Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia (Russia)

According to SHOE-WIKI, Petrozavodsk is the capital of the Republic of Karelia and the administrative center of the Prionezhsky district of the republic. It is located on the shore of the Petrozavodsk Bay of Lake Onega and stretches along the shore for 22 km.

Even on the maps of the late 16th century, the settlement of Onegoburg was marked on the site of the modern city. The year of foundation of Petrozavodsk is considered to be 1703, when Peter I ordered to establish an iron-making cannon-casting plant here. The plant was named Petrovsky. It produced guns, shells, firearms and edged weapons, as well as ship equipment. Gradually, a working settlement was formed around the plant – Petrovskaya Sloboda. After the end of the Northern War, the Petrovsky plant was closed. However, already at the end of the 18th century during the war with Turkey a new Alexander cannon factory was built here. It was a large plant, considered one of the best defense enterprises of the state. In 1777, the settlement received the status of a county town called Petrozavodsk, in 1784 Petrozavodsk became a provincial town. In the 19th century, a steamship connection was established between Petrozavodsk and Saint Petersburg, and in the early 20th century, a railway was built from here to Murmansk. Petrozavodsk was badly damaged during the Great Patriotic War, when it was occupied by the Finns. On the territory of the city, 7 Finnish concentration camps were created, where many civilians were imprisoned and shot. Since 2007, the city has been officially called the Petrozavodsk City District.

One of the main attractions of Petrozavodskaya is the oldest square in the city – Lenin Square (end of the 18th century). Before the revolution, it was called Round, and after – the name of October 25th. It received its current name in 1960. The ensemble of the square is made in the spirit of early classicism and is the only architectural monument of the 18th century in the city. In 1873, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Alexander Plant, a monument to Peter I was erected on the Round Square.. Currently, it is located on the city embankment near the river station, and since 1933 a granite monument to V.I. Lenin. On the square there are administrative buildings – former government offices, the governor’s residence and two outbuildings. Today, these buildings house the Karelian State Museum of Local Lore. The museum was founded in 1871. This is one of the oldest museums in the northwestern part of Russia., which tells about the nature and history of the region, as well as the culture of the peoples inhabiting it – Russians, Karelians and Veps. Its expositions exhibit archaeological finds, rock petroglyphs that characterize the primitive spiritual culture, and objects on the flora and fauna of the region. In addition, here you can see the interpretation of the epic folk poem of the Karelians “Kalevala” and the interior of the front hall of the governor’s house of the mid-19th century.

The department of nature of the museum is located near Lenin Square on Frunze Street. The Karelian State Museum of Local Lore has two branches – the Marcial Waters Museum and the Sheltozero Vepsian Ethnographic Museum. In 1969, on Lenin Square was built memorial complex “Eternal Flame and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”. He united the graves of soldiers from the time of the White Finn intervention of the early 20th century and the defense of Petrozavodsk in 1941.

Next to Lenin Square is the Governor’s Garden. At the entrance to the park, there is an exposition of items related to the history of mining in Karelia, and tools produced at the Aleksandrovsky plant. In the center of the park there is a monument to Gavriil Romanovich Derzhavin. This famous Russian poet became the first Governor of Olonets. The height of the monument is 4.5 m, it consists of a granite pedestal and a sculpture of Derzhavin dressed in full dress uniform.

In architectural terms , Kirov Square is interesting.. Before the revolution, the square was called Sobornaya, as there were several cathedrals that were destroyed during the Soviet era. After the revolution, it was called Freedom Square and Republic Square. In 1936, a monument to S.M. Kirov, after which it received its modern name. On the northern side of the square stands the building of the former men’s gymnasium (1789) and women’s gymnasium (1858), as well as the City Administration House. Now the men’s gymnasium houses the Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Karelia. It was opened in 1960 to preserve the artistic heritage of the region. The expositions of the museum were formed on the basis of objects of the local history museum and donated works of art from the State Russian Museum, the State Tretyakov Gallery and the State Hermitage. Today, ancient Russian painting, Russian art of the 18th-19th centuries, works by artists of Karelia, objects of folk art of the republic and Western European art are exhibited here. Of particular value are the collections of iconography, folk art, a collection of works by Karelian artists, especially works of art based on the Kalevala epic. On the south side of the square in 1895, a two-story building was built, where the mining school was located. Today it is occupied by the exhibition center of the Kizhi Museum.. There are several more visitor centers of the museum-reserve in the city. All of them are designed to work with tourists outside the main exposition area of the Kizhi Museum-Reserve. The main excursion routes of the city pass between the exhibition centers of the museum. In addition, the National Theater and the House of Culture are located on the square.

Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia (Russia)

About the author