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Russian North

Russian North: St.-Petersburg - Karelia - Solovki

Russian North is a traditional generalized name for Northern regions of the European part of Russia including Murmansk Region (Kola peninsula), the Republic of Karelia, Arkhangelsk Region and Vologda Region. The territory of Russian North is mostly covered with taiga. Northern parts of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk Regions are occupied with tundra. Water covers a significant part of the surface. Numerous rivers, lakes and coast shores of the Beloye (White) and Barents Seas, belonging to the Arctic Ocean, whimsically interweave with land and make magnificent scenery. White Nights in summer and Northern Lights in winter impart peculiar charm to this Northern area. Special feature of Russian North is a significant quantity of memorials of Russian history and architecture, which are integrally entered in natural landscapes. A lot of age-old wooden secular and cult constructions are scattered in all region. A part of them is removed to museums of wooden architecture - Kizhi Pogost in Karelia and Malye Korely near Arkhangelsk.

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Kizhi is located on one of many islands in Lake Onega, in Karelia. Two 18th-century wooden churches and an octagonal bell tower, also in wood and built in 1862, can be seen there. These unusual constructions, in which carpenters created a bold visionary architecture, perpetuate an ancient model of parish space and are in harmony with the surrounding landscape. The Kizhi Pogost is included into the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Solovetsky Archipelago (Solovky) comprises six islands in the western part of the White Sea with distinguished nature and with the ancient Solovetsky Monastery, founded in 1429. The Solovetsky Monastery was the center of ecclesiastical, economic and political power in this part of the Russian North. The cultural and historic ensemble of the Solovetsky Isles is included into the UNESCO World Heritage List.