With this article I am starting a new category on this blog: “Travel”. In it, I will share with you the places I have visited and the impressions that these places have left.
I am especially pleased to start a new category from the place where I was born. As I already wrote about myself, I was born in the city of Arkhangelsk, which is located in the north of Russia.
Arkhangelsk is a fairly large city, a regional center of the Arkhangelsk region, located at the mouth river of the Northern Dvina. Its population for 2020 is about 350 thousand people.
On this, perhaps, I will finish with the reference information; I do not want to compete with Wikipedia. 🙂 I’d better tell you about Arkhangelsk from the point of view of its inhabitant, which I had been for more than 20 years. I will also try to consider some urban aspects, such as architecture, sights and events taking place in Arkhangelsk.
The article will use photos from my Instagram, as well as those taken on the phone personally by me or my sister.
Life in Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk is a fairly “green” city when compared with many other cities.
It has a long and beautiful promenade, so in summer many residents love to walk along it, as well as ride bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards and so on.
On the central city beach, you can sunbathe in summer, and various volleyball competitions are periodically held there.
Unfortunately, experts do not recommend swimming in the river at present due to the fact that the water was polluted by the frequent crossing of logging on water.
In winter, few people walk along the promenade because of the cold wind that blows next to the river. In addition, a large amount of snow often falls in Arkhangelsk, which, having thawed a little, makes the walk too slippery or wet.
Therefore, in winter, many residents of Arkhangelsk prefer skiing. You can ride at ski stadiums located near the city, and directly along the river, when it is covered with a thick layer of ice.
Since Arkhangelsk is one of the largest northern ports, shipping is historically developed here. Some ordinary residents of the city also have their own boats or yachts, which they sail when the weather permits.
Other residents of Arkhangelsk have their dachas near the city and in the warm season they go there to rest, grill barbecue and swim (if there is a river next to the dacha).
There are several universities in Arkhangelsk, the largest of which is NArFU (Northern (Arctic) Federal University), which, by the way, I graduated from.
In addition, there are medical, maritime and technical institutions of higher and secondary specialized education.
Many adults in the city work in the timber processing or fishing industry. The leading role in the industry of Arkhangelsk belongs to the timber industry, which is the basis of the city’s trade with other regions of Russia and countries. Thus, timber and fish are transported on large ships, which often dock in the port.
If you walk around the city center, you can also find churches and old houses dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Since Arkhangelsk is located on different banks of the Northern Dvina, it is connected by several bridges running across the river.
Most of the houses of modern Arkhangelsk remained from the time of its active construction in the USSR. Mostly these are 9 and 5-storey panel houses typical for that time.
Also, on some streets of the city (even quite close to the center) there are old wooden two-story houses built in the early 20th century. But such houses are becoming less and less every year due to their wear and tear, as well as due to their periodic fire.
There is also modern construction, but building is mainly in the very center or, conversely, on the very outskirts of the city.
Moreover, real estate prices in Arkhangelsk are now quite expensive and are often comparable to real estate on the outskirts of large Russian cities such as Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
Attractions in Arkhangelsk
1) “Skyscraper” (“Vysotka”) – perhaps the most photographed building in Arkhangelsk and the tallest for a long time.
Its height is 24 floors + a large spire-antenna (about 10 floors), for a total of 173 meters. In height, it can be compared with another construction of a television tower located nearby.
2) The stele and fortress at Cape Pur-Navolok is the place where the city was founded more than 400 years ago.
3) The Archangel Michael Cathedral is a cathedral built recently, in 2019, and had been under construction for over 10 years.
Quite an impressive building located near the sea-river station.
4) “Malye Korely” – a village-museum 25 kilometers from Arkhangelsk. In winter and summer, both city residents and tourists love to come there. This village is notable for the fact that wooden houses built more than 100 years ago remained in good condition. An interesting fact is that not a single nail was used during their construction.
Of course, this is not all, but, perhaps, the top sights of Arkhangelsk, which are worth seeing for a tourist.
Events in Arkhangelsk
There are several events in Arkhangelsk that are widely celebrated by the residents of the city.
1) New Year (December 31 – January 1) – in Arkhangelsk, as in all of Russia, one of the main holidays. The city center is traditionally decorated with various luminous garlands, and a large Christmas tree is installed next to the city hall.
2) Victory Day (May 9) – the celebration of the victory of the Red Army and the Soviet people over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. On this day, people usually walk along the embankment, watch a military parade and evening fireworks.
3) Day of the Russian Navy (last Sunday in July) – on this day, many warships arrange a parade in the water area of the Northern Dvina and thousands of Arkhangelsk residents come out to the embankment to look at it.
4) Fairs and festivals (on different days). Every year, various fairs are held in Arkhangelsk, where residents and visitors from other regions sell both agricultural goods and handicrafts. Also, since 2012, major rock festivals “Island” (“Ostrov”) and “Bridge” (“Most”) have been held annually, which gather tens of thousands of rock music lovers.
Unfortunately, there are not many prospects for career development for young people in Arkhangelsk. And often a person who graduated from the university is faced with a choice: to follow in the footsteps of his parents to the enterprises of the region, to go into the trade or leave for the central regions of Russia to search of career opportunities. I can understand people who chose each of the options, but I chose the last one for myself.
Nevertheless, Arkhangelsk remains a place that is sometimes pleasant to return to, and certainly the one that I advise a tourist from other countries to visit in Russia.