Northwestern Federal District
Republic of Karelia
Time: Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).
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Land and Resources: It is currently divided between the Russian Republic of Karelia, the Russian Leningrad Oblast, and Finland (the regions of South Karelia and North Karelia). The Republic of Karelia is situated in northwestern Russia and is part of the Northwestern economic region of the Russian Federation. Karelia has an area of 180 500 km2 or 1.06% of the total area of the Russian Federation. Karelia borders on Finland in the west, Leningrad and Vologda regions in the south, Murmansk Region in the north, and Arkhangelsk Region in the east. It has a coastline on the White Sea in the northeast. Karelia`s western border is 723 km long and coincides with the Russian federal border with Finland. Most of Karelia is a hilly plain with evident traces of glacial activity. The stony undulating surface also preserves traces of ancient mountains. Karelia is often descriptively called the "stony lake-forest" land, emphasizing the main elements of the landscape created by countless lakes separated by rocky areas covered with taiga forest. Forests consisting mainly of pine and spruce cover more than 49% of the republic, and water covers another 25%. There are more than 60 000 lakes and 27 000 rivers in Karelia. The largest lakes are Ladoga and Onega; the largest rivers are the Vodla, Vyg, Kovda, Kem, Suna, and Shuya.
Climate: The climate varies from marine to continental. Average February temperatures range from -9С to -13С, average July temperatures from +14С to +16С.
Transportation: The Republic of Karelia has a developed water transport system (the Ladoga, the Onega Lakes, Belomorsko-Baltic Canal, the White Sea. The highway system is not very developed. There are two airports: “Petrozavodsk”, “Pesky”, and 6 railway stations. Public transport consists of trolleybuses and buses.
Karelia (Karelian and Finnish Karjala, Swedish: Karelen), the land of the Karelian peoples, is an area in Northern Europe of historical significance for Finland, Russia, and Sweden.
The city of Petrozavodsk was founded on 11 September 1703 as Petrovskaya Sloboda by Prince Menshikov at the behest of Peter the Great who needed a new iron foundry for manufacturing cannons and anchors for the Baltic Fleet at the time of the Great Northern War.
Petrozavodsk is distinguished among other towns of North Russia by its Neoclassical architectural heritage, which includes the Round Square (1775, reconstructed in 1789 and 1839) and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (consecrated in 1832). Among the town`s landmarks are the outdoor statues of Peter I (1873) and Gavrila Derzhavin (a Russian poet who was the governor of Olonets in the 18th century).
The city has a fine frontage on the Gulf of Petrozavodsk. The modern embankment, inaugurated in 1994, displays an assortment of Karelian granites and marbles. It is lined with extravagant postmodernist sculptures presented by sister cities of Petrozavodsk from around the world. There is also a birch copse, where the first church of Petrozavodsk was built in 1703.
The church of Sts. Peter and Paul (1711) used to be the oldest in the city. Since this shrine was destroyed by fire, the Sretenskaya Church (1781) has been considered the oldest.
Petrozavodsk is home to the Karelian Musical Theatre (1955, statuary by Sergei Konenkov), Public Library of Karelia (1959), Finnish Theatre of Drama (1965), a university named after Otto Kuusinen, a conservatory, a city museum founded in 1871, and a branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The village of Shoksha near Petrozavodsk contains a quarry of red and pink limestone which was used in construction of Saint Isaac`s Cathedral and Lenin Mausoleum, among many other notable structures.
The suburb of Martsialnye Vody is the oldest spa in Russia, founded by Peter I in 1714 and visited by the Tsar on four occasions. Its name means "The Waters of Mars" in Russian. Although Peter`s palace at Martsialnye Vody has not survived, there is a museum devoted to the spa`s history.
From Petrozavodsk harbor a hydrofoil service carries people to the island of Kizhi, a World Heritage Site with an outdoor museum of ancient wooden architecture.
Statue of fishers on the Onega embankment
Round Square in Petrozavodsk downtown
Many fine examples of wooden architecture survive in Karelia, here on Kizhi island.
Ruskeala Park near Sortavala
Marble Lake in Ruskeala
Marble lake in Ruskeala
the Monument to fishermen on quay of Onega
Church in Petrozavodsk
Encarta World Atlas
http://gov.karelia.ru/ - Republic of Karelia official government site