The North Karelia is a unique, having a virgin beauty place of Russia. In the north of Karelia there are three notable towns with rich history and ancient monuments of architecture. Kem is a small town, located in the mouth of the river of the same name, in 48 km from Belomorsk and at a distance of 434 km from Petrozavodsk. The origina name of this town appeared from word «kem» or «kyam» what is meant « the big water» ( this river was full of fishes)
By Catherine II this village became town. At that time Kem was famous its pearls. These pearls were rated highly by tsar's family. Unfortunately, there are no any pearls at the river now.
Here one can see the sights of the Uspensky cathedral, which towers above the wooden buildings of Lepoostrov in the suburb of the town. It was built in honour of the victory of Russian army over Swedes in the Northern war. It is notable that, this cathedral was built without any nails.
Besides Uspensky cathedral, there is another sigh of Kem «Blagoveshensky cathedral» - is the biggest cathedral in Karelia. Near one wooden wall of the cathedral there is a grave of merchant Antonov. He made a donation to building this cathedral.
On this island there is a monument devoted to dead soldiers in the World War II.
When somebody says about Kem, one reminds «the pantheon of Lapp», consisted of sacred Lapp stones. Such great number of the stones (they are several hundreds) was found nowhere else. The scientists think that, that they are connected with deities of ancient people or their ancestry. And not by chance these stones outwardly resemble the figure of man, animal or birds.
In 30th years of last century there was the Government of Solovezky camps and transit point of Kem, through which passed the prisoners.
In outskirts of Belomorsk are placed the largest in european part of Russia the petroglyphs. So called Demon’s track is located near the waterfall Shoiruksha and belonged to the number of historic – cultural treasury of the North Europe. It is considered, that these petroglyphs were made in IV – II centuries of B.C. For the first time it was found by student-ethnographer A. Linevsky in simmer of 1926. One of the inhabitants took him to this secret place, which, in principle, it is difficult to find in Shoirukshin Island, and showed him the rock, completely sown with strange pictures. Later it was concealed by pavilion, and then the museum “Belomorsk petroglifs”arose in this place. The rock has become the main exhibit of the establishment.
In the museum of local lore of Belomorsk is represented the original culture of native population - «pomori».
On the north – west of Karelia is located a small town with funny name «Kostomuksha», at a distance of 40 km from state border. It was appeared long ago . On the one hand, originally this place was inhabited by Lapps (the 1st millennium A.D.), hunters and fishermen, which were supplanted little by little by Karelians, which had come from the north. On the other hand, this place, once deserted and remote, rose again after he had been made the cultural center of Karelian krai. The international festival of chamber art, where gathered the famous opera and ballet stars of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and the rock-festival of the North-West Russia. To the territory of municipal education of the town Kostomuksha belongs the old village «Voknavolok». One of that settlement, where was created universally known epos Kalevala.
The reserve of Kostumuksha together with the finn nature park «Kukhmo» consist first international park «Friendship». Sights of this reserve are «Stone lake» and «Stone river», famed their various beauty.
On the north – west of the Republic of Karelia, on its highest top is placed the national park «Paanayrvy». This park represents itself a compact nature guarding territory of high importance. So wonderful landscapes, rich plants and animal world, there is an opportunity to have a rest in silent. There are a lot of fishes, many fisherman wishes to come here.
On the territory of this park there are many small rivers and lakes, brooks. Here one can fish, certainly with using of of the licence in small ponds, in the lakes Paanayarvy, Pyaozero and the Olanga river.
The Solovezky Islands are famous from of old by its nature, here everything strikes – enigmatic constructions of late Stone Age, and the famous Solovezky monastery, and proximity to Arctic circle. The distance from the island to it makes up 100 km. The archipelago consists only of 6 large islands: Big Solovezky, Anzer, Big and Small Zayazky, Big and Small Muksalma. Besides there are 100 small islands. The temperature here isn’t lower than 18C in summer and – 15C – in winter.
In 1992 the Solovezky monastery – one of the main sight of this place – is included into the list of the objects of cultural and natural heritage of UNESCO. Originally he didn’t differ from similar erections: here there are 3 wooden churches, a farm yard, several water-mills, built by a son of rich parents from village Toltvui, who decided to adopt the ascetic way of life. According to the history of erection this Cristian cloister, building began in the island for the first time in 1436, a year later the death of the discoverer of the Solovezky land, Savvaty, the pupil of Cyril Belozersky. In 1429 he with his companion came to Solovok land to give themselves up to silent life. After 6 difficult years of living in the island Savvaty died. The hermit’s relics were transferred and buried in the Spasko-Preobrazhensky cathedral of the Solovezk monastery. In the middle of 19 century the monastery became the participant of the battles with two 6-cannon frigates of the English flotilla, carrying out the expedition in the White sea. Having stayed at the monastery, the Englishmen tried to enter upon negotiations with its dwellers. However the last, having understood, that the sea document posed a threat to them and after two signal shots from the frigates, began operations. The Englishmen fired 1800 cannon-balls, which, as the captain of squadron confessed, were enough for destroying of several towns.
However the Solovetsk Monastery was not only undestroyed, but all its dwellers survive with their life. The buildings were slightly damaged. And one of the cannon-balls was found unburst behind the icon of Mother of God.
The Englishmen thought, that the rescue of Solovok was connected with God’s help. The rumor about it spread all over the world. And at once hundreds believers reached for the monastery , even the members of the imperial family, among whom were – ambassador of France in Russia Taleiran.
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