Northwestern Federal District
Time: Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD).
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Land and Resources: It is situated in northwestern Russia 500 Km (311 mi) from Moscow and borders on the Republic of Karelia, and Arkhangelsk, Kostroma, Yaroslavl, Tver, Novgorod, and Leningrad regions. The region occupies the territory of 145.7 thousand square km, which is equal to the territories of Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland taken together. The Vologda territory is crossed by important ways connecting the central Russia with the Urals and Siberia. The rivers flowing through the region`s territory carry their waters to the Baltic, White and Caspian seas.
Climate: The region`s climate is moderate-continental: a cold snowy winter is followed by a short summer.
Transportation: The city of Vologda is the largest in the region and one of the most important in the North of Russia junctions of railways, automobile roads and airways. It is a river port that stands on the river with the same name.
Today Vologda Region is one of the important cultural and economic centers of Russia`s North-West. Vologda takes its name from the Vologda River which flows through the city. It`s name is of likely Finno-Ugrian origin. Vologda was first mentioned in Novgorod chronicles for 1147, when Saint Gerasim found a church and village already standing there.
The modest colors of Vologda landscape, its epic spaciousness and almost primordial stillness have the charm of its own. The region is famous for the number and significance of its historical and cultural monuments: the Vologda Kremlin; Spaso-Prilutsky, Kirillo-Belozersky, St. Ferapont, St. Michael and Archangel monasteries. Ancient towns of Vologda, Veliky Ustiug, Totma, Ustiuzhna, Belozersk and Kirillov are well known all over the country. Dionisy`s frescos in the Nativity of the Virgin Cathedral of St. Ferapont monastery are real treasure among the monumental fine art works. The largest region`s museums are Vologda and Veliky Ustiug historical, state protected museums, the Region Picture Gallery, Cherepovets museum association, Kirillo-Belozersky state protected museums: Totma, Vytegra and Ustiuzhna museums of local lore.
The poet K. Batyushkov, artist A. Vereshchagin, "King of reporters" V. Gilyarovski, modern writers and poets: A.Yashin, V.Tendryakov, S. Orlov, V. Shalamov, V. Astafiev, V. Belov, N. Rubtsov, and O. Fokina have brought the fame to the Vologda land.
A special monument was erected on the common grave of Leningradians who perished on the "road of life". For these three years of war Vologda remained one of the most important medical centres for three fronts. That period of the city`s history is marked by numerous memorial boards attached to buildings where hospitals were situated in war-time.
Vologda`s Saint Sophia, consecrated in 1570, was one of the largest cathedrals built in Russia up to that time. Its superb frescoes were painted in 1686–1688 by Dmitry Plekhanov from Yaroslavl. A lofty octagonal belltower was added in 1654–1659 and built up in the nineteenth century. A local museum occupies the neighbouring Treasury chambers (1659). The main points of interest outside Kremlin walls are the eighteenth century baroque churches and the nineteenth century Neoclassical mansions.
Most structures in the Spaso-Prilutsky Monastery date back to the 16th century.
Just two kilometers from the historic centre of Vologda stands the Spaso-Prilutsky Monastery, founded in 1371 by one of Sergii Radonezhsky`s disciples. With Dmitry Donskoy as its patron, the monastery quickly developed into the richest landowner in the neighbourhood. Its five-domed cathedral was erected in 1537–1542. Almost all other structures—a refectory, a winter church, holy gates with a barbican—were also constructed prior to the Time of Troubles, when the cloister was occasionally besieged by the Polish units and gangs of brigands. The time of anarchy over, the monastery`s thick walls and towers were renovated. Soviet authorities banished the monks and turned the cloister into a museum. Some remarkable specimens of early wooden architecture were transported here from distant villages of the Vologda region.
There is also a small museum of Peter the Great.
Spaso-Prilutsky Dimitriev Monastery
Kirillov. Kirillo-Belozersky monastery
Belozersk. Old gate in a rampart
Velikiy Ustyug. Father Frost's patrimony
Encarta World Atlas
http://www.vologda-region.ru/ - the official site of Vologda region