Northwestern Federal District
Time: Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).
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Land and Resources: Arkhangelsk Oblast includes Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya islands, and also Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Cape Fligely (the northermost point of Russia, Europe and Eurasia) and Cape Zhelaniya (the easternmost point of Europe) administratively belong to Arkhangelsk Oblast. Arkhangelsk Region is located in northern European Russia and borders on the Republic of Karelia and Vologda and Murmansk regions. The region has a total area of 589 900 km2, 39% of which is occupied by forests, 24.2% by reindeer pasture, 19% by islands, 1.3% by arable land, and the remainder by rivers, bogs, and lakes. The basins of large rivers like the Northern (Severnaya) Dvina, Vaga, Pinega, Onega, and Mezen are located within the region. Permafrost is widespread in the northeast.
Climate: The climate is characterized by severe winters and relatively short cool summers owing to its proximity to the three Arctic seas and the Arctic Ocean. Winter temperatures can reach -26 °C, while average July temperatures are +14 to +16 °C. The nearness of the ocean and frequent changes of air masses cause unstable weather and considerable cloudiness. The white nights begin in mid-May and last for 80 days. Fogs are frequent on the White Sea coast. The vegetation period ranges from 10 days in the northeast to 110 days in the south.
Transportation: Arkhangelsk was the chief seaport of medieval Russia. Today, Arkhangelsk remains a major seaport, now open year-round due to improvements in icebreakers. There are also two airports and a railway station. Public transport of Arkhangelsk consists of buses and marshrutkas. There are a lot of bridges across Severnaya Dvina.
Unlike other Russian regions, Arkhangelsk Region`s cultural heritage is truly Russian. It is only in the North, which escaped the Tatar-Mongol invasions, that the traditions of the forebears of the coast dwellers were preserved, traditions that were expressed in works of art, sculpture, and Old Russian arts and crafts (native dress, embroidery, wood carving and painting, decorative metalwork, and ceramics). Examples of all these arts can be seen in the Arkhangelsk Regional Museum of Fine Art, which was established in 1960 and is one of Russia`s major art museums. The museum`s collection numbers about 30 000 works of domestic art created between the 14th century and the present. Other works can be seen in Arkhangelsk Regional Museum of Local Lore, which has gathered a unique collection of 200 000 items since it was founded in 1837. Its exhibits include works relating to the archeology and ethnography of the northern peoples, the history and culture of the territory from ancient times to the present, Arctic exploration, shipbuilding, Old Russian and decorative arts and crafts, and numismatics (coins) and bonistics (paper money). However, it is not only museum exhibits that can tell us about the territory`s history. For example, there is the Northern Russian State Academic Folk Chorus of Arkhangelsk. Another group, the White Sea (Beloe more) Contemporary Folk Music Ensemble has been delighting city residents for four years. Its musicians are notable for trying to reflect the diversity of contemporary music that is possible on Russian folk instruments. More exacting audiences will not be disappointed by a visit to the Arkhangelsk State Chamber Orchestra that currently presents programs consisting of popular baroque and classical compositions adapted for a string orchestra.
Mikhail Lomonosov came from a Pomor village near Kholmogory. A monument to him was installed to a design by Ivan Martos in 1829. A monument to Peter I was designed by Mark Antokolsky in 1872 and installed in 1914.
A maritime school, technical university, and a regional museum are located in the city. After its historical churches were destroyed during Stalin`s rule, the city`s main extant landmarks are the fort-like Merchant Yards (1668–84). The Assumption Church on the Dvina embankment (1742–44) was rebuilt in 2004.
A remarkable structure is also Arkhangelsk TV Mast, a 151 metres tall guyed mast for FM-/TV-broadcasting built in 1964.
Historically the Solovetsky islands have been the setting of the famous Russian Orthodox Solovetsky Monastery complex. It was founded in the second quarter of the 15th century by two monks from the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery. By the end of the 16th century, the abbey had emerged as one of the wealthiest landowners and most influential religious centres in Russia. The existing stronghold and its major churches were erected in stone during the early reign of Ivan the Terrible at the behest of St. Philip of Moscow. At the onset of the Schism of the Russian Church, the monks staunchly stuck to the faith of their fathers and expelled the tsar`s representatives from the Solovki, precipitating the eight-year-long siege of the islands by the forces of Tsar Alexis. Throughout the imperial period of Russian history, the monastery was renowned as a strong fortress which repelled foreign attacks during the Livonian War (16th century), Time of Troubles (17th century), the Crimean War (19th century), and the Russian Civil War (20th century). In 1974, the Solovetsky Islands were designated a historical and architectural museum and a natural reserve of the USSR. In 1992, they were inscribed on the World Heritage List "as an outstanding example of a monastic settlement in the inhospitable environment of northern Europe which admirably illustrates the faith, tenacity, and enterprise of later medieval religious communities". Today, the Solovki are seen as a major tourist magnet in the orbit of the Russian North. One can get to the islands either by ship from Kem or by plane from Arkhangelsk.
Quay of Northern Dvina, Arkhangelsk
the Arkhangelsk State Technical University
Encarta World Atlas
http://www.dvinaland.ru/ - Official Site of the Arkhangelsk Region Administration