Archangelsk is a city with the rich history. In XII century in the place of modern Arkhangelsk saint John founded Mikhailo-Arkhangelsky monastery with settlements and a quay for Archbishop of Novgorod. In 1419 the monastery was ransacked by Swedes, and in 1636 burned down and was shifted into the other place. By ukaz of Ivan the Terrible Dvinsk voevodas built a wooden fortress, striking by its grandeur and reliability, on cape Pur-Navolok on the right bank of the Dvina river in 1583-1584. Date of foundation is considered March 4, 1583. For the first time the fortress was called New city, New Kholmogorsky town, Novokholmogori, and since 1613 – Arkhangelsky town, only then the city aquired its modern name.
The city had undergone fires for many times. After one of them in 1667 the city suffered so much that it was practically destroyed. Wooden buildings dominated in the city almost till XVII century. Then gradually stone buildings appeared. The first of them, which was built in 1668-1684, is a grandiose complex of gostiny dvors, functioned at the same time as fortresses and trading centers. From epoch of Peter the Great till now Arkhangelsk is one of the largest ports in the North of Russia.
Arkhangelsk is the administrative center of the Arkhangelsk region. It is located in the mouth of the Northern Dvina river where it flows into the White sea. The area of municipal subdivision “Arkhangelsk city” makes up 29,442 ha. The city quays stretch along the river arms for 35 km. Arkhangelsk is not only the industrial center of the region, but also the cultural and historical capital of “Pomorje”, the motherland of the northern culture, traditions, history. In the city there is the Primorje State University, State Technical University, State Medical Academy. In the city there are three professional theaters: Drama Theater named after Lomonosov, Youth little theater, Puppet theater, a great number of museums and exhibition halls.
Sights of Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk Museum of Fine ArtsThis museum was founded in 1960 on the basis of art collection of Arkhangelsk Museum of local lore. The collection of that time numbered about 1500 exhibits, mostly local artists’ works and a few of old-Russian art works and some works of Russian artists, which were passed to Arkhangelsk by the Russian Emperor Academy of Arts in 1916 and the Russian State Museum in 1930. The present fund of the museum makes up 30,000 works of different schools and stylistic trends of centuries-old artistic culture of the whole Russian North. The museum has quite a full collection of works of ancient Russian painting and wooden sculpture, Old-Russian applied and decorative arts; the rich collection of northern popular art, including folk costume, embroidery and weaving, fretwork and wood painting, artistic metal and ceramics. The collection of the Russian Art of XVII – the first half of XX century includes works of almost all Russian artists. The special place is occupied by works of the Northern artists A.A.Borisov and S.G.Pisakhov. The modern art is represented by works of artists of different schools, including Arkhangelsk masters. The museum has the best collection of the modern Kholmogorskaya fretwork on bones, the famous Russian artistic trade of five-century history.
Several buildings-monuments of the architecture of XVIII-XIX centuries in the historical part of the city were passed to the museum in 1994. State museum union “Artistic culture of the Russian North” was formed on the basis of these monuments and collections of Museum of Fine Arts, and the territory, where the museum building is situated, required a status of area of special planning control “Old Arkhangelsk”.
Arkhangelsk regional museum of local lore It was founded in 1937. In that time the museum had already the large collection of exhibits. In 60—80ss it was supplemented with numerous noteworthy works. Now the fund of the museum consists of about 170 thousand exhibits. The richest collections of the museum in concentrated state expresses peculiarities and variety of the northern nature, recreate the bright history of the region since the old times till our days, depth of time and dramatic character of its fate. The regional museum of local lore has three subsidiaries: historical and regional museum in settlement Pinega and literature-memorable museum of P.A.Abramov in the native land of the writer in the settlement Verkola of Pinezhsky area.
Gostiny dvorsA part of the museum exposition is represented in the monument of the federal significance “Gostiny dvors”. It is one of a few survivor Russian unique monuments of Russian stone architecture of 17 century. The Gostiny dvor united trading and defensive functions, having become the city-forming core of the first Russian port in the northern borders. Now in the Gostiny dvor there is a museum-exhibition complex with equipped exhibition, concert and lecture halls.
Museum of art development of Arctic named after A.A. BorisovFrom the time when stretching of Russian State for the North began Arkhangelsk has always been gates to Arctic, a point of dispatching of numerous expeditions, aim of which was exploration and developing of the northern seas and lands. A.A. Borisov dispatched for the New Land just from here. The Museum named after his name has the aim to immortalize the name of the artist and contributed to revival and support of this Arctic mission of the city. Names of many Arctic earliest explorers are famous all over the world but, unfortunately, even his compatriots knew a little about Borisov, the first artist, who explored Arctic. Son of a peasant of Krasnoborsk uyezd, the outstanding artist, a pupil of I. Shishkin and A. Kuindzhi was the first who worked with a brush and palette in the most difficult conditions of the polar region. His pictures were the most valuable material for many researches of Arctic. Over 60 works of Borisov are represented in Tetjakov gallery. Conception of the museum is very interesting and unique in the world. Museum of art development of Arctic is not simply one among many picture galleries, it is an interactive, art, cultural, educational and pedagogical center, where works of many ourstanding artists, who developed Arctic, the art of Nenec nation, historical expositions with maps of sea travels of Borisov, Nansen, Amundsen, Sedov, Rusanov and other polar researches are represented. In the museum there is also an Arctic-center – a place of exchangeable exhibitions, international actions, meetings, concerts; and Northern drawing-room – a lecture-hall, a computer-room, a place of spactators’ meeting with artists, polar explorers, scientists at the same time.
Historico-memorable museum of M.V. LomonosovThe museum is situated in the wooden building of the school, which was built in 1892 in the place where M.V. Lomonosov’s native house stood. Over the entry there is an inscription: “School named after Lomonosov 1868” (the year of foundation of the school which was situated in the other building for the first time). A factory on fretwork on bones worked in 1930-s. A pond, which was dug by the scientist’s father Basil Dorofeevitch, has been preserved near the museum. Exhibits of this museum can tell visitors about the native M.V. Lomonosov’s land and his activities.
State museum of wooden architecture and popular art “Minor Karelians”The museum is unique because it is located in the open air. Establishing of this museum was carefully prepared by architectural, historical and ethnographic researches, which scientifically proved selection of monuments and their placement. The primary task of the museum is to preserve for off-springs unique works of popular architecture, to show everyday life of the northern village of the past. Over 100 ”strikingly real” religious, residential and household outbuildings of XVII-XX centuries – a lively story about everyday life and professions of northerners – stretches on the territory for 140 ha. The exposition is divided into sectors, each of which represents the most typical for Russian North a model of a settlement with full number of dwelling and household outbuildings from logged temples to bath-houses, barns and wind-mills, in a word, all is serious and realistic. Each sector is represented as a fragment of a village, where not only separate elements but also their mutual correlation with each other is important. Conception of the museum provides for establishing of six sectors, each of which is to reflect a particular type of peasants’ settlements, peculiar for reservoirs of the largest rivers of the Arkhangelsk region.