What to see first of all in Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk is one of the most interesting destinations of the Russian north. It is surrounded by the most beautiful northern nature, and the center and surroundings are full of sights, through which the rich five-century history of the city is revealed. In addition, it is quite easy to get here from Moscow and St. Petersburg, which makes it a great option for a weekend. For 1-2 days, a busy itinerary through the compact center is fine, but over a longer period, you can also visit remote atmospheric neighborhoods and suburbs. How to plan the perfect walk and what not to miss is in this post.
A pedestrian avenue in the center of the city collected the most typical buildings of Arkhangelsk’s wooden architecture. Some houses have been moved and some reconstructed, most of them belong to XIX-beginning of XX century. In addition to them on the avenue are placed modern monuments, dedicated to the characters of fairy tales, so look carefully at all the details.
The mothballed section of the street is reminiscent of what its appearance was like before the drastic changes, destruction and rebuilding, and takes you back to the merchant pre-revolutionary center.
One of the buildings on Chumbarova-Luchinskogo that was fully reconstructed. The historic architectural monument was demolished due to the widening of the avenue where the building was originally located. Marfin House was built in 1865 and became a cultural club. During the Soviet era, it was home to meetings of the Soviets, then a theater, a movie theater and now a museum that hosts various exhibitions. Although it has been reconstructed with minor changes, it gives an idea of the local architecture of the XIX century and successfully complements the look of the street.
The building of design organizations is the tallest building in Arkhangelsk called Arkhangelsk high-rise. It was built in the 1980s in the style of Soviet modernism and is one of the brightest examples of Soviet local architecture and has even become a symbol of the city. It used to house design organizations, now it is a business center.
The Severnaya Dvina embankment is a point of attraction for locals and tourists, and for good reason. This is the most picturesque place of the city, along which is located a dozen historical and modern attractions. For example, a monument to Peter with a 500-ruble bill, the Assumption Church and new sculptures, with which everyone is photographed. The entire walking area is landscaped with benches and swings, and there is even a beach closer to the temple. Especially beautiful on the waterfront at sunset.
For a full immersion in the history of the city and the optimal walking route, I recommend excursions from locals. There are both individual and group tours of the center and surroundings. You can choose and order on the trusted portal Tripster.
Monument to the rescue seal
There are many modern monuments on the embankment, for example, a monument to the seal. In the war in Arkhangelsk and in the besieged Leningrad the greatest number of people died of hunger. The daily bread allowance at one point was the same in both cities – 125 grams per day. Then it was decided to resume the seal hunt. Fat and fat of seals really saved thousands lives of Arkhangelsk and Leningrad inhabitants. And although the idea of such a monument appeared just after the war, it was established relatively recently – in 2010.
Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The church of the Assumption is actually a reconstructed church. The original 1740 version was demolished during the anti-church campaign of the 1930s. The church was a unique example of the so-called Arkhangelsk baroque, as well as the dominant feature of the Severnaya Dvina embankment. In the 2000s, the church was restored at the same location based on historical photographs.
The embankment ends at the Kuznechevsky bridge, which goes to the historic Solombala district. It’s quite atmospheric, but doesn’t have any special sights, so if you’re limited on time, it’s better to continue your walk in the center without crossing the bridge.
Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
St. Nicholas Church is a beautiful building in the historic center. The decor uses the Maltese cross and Western ornaments, which is especially unusual to see in northern Russia. Before the revolution, this is where sailors would come in before setting out to sea. Although it was misused for a long time during the Soviet era, the building has now been restored to its original appearance.
Metochion of St. Nicholas Monastery
Next door is the suburbs of Nikolo-Korelsky Monastery, where clergy used to live, there were trading stores, granaries and storerooms. This is an excellent and rare example of a XIX century neo-Russian building, of which there are not so many surviving in the city. However trading shops at the monastery have been here since the beginning of the XVIII century, and were called Yurievy zvoz. The convenient and crowded location made them the main trading place of pre-revolutionary Arkhangelsk.
Arkhangelsk Gostiny Dvor is both a commercial and defensive building. It was built back in 1684, although after that it was reconstructed more than once. Originally the complex was much larger, but now only one of the four buildings remains.
Arkhangelsk is called the “first window to Europe”, and indeed until the 18th century international trade flourished here, and the main trading rows were just in the Gostiny Dvor. After St. Petersburg was founded, trade through the port of Arkhangelsk was legally restricted in order to give development to trade relations through St. Petersburg. After that and the Gostiny Dvor gradually began to fall into disrepair. Now the building has been restored and is occupied by the Museum of Regional Studies, which is said to be the best museum in the city.
One of the unique features of the city is the wooden architecture. However, there are preserved not individual houses, but whole neighborhoods of wooden architecture. Be sure to take a walk around Rosa Luxemburg Street and Lomonosov Street. For the most part these buildings were built in the XX century, but you can also find examples from the XIX century and people still live in them. Every now and then there are houses with mezzanine, mansard, unique carved decor, casings, and turrets. The planning and functionality were carefully thought out during construction. Unfortunately, not all of them are in good condition now, so you must have time to see this open-air museum with your own eyes.
Monument to Peter I
The monument to Peter the Great on the embankment of the Northern Dvina is remarkable for two reasons. Firstly, it is familiar to everyone, as it is depicted on the 500-ruble banknote. Secondly the monument is placed in the historical place of Arkhangelsk. By the way for three decades the monument was removed as a “symbol of tsarism”, but then he returned and now decorates the embankment.
The sea river port is another example of Soviet modernist architecture. The building was built in the 1970s in the shape of a ship and appeared on the 500-ruble bill. Now it is not used as intended and has not been restored for a long time.
Cathedral of the Archangel Michael
The oldest and most beautiful cathedral in Arkhangelsk was demolished in 1931. In 2005 it was decided to rebuild the church, but at a slightly different location and according to a different project. In 2020, construction was completed, and the church became the main cathedral, a new landmark and a high-rise dominant.
Monument to Kuznetsov
The monument to Admiral Kuznetsov is relatively new – it was installed in 2010. Nikolai Kuznetsov commanded the Soviet Navy during the Great Patriotic War. His main merits include mobilization of the fleet before the war and the successful repulsion of enemy attacks. The figure is installed on the embankment, and the admiral’s gaze is directed to the Northern Dvina River.
The central square is surrounded by mostly Soviet buildings, as it was formed only in the 1970s during the redevelopment and demolition of other buildings. Although there used to be no square here, the place has always been a center of attraction because of the Resurrection Church and the City Duma. They were torn down back in the 1930s and replaced with new buildings that didn’t survive. Now there is also an administrative building. By the way, the Lenin monument on the square is the last one made in the Soviet Union.
From the main embankment departs Popova Street, on which the half-destroyed Surkov Brewery is located. Now the complex of buildings is being restored, after which there will be a fashionable space inside. The factory was built at the end of the XIX century and is an excellent example of pre-revolutionary industrial architecture. After it was nationalized in the Soviet times, the factory produced “Zhigulyovskoye” beer and “Buratino” lemonade. The last 30 years the complex was abandoned.
In the last decade really interesting modern architectural projects started to appear in Arkhangelsk. Most of them are concentrated on the embankment near Prigorodnoye River Station. The first floors are occupied by cafes and stores, while the upper floors are occupied by apartments.
The building of the Glavpochtamt on Lenin Square was built in 1930s in a constructivist style. It appeared due to the first restructuring of the historic trading square and replaced the English garden. Now, together with other administrative buildings, the Glavpochtamt building creates the Soviet look of the square.
Beyond the red Kuznechevsky bridge begins the historic Solombala neighborhood. There are no major attractions here, but there are atmospheric courtyards, a quiet promenade and cozy nooks. From the opposite bank in Solombala, you can see Russia’s first shipyard, which still exists today.
If you are in Arkhangelsk for more than 1 day, be sure to go to the ethnographic open-air museum “Malye Korely”. You can get there by bus or by car in 40 minutes. If you are going to Arkhangelsk for more than 1 day, go to the ethnographic open-air museum “Malye Korely” by bus or by car for about 40 minutes.
Unique architectural monuments of wooden architecture from the whole Arkhangelsk region were brought here. The interiors of ancient huts are reproduced inside, household items of peasants are collected, and the decoration of churches is recreated. It is hard to believe that some buildings exist from the 16th century.
Even if you are not interested in architecture and history, Malye Korely is a great place for walks. Wooden bridges, stairs, pavilions and benches along the way will allow you to walk comfortably surrounded by woods and ponds.
Severodvinsk is a former closed city not far from Arkhangelsk. You can get to it either by bus or by train. The train goes longer, but passes through deep forests, picturesque rivers and small villages.
Severodvinsk is unique with wooden buildings in the city center. There are also several interesting monuments of Stalin’s classicism. However, the main reason to go there is the White Sea beach. It is located on the island of Yagry, which can be reached by public transport. On a trip to Severodvinsk is worth allocating one full day.
This option will be suitable only for those who move by car or are ready to order a tour. Unfortunately, Novodvinsk fortress is hard to reach and relatively abandoned, which, in turn, gives it a special charm. The fortress was founded by Peter I in 1701 and at that time was considered the most impressive and equipped in Russia. It participated in the defeat of the Swedish troops, who attacked Arkhangelsk in the Northern War.
For several centuries the fortress is not used for its intended purpose and practically has not been restored. Preservation of fortifications leaves much to be desired, but all the buildings can be seen in their original form.
Make a walking itinerary with all the places of interest from the post, you can use the map:
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20 main places of interest in Arkhangelsk
The city of Arkhangelsk since its foundation was of strategic importance to the country. At the same time, its remote location from other cultures has affected its self-development: there are still many distinctive things here. This applies to thematic museums like the Northern Sea Museum or the Philharmonic, which occupied the abandoned Lutheran church.
The locals do not forget, thanks to whom the best pages of their history were written. There are many statues, monuments and memorials in the city. You can also visit monuments to Peter I, the seal – an animal that kept Arkhangelsk from dying out of hunger and to prominent countrymen.
Tourists should visit theaters and religious institutions. Each of them has its own special feature, which allows to separate this object from the others. For example, the St. Nicholas Church is notable for its atypically brightly painted walls.
What to see and where to go in Arkhangelsk?
The most interesting and beautiful places to walk. Photos and a brief description.
Open Air Museum of Wooden Architecture. Was founded in 1964, but began to take tourists only in 1973. Stands on the shore of the Northern Dvina. The area of the complex is about 140 hectares. Buildings of different years and territories are collected in the framework of the project. The collection also includes art objects of local nations. The namesake tourist center works. Malye Korely is the cultural heritage object of the Russian Federation.
Built in the second half of the XVII century. The building performed defensive and commercial functions. Subsequently, some of the walls were demolished. It needed restoration to prevent the destruction. The Gostiny Dvor has been declared an architectural monument of federal importance. The local history museum moved here in 1981. The exhibition tells about the city and its surroundings. There are interactive programs and guided tours.
It is considered the birthplace of the city. The first Russian port was founded here. The area was strategically important and was used for both defense and trade. In 1984, in honor of the 400th birthday of Arkhangelsk on the cape established a monumental composition. In the center is the bow of a rook, which docked to the shore. Nearby is a partially preserved fortress, which gave the beginning of the city.
Severnaya Dvina embankment
One of the main streets of the city. The length is 7.5 km on the right bank of the river. In the past was named after Stalin, Stalin and Lenin. This is a place of rest for citizens, where all sorts of events in honor of major holidays are held. The festival of street theaters is held there every year in June. There are several monuments: to the Solovetsky Young Men, Admiral Kuznetsov, the seal and to the victims of the intervention.
It is located in the central part of the city. Length – 1200 meters. Its former name was Pskovsky Prospekt. It was renamed in honor of the activist and revolutionary. It is partially closed to vehicles. It is considered a street-museum, as it has many monuments and iconic buildings. Among others: an object of cultural heritage – the House of commercial meetings, as well as a statue of the storyteller Stepan Pisakhov.
The building of design organizations
Built in the center of the city. Being 24-storey, it is the highest in the region. It stands on the site of a merchant’s mansion. The project was finished by the 400th birthday of Arkhangelsk in 1984. Initially the building was used for government needs. After the collapse of the Soviet Union it was turned into an office building. Since 2010 the lower part and the mast are equipped with lighting. It is turned on both at night and on holidays.
Church of the Assumption
This church was founded in 1624. In the middle of XVIII century a bell tower was built. The ground beneath it sagged, and the structure began to look fall down. The church didn’t exist long after it was repaired and was destroyed by Bolsheviks. Since the foundations were preserved, in 1989 it was decided to rebuild the church which was consecrated in 2008. The main relic is the icon of the Assumption of the Mother of God, which is considered miraculous.
Church of St. Nicholas
Year of construction – 1904. It has always been bright and stood out among the other buildings, even when it was closed. After Khrushchev visited the city the facade was repainted in neutral colors. In the mid-90s, restoration work began, which returned the church to its former appearance and the original wall paintings. The iconostasis is gilded, as well as the domes. There are 14 bells in the bell tower and the largest one weighs 530 kg.
Northern Maritime Museum
It was founded in the 70s of the XX century. Mini-exhibitions tell about the city itself, the development of the coast, shipping routes, the region’s main ports, maritime science, the Great Patriotic War. Expositions are regularly updated. The total number of exhibits of different departments is 20 thousand. In 2009 and 2010 the funds were moved to other exhibition halls in the area during the restoration of the museum building.
Museum of Fine Arts
It was opened in 1960. Its collection is based on the collection of two museums: local history and history and art museum. One of the most interesting is the department of Old Russian art, where there are more than 5 thousand copies. There are also many other areas, such as folk art. Among others, there are pictures by Shiryaev, Lukoshkov and Kotov. Up to 30 exhibitions take turns during a year.
The manor house of E. Plotnikova
Built around 1794. Originally the estate consisted of two stone houses. A century later, the owner was changed. Shingarev began to rebuild the property, deciding to make the house a single unit. The homestead changed again in the early 20th century, just under the supervision of Plotnikova. Currently it has the status of an architectural monument. Since 1994, the Museum of Fine Arts is located here.
Museum of Art Exploration of the Arctic named after A. A. Borisov. A. A. Borisov
The first exhibition was opened to the public in 2002. The museum was named after the polar artist. He participated in expeditions and through his paintings allowed many people to see the Arctic. Borisov’s works formed the basis of the museum’s collection. Currently, there are five halls. In the first one you can see maps and routes of expeditions, and in the rest – the work of Borisov and his followers.
Lomonosov Drama Theater. Lomonosov
The year of its foundation is 1932. The building of the theater was built in 1846, but there was no permanent city troupe. Arkhangelsk hosted touring groups until it acquired its own. The first production was based on Gorky’s At the Bottom. Since 1961 it is named after Lomonosov. Throughout practically all the noughties the reconstruction was underway, which was delayed because of the lack of financing.
Pomorskaya Philharmonic Hall
Located in the building of the former St. Catherine Lutheran Church in the center of the city. Cultural institution was founded in 1937. The building had been empty for almost 20 years. Present appearance of the chamber hall has acquired in the 80s, when it was reconstructed. In 1991, the German masters installed an organ in the Philharmonic Hall, which greatly increased the attractiveness of local concerts.
Arkhangelsk Puppet Theater
It was founded in 1933. First 30 years of its existence was situated on the 3rd floor of the Drama Theater building. Afterwards the theater got its own building. The troupe regularly tours, including in Europe. There are about 30 performances in the repertoire. The theater is the founder of the annual international festival “Snail”. There is a youth studio and literary lounge.
Monument to Peter I
Installed in 1914. It is one of the smaller copies of the classic work of sculptor Antokolsky. The total height – 7.5 meters. The height of the statue – 2.5 meters. On three sides of the pedestal there are dates of three visits to Arkhangelsk by the emperor. On the fourth – the year of the competition related to the creation of the monument. It is made of granite in Paris. It is depicted on the 500 ruble bill.
Monument to the seal
It was opened in 2010 on the quay of Northern Dvina. The idea to establish a monument to the seal came up right after the war. In those years only thanks to hunting these animals people in the starving city could survive. In addition the fat was used in medicine and for wiping guns on ships. Igor Skripkin was fully responsible for the project. Buried at the base of the monument is a time capsule with the names of those who contributed to the monument.
It is located on the embankment of the Northern Dvina, in the place where the river flows into the White Sea. These places are depicted on the 500 rubles bill. It has been accepting ships since 1972. In addition to the river and sea, here converge other transport arteries of the city. During the WWII it was the only port that received foreign medicines and weapons. In the building of the station still operates one of the most popular restaurants of the city – “North”.
Severodvinskiy and Kuznechevskiy bridges
Built in 1964 and 1956 respectively. Kuznechevsky is bridged over the Kuznechikha River. It is a pedestrian and automobile. Refers to the type of suspension-girder. The total length – 385 meters and a width of 20 meters. Severodvinskiy connects the banks of the Northern Dvina. It has railroad tracks, there are also lanes for cars and pedestrians. Its length is 1098 meters. The most northern of the drawbridges on the planet.
Founded by Peter I and was built in the early years of the XVIII century. It was built on the island of Linsky Priluk. Its original purpose was to defend against the impending attack of the Swedes. After about 150 years from the time of commissioning, it was abolished. In Soviet times it was a penal colony for children, then a correctional facility for adults. Now belongs to the local history museum. It has the status of a cultural heritage site of the Russian Federation.
Complete the article, describe your impression of the city (country) or a single landmark.