Petrozavodsk is the capital of the Republic of Karelia and its industrial, educational and cultural center. The city is a starting point for the trips to Kizhi, Kivach Waterfalls, Karelian villages etc.
Petrozavodsk is situated on the western shore of the Onega Lake and extends for the distance of 10 kilometers. Its population amounts to approximately 280,000 people.
In 1703 a cannon factory was built be order of Peter the Great on the shore of the Onego Lake. Simultaneously a small settlement for workers was established which was named “Petrovskaya Sloboda”. The factory developed quickly and produced cannons and decoration elements. In 1777 during the reign of Catherine the Great the settlement obtained the status of a town and new name – Petrozavodsk (Peter’s Plant).
The main street of the city is Lenin Avenue. It extends fr om a railway station to the Onego Embankment. From Lenin Avenue it is easy to get to the historical part of the city and namely to Lenin Square (former Round Square).
Historical buildings built in the end of 18th Century are situated on Lenin Square. In the center of the Square there is a Lenin monument which was erected in 1933. The monument was damaged during the WWII when the city was occupied by Finnish troops and was restored completely to its initial condition after the war ended.
After leaving Lenin Square we enter Karl Marx Avenue (one more geographical denomination of the Soviet period). Formerly this street named English Avenue. The reason for that was the fact that Catherine the Great invited foreign engineers to work at the newly built cast-iron foundry (the former cannon factory was destroyed by flood) and the majority of them were Englishmen. Many of them settled on this street and therefore it was named so.
Karl Marx Avenue leads to Kirov Square. Four theatres are situated on this Square.
At the beginning of the Onego Embankment we see the monument to Peter the First. The city founder has ceremonial full dress on. His right arm points to the mouth of Lososinka River wh ere the first cannon factory was founded in 1703. Initially the monument was situated on the Round square (Lenin Square) but after the revolution it was substituted by Lenin monument.
Petrozavodsk has several sister cities and on the embankment we can observe the gifts presented to the city on their behalf – unusual sculptural compositions created by modern architects from various cities such as Duluth (USA), Varkaus (Finland), Umeo (Sweden), Mo I Rana (Norway), Neubrandenburg and Thubingen (Germany), La Rochelle (France).
Museums of Petrozavodsk.
1. National museum of the Republic of Karelia.
The museum is situated in the historical building in the center of the city. Its exhibition is devoted to nature, archeology, history, folklore and ethnography of Karelia.
Address: Lenin square, 1. Working hours (subject to change): from Tuesday till Sunday 10:00-18:00. Day off – Monday.
2. Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Karelia.
The museum’s exhibition includes works of Russian art since XVIII – till the beginning of XX Century, decorative-applied art, art of XX Century, Old-Russian art and Karelian art of XX Century. Among the exhibits there are works of famous Russian painters including I. Shishkin, I. Levitan, I. Aivazovskiy and V. Polenov. Also are presented works on the subject of “Kalevala” – the world famous Karelian-Finnish epos, by Tamara Yufa in particular. The collection of North Russia icons is also of great interest.
Address: Karl Marx Avenue, 8. Working hours (subject to change): Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday-Sunday 10:00-18:00, Thursday 12:00-20:00. Day off – Monday.
3. Art gallery “Doll House”.
This small private museum was created in 1999 by Tatyana Kalinina. The exhibition is based on the collection of handmade dolls – nixies, female hobgoblins, mermaids, house spirits brownies and other fairy tales’ characters and “Karelian ghosts”.
Address: La Rochelle embankment, 13. Working hours (subject to change): from Monday till Saturday 12:00-17:00. Day off – Sunday.