Petrozavodsk is an administrative, scientific,cultural, tourist and educational center of Karelia, its capital. The excursion in Karelia always begins with the capital, Petrozavodsk. The central highways begin from here.
Petrozavodsk was founded in 1703 it is one of the most ancient cities of the North. Birth of the city is connected with the historical event - the Swedish war. Then Peter the Great decided to erect a city, where it would be possible to build not only ships but to produce weapons. As the result the first building of the city was Petrovsky factory, built in 1703 near the Karelia river, where cannons, hand fire-arms were smelted of cast iron and iron, owing to which this land had been famous from old. The factory became the largest gun building in the country. Here near the Lososenka river was arisen the city, called at first Petrovskaya outskirt. This place got the status of city by the decree of Catherine II only in 1777. Workmen and craftsmen lived on the right shore of the water-way, and officials, merchants, factory authorities – on the left shore. The office of Olonezky district, the factory offices, the house of the superintendent and the soldier outskirt.
Petrozavodsk was always built chaotically, that is connected with the unique landscape of the area, where rocks change into plains. Probably because of quite severe north nature, and also because of farness of the city from the central part of Russia, Petrozavodsk became the place of deportation of politicians. So the poet- Decembrist F. Glinka, M. Lermontov’s friend S. Raevsky, which became later the redactor of the first newspaper in Karelia “Olonezky province gazette” served their sentence here.
The first steamboat communication with Saint Petersburg was built in Petrozavodsk in 19 century, and at the beginning of 20 century – the railway, connecting the city with Murmansk (earlier Romanov-on-Murman). In the period of the Great Patriotic war the city was almost destroyed, but in the post-war time it was rebuilt anew. The buildings of Musical and National theaters, Russian theater of drama, Public library appeared in the Soviet period. The architecture of modern Petrozavodsk hasn’t kept the memory about the buildings of the past. Unless one can see the wooden Petropavlovskaya church, located in present Kirov square and fragments of the buildings which can be met in former Round square.
The citizens experience particular pride for the Onejskaya quay, one of the sights of the city, which was completely settled in 1994. Here one can see the statue of Peter and the monuments- presents from the cities-blood brothers of Petrozavodsk. So, the composition “Fishermen”, presented by American city Dulut, considers the first gift. Then “Tubengensky panel”, very original architectural construction, the meaning of which can’t be explained even by the grantors. “The Tree of Wishes” was passed from Swedish city Umeo. According to the legend, in Sweden the analogous black tree, having little bells, fulfils wishes. Therefore crowds of the tourists are not lazy to come up to the construction and whisper something fond in its ears. They say, if one of the little bells of the Petrozavodsky tree jingles, the wish will come true. Besides this construction one can see “The wave of friendship”, “The mermaid” and “The Star Sky”
In Petrozavodsk is placed the Karelian State Museum of Local Lore, which represents nature individuality, history and culture of this town. There are here the full collection of household goods of natives Karelians, ethnic founds, delivered from archaeological digs. Museum is daily available
10:00 a.m. - 17.30 p.m.(Excluding Monday).
There is the Museum of Fine Arts, which makes up about 12 000 keeping units. Here are represented the icon paintings of Karelia of XV – XX centuries, the native art, West – Europian art, Russian art of XVIII – XX century and modern art.
The collection of icon paintings is the unique collection and have the world importance. Collection of «The Native Art of Karelia» reflects different kinds of native creative works (fretwork and painting, embroidery and weaving.
The collection of exhibits also includes the canvases of such famous Russian artists as F. Rokotov, F. Shubin, I. Aivazovsky, I. Levitan, I. Shishkin and others.
In outskirts of Petrozavodsk is located the town Kondopoga town, famous for its Assumption church, the silhouette of which is often noticed in the canvas of Russian artists, is located in the environs of Petrozavodsk. It was built on the shore of the Onega lake in 18 century. From olden times the church served as a peculiar beacon for fishermen.
Owing to its height (45 m) it was seen from several kilometers. In addition it’s impossible to mix up it with nothing else: the ascetic, harsh view – so called brand of this construction, built entirely of wood.
The tourists, preferring ecological tourism, to visit reserves Kivach and in the Marzialnie waters. The first of them attracts the tourists’ attention by its waterfalls with the same name. The flowing here quiet river Suna could to beget in its way three waterfalls. In old times much timber were ferried over the water-way. Many local legends, explaining the origin both of the river itself, and its waterfalls, are connected with this event. There are also stories, based on real events. For example it isn’t secret, that while ferrying timber very many people perished because of logjams in the river, when logs stuck between rocky shores.
The reserve is famous not only for its nature, but the museums, where one can see the exhibits of rare plants, buy the picturesque photos.
Marzialnie waters – is the first spa in Russia. The history of its development says that Konchezersky hammer worker Ivan Reboev was sent as supervisor to the Ravbog, where he found non-freezing spring. Having drunk the water, he felt that the heart disease, disquieted him, left him, about what he informed the manager of the Konchezersky factory, who, in his turn, - Olonezky commandant, colonel Villim Gennin. In that way the news came to Peter I, who, having come to the place and made sure himself of the vivifying force of the local waters, decided to organize a spa. According to the emperor’ order, the wooden palace, where Peter I rested and took treatment, was built. The wonder-working water was called “Marsial” in honour of god Mars, and Gennini in reward got from the emperor the his portrait, sprinkled with brilliants. However after Peter’s death the spa was forgotten. The scientists’ interest to the chalybeate waters, treating for anemia, heart and liver diseases, rheumatism and other diseases, sprang up again only in the Soviet period. And the second birth happened in 1964.
“Svytozersky necklace”. This place is remarkable for the great number of churches, being the evidences of Old Russian culture. “Svyatozersky necklace” are the villages of the suburbs of Svyatozer, getting this name in honor of the islet with the holy “secular fir grove”. “Svyatozersky necklace” is located in 44 km from Petrozavodsk, keeping old chapels, churches, houses. So, in the village Kotchura one can see the chapels of Coming down of the Holy Spirit to the apostles (16 century) and John the Divine (19 century). In the village Svetozer there is the old wooden Petropavlovsky chapel, in the village Manga – the chapel of Blessed Virgin’s Birth, and in the village yarn – the church in the name of the Protection, built in 1762.