezd of Vologda Viceroyalty, and since 1796 it was a part
of Vologda Governorate.
In the 19th century, Totma quickly
lost its significance as the foreign trade was rerouted from
Arkhangelsk to St. Petersburg and the river transportation was
gradually replaced by railways and highways. The railway from
Vologda to Arkhangelsk was constructed along the shortest way via
Konosha and bypassed Totma, while the old highway from Moscow to
Arkhangelsk never ran via Totma. Until the late 1990s, the only road
through Totma connected Vologda with Veliky Ustyug via
Nikolsk. In the second half of the 19th century,
Totma was frequently used as a destination for political exile.
On July 15, 1929, several governorates, including Vologda
Governorate, were merged into Northern Krai and the uyezds were
abolished. Totma became the administrative center of Totemsky
District, which included parts of former Totemsky Uyezd.
Paved roads connect Totma with Vologda via Kadnikov (southwest),
Veliky Ustyug via Nyuksenitsa (northeast), and Nikolsk via Imeni
Babushkina (east). Before the road between Totma and Veliky Ustyug
along the Sukhona was completed in the first decade of the 2000s,
the only connection between the towns was via Nikolsk.
Sukhona is navigable in Totma; however, there is no passenger