- Where to go with children
- Outdoor activities
- Cafes and restaurants
Vologda is an ancient Russian city located 450 km from Moscow and 650 km from St. Petersburg. This is one of the largest cities in the Russian North. Vologda is known primarily for its urban wooden architecture. Many people remember the lines from the song about the Vologda "carved palisade". In addition, the Bishops' Court of the 16th century, located on the territory of the Kremlin, and several unique monasteries have been preserved in Vologda.
Of course, the Vologda Region is also the famous throughout Russia Ferapontov Monastery with frescoes by Dionysius, and the Kirillo-Belozersky Museum-Reserve with the monastery of the same name, and Veliky Ustyug - the "patrimony" of Father Frost, and the stunningly beautiful nature of the Russian north with its discreet charm.
The historical center of Vologda is quite compact, the attractions are located close to each other, so a city tour will turn into a leisurely educational walk.
If you have the opportunity, then it is better to come to Vologda by car to see wonders throughout the region. The track from St. Petersburg has been recently repaired, the asphalt is good and smooth. You can get there in 8 hours. The road from Moscow to Vologda will take you about 6 hours. The asphalt is very decent, except for the site in the Yaroslavl region.
However, even without a personal car, getting to Vologda is quite easy. Vologda is a major transport hub, so most trains further north stop here. From Moscow you can get there in 6-9 hours (if there are night and daytime sit-down trains). From St. Petersburg, trains run for about 12 hours, there are comfortable night trains. The ticket prices are quite low. Airplane fans can turn a trip to Vologda into a separate adventure, since Yak-40 airplanes fly along this route - this is almost the only route from Moscow where they can still be found.
In Vologda, you can stay for 2-3 days in order to leisurely explore not only the city sights, but also travel freely around the city's environs. But it's better to worry about housing in advance.
The date of the foundation of Vologda has not been fully determined. The official date is considered to be 1147, however, many historians argue that archaeological excavations do not confirm the indicated mid-12th century. Archaeologists point to 1264, when Vologda was first mentioned in written sources.
However, regardless of the exact date of foundation, Vologda, due to its favorable geographical position (at the intersection of trade routes from north to south), quickly became a fairly large and developed city. The strong Novgorod and Moscow princedoms fought among themselves for the right to annex Vologda. Moscow won in the end. During the time of Ivan the Terrible, Vologda became the center of trade, exile and oprichnina. Peter the Great turns Vologda into a military and shipbuilding base. And in the second half of the 19th century, a recipe for the famous Vologda butter was invented here, the city acquired several butter factories and the world brand "Vologda butter".
The historical center of the city is conditionally divided into Gorod, Verkhniy Posad, Nizhniy Posad and Zarechye. The main attractions are concentrated in the area of the Kremlin Square. To find the preserved urban development, take a stroll around Zasodimskogo Street and Revolution Square.
So, here are some of the main attractions of Vologda.
- The Vologda State Museum-Reserve and the Vologda Kremlin. Unfortunately, the Kremlin (fortification) in Vologda has not survived as such. A powerful military fortification behind a three-kilometer wall, built by order of Ivan the Terrible, was dismantled in the 19th century. Now on the territory of the Kremlin there is the Bishops' court, as well as the St. Sophia and Pokrovsky temples.
- The bishop's court was built to accommodate the Vologda bishops. This is a kind of "Kremlin in the Kremlin". The existing Bishops' court was surrounded by its own wall, and the walls of the fortress were built around. Today it is one of the best-preserved episcopal residences in the country.
- St. Sophia Cathedral is the oldest stone building in Vologda and the main cathedral of the city. St. Sophia Cathedral was built by Ivan the Terrible at the time when he was going to make Vologda his residence. The cathedral was built in the image and likeness of the Assumption Cathedral in Moscow. The temple houses the Last Judgment fresco, the country's largest work on this theme.
- House-Museum of Peter I. The emperor stayed in this house several times when he inspected the construction of a military base. The museum contains unique exhibits, including the clothes of Peter the Great and his death mask.
- "Carved palisade". Unique monuments of northern wooden architecture adorn the streets of the city; all types of wooden city mansions of the late 18th - early 20th centuries of a special "Vologda" type are presented here. They resemble a parallelepiped in shape, with an angular loggia above the porch. The platbands are richly decorated with wood carvings. Now many houses are being ousted by the so-called “compensatory building”, when the old building is replaced with a remake in the Vologda architectural style. It is also worth visiting the museum of the famous Vologda lace.
- The Spaso-Prilutsky Monastery is the spiritual shrine of the entire Russian North. The monastery was founded by Dmitry Prilutsky, a student of Sergius of Radonezh, whose miraculous relics are buried in the monastery. From a historical point of view, the monastery is also very interesting - its walls and buildings have been preserved in their original form since their construction in the 16th century.
- The Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery is a real "pearl" of the Russian North. It is located on the shore of Lake Siverskoye. This is a very beautiful place: gray stone walls and high domes of churches seem to float against the blue sky. On the territory of the monastery there is a museum-reserve of the same name, therefore the place is not only religious, but also historically significant. The size of the monastery is amazing: it includes 11 temples, 14 towers and sections of walls, 13 residential and commercial buildings. To see all this, you will need to spend all day. In summer, don't forget to climb the belfry for a breathtaking view.
- The Mother of God-Rozhdestvensky Ferapontov Monastery is located in the village of Ferapontovo, Kirillovsky District, Vologda Oblast. The heart of the monastery is the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin, the first stone building in the Vologda region. Inside the cathedral, unique frescoes of the 15th century, created by the greatest author of his time, Dionysius, have been preserved intact. Access to the temple is open only a few months a year from May to September. But even during this period, during rains and high humidity, the entrance is closed. This is done to preserve the frescoes and protect them from high humidity.
Where to go with children
In Vologda, you can easily find something to interest your child. The recently opened Botanical Garden delights with a garden with butterflies, as well as a greenhouse with exotic plants. Specialized excursions for children are held here.
The Museum of Entertaining Sciences was opened in Vologda in a format popular all over the world for the study of science through play. Flame balls, giant soap bubbles and touch-up exhibits will impress children.
Vologda is also famous for its children's theaters - the Teremok puppet theater and the classical Youth Theater, which were awarded theatrical prizes.
In summer, you and your child can enjoy the rides at Veterans Park. The Ferris wheel offers a wonderful view of the city. Bicycles and other means of transportation can be rented.
And in winter, of course, go with your child to the Vologda region - to the "patrimony of Father Frost", the city of Veliky Ustyug. Wonderful interactive excursions, sleigh rides and gifts await all the children.
Big and little boys will certainly be interested in the museum of A. Mozhaisky, the famous aircraft designer. The exposition introduces the history of aviation and the development of aircraft construction up to the launch of a spacecraft.
Vologda is famous for its festivals and other outdoor events. City Day is celebrated annually on the last Saturday of July. Around the same dates, the annual International Lace Festival is held, which attracts craftsmen from all over Russia.
In September, the festival of poetry and music "Rubtsovskaya Autumn" is held, dedicated to one of the main "singers" of the Russian North - the poet Nikolai Rubtsov. The festival has been running for 20 years without a break; this poetry festival is known far beyond the Vologda region.
For the past 30 years, once every three years in June-July, during the brightest period of the white nights, the International Theater Festival “Voices of History” has been held in Vologda. The stage is set right in the heart of the Vologda Kremlin. Theatrical performances in such scenery look especially expressive.
Vologda is famous for its large selection of unique souvenirs. These are, first of all, lace - napkins, scarves, tablecloths and earrings. You can also bring bobbins as a keepsake, on which local craftswomen spin lace. Tourists enjoy amulets and birch bark dishes.
From edible souvenirs, pay attention to cranberries from local swamps (soaked and in the form of jam), linseed and, of course, butter, which is sold here in a variety of gift wraps.
Cafes and restaurants
Vologda cannot be called a city for gastronomic travel. Basically, cafes and restaurants serve simple and hearty dishes of Russian northern cuisine - dumplings, dumplings, meat dishes with potatoes. Be sure to try the "mugs" - small open pies made from wheat flour stuffed with potatoes.
There are quite a few catering establishments in the city, most of them are budgetary (up to 300 rubles for lunch), but the service in many of them can be a little disappointing.