Vologda oblast (region), Russia (Vologodskaya)

The capital city of Vologda oblast: Vologda.

Vologda region overview

Vologda oblast (region) (also spelled Vologodskaya) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation, part of Northwestern Federal District. The administrative center is Vologda city.

Vologda region has the population of about 1,196,000 (2012) on the land area of 144,527 sq. km.

Vologda oblast flag

Vologda oblast flag

Vologda oblast coat of arms

Vologda oblast coat of arms

Vologda oblast map, Russia

Vologda oblast map of Russia

Vologda region facts

Vologda region is located in the northwestern part of Russia about 500 km from Moscow. The largest cities and towns of the region are Cherepovets (315,000), Vologda (315,000), Sokol(39,000), Velikiy Ustyug (32,000).

The total territory of the region is equal to the united territories of Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Switzerland.

Vologda province is an important transport junction of Russia. The territory of the region is crossed by highways and railways connecting European part of Russia with Urals and Siberia regions. There are a lot of rivers in the region carrying waters to the Baltic, Caspian and White Seas.

The climate of Vologda region is of moderate continental type with cold winters (average temperature in January is 14 degrees Celsius below zero) and warm summers (average temperature in July is 18 degrees C above zero).

The main natural resources are timber and fresh water. The region is not rich in natural resources - there are deposits of peat, salt and mineral water.

Vologda region nature

Vologda region nature view

Vologda region nature view

Author: Sergey Zubov

Vologda region landscape

Vologda region landscape

Author: Michail Gordeev

Vologda region view

Vologda region view

Author: Leonid Mach


Vologda region history

In the 5th-7th centuries A.C., the area of present Vologda region was developed by Slavic population and this process entailed assimilation of Finno-Ugric tribes. The Russian North colonization was performed both from the west (by Slovens) and from the south (by Kryvich tribes).

The representatives of the Prince’s administration followed the colonists: they gathered taxes on newly assimilated lands, formed churchyards and started the construction of towns. Thus, Beloozero, Veliky Ustyug and Vologda towns came into being.

The Christian colonization took place in the early Middle Ages. Foundation of monasteries in the European North meant further spreading of Orthodox Church. In the 12th-15th centuries, a wide net of Orthodox churches was formed. Ancient town Beloozero was first mentioned in 862. In 1238, the area separated from Rostov principality and became an independent Belozerskoye principality.

In the 14th century, it was ruled by Moscow and became a part of the united Russian state. In the mid-15th century, Vologda served as an asylum for Moscow dethroned prince Vasily II Tyomny.

Vologda lands were important in Ivan’s IV policy. A number of northern towns were included into oprichnina (the territory assigned to a special administrative elite and the attached armed forces). Vologda was in Ivan’s the Terrible plans as it was a kind of “gates” towards the White Sea, Western Siberia, Urals and Europe.

At the end of the 17th - the early 18th centuries, Peter I paid attention to the Russian North. He visited Vologda region several times while solving practical issues of state importance. On January 25, 1789, According to Catherine’s II order, Vologda region ruled by governor-general was formed. It consisted of 3 provinces.

In 1796, Vologda became the center of the gubernia. Most cities of present province were formed during Catherine’s administrative reform: Vytegra in 1773, Kirillov in 1776, Cherepovets in 1777, Gryazovets, Kadnikov and Nikolsk in 1780.

Vologda region scenery

Vologda province scenery

Vologda province scenery

Author: Vladimir Shchipin

Vologda region scenery

Vologda region scenery

Author: Antushev Vladimir

Vologda oblast scenery

Vologda oblast scenery

Author: Alexander Lukin


Natural peculiarities of the region determined traditional activities of the population. From ancient times, the people of the European North were hunting, fishing, extracting salt, resin, tar and wax.

Till the early 20th century, salt mines were well-known. At Stroganov’s salt-making plants salt was produced in amounts enough for supplying all the European North and even Moscow. Favorable conditions of soil and climate of Vologda gubernia favored growing of high quality flax which was grown in the North since the 12th century.

In 1918, Vologda became a “diplomatic capital of Russia” for 5 months: embassies and missions of 11 largest states of the world were located there. Vologda oblast was established in 1937.

Today, old architectural ensembles of the cities and towns of Vologda province together with mysterious and delicate northern nature form a unique image of the Russian North.

Vologda region economics

Ferrous metallurgy and power engineering are the main industries. Vologodskaya oblast is strongly integrated into global economy. The export is determined by big industrial plants - of ferrous metallurgy, chemistry, machine-building: “Severstal”, “Cherepovets steel-rolling mill”, “Ammofos”, “Cherepovet Azot”. Economic growth in the region depends on ferrous metallurgy.

Economics of the region and its social sphere are fully dependent on financial and economical situation of the holding “Severstal-group” located on the territory of the province.

Nevertheless, the region exports considerable amounts of food product: milk, poultry, meat and famous Vologda butter. The port in Cherepovets is one of the largest on Volga-Baltic waterway.

Till nowadays some traditional art handicrafts are preserved: Vologda lace, the largest center of lace-making in Russia - Vologda plant “Snezhinka”; unique handicrafts of Veliky Ustyug - Shemogod carved birch-tree bark and nielloed silver.

Vologda region churches

Vologda region church

Vologda region church

Author: Kolcow Oleg

Vologda region church

Vologda region church

Author: Kuzovkov N.

Vologda province church

Vologda province church

Author: Sergey Zubov


Vologda region places of interest

There are numerous historical and cultural monuments and memorials in the province.

A number of cities and settlements (Belozersk, Veliky Ustyug, Vologda, Ustyuzhna, Totma and others) have the status of historical ones and are open-air museums. Since 1999, Veliky Ustyug is considered to be the birthplace of Father the Frost.

Main museums of the region: Vologda state historical, architectural and arts museum-preserve, Kirillo-Belozersky, Veliko-Ustyugsky, Totemskoye and Cherepovets museum units. The architectural and ethnographical museum of Vologoda region located near Vologda.

A number of ancient Russian gentry estates are preserved in Vologoda province. Monuments of cult architecture are of special interest, such as Spaso-Prilutsky, Kirillo-Belozersky and other monasteries.

The most famous Ferapontov monastery due to fresco ensemble made by ancient Russian artist Dionissy in 1502 was included into the list of UNESCO world heritage. Hunting and fishing tourism is well organized.

Vologoda region as a part of the Russian North managed to preserve a considerable number of ethnic monuments of the Russian folk (songs, tales, chronicles). In the 19th-20th centuries, best examples of Russian folklore, religious and secular literature were “found” here. Even today, traditions and handicrafts of peasants are continued in everyday and cultural life of the villages and settlements of Vologoda region.

This province is interesting in its natural monuments too. About 70 km from Veliky Ustyug, opposite the village of Porog, there is famous geological break - Opoky: 60 meters high banks of the river Sukhona reveal the rocks of Upper Perm period.

Vologda oblast of Russia photos

Vologda province pictures

Vologda province small town

Vologda province small town

Author: Aleck Sander

Vologda region cathedral

Vologda region cathedral

Author: Alexandr Popov

Vologda oblast monastery

Vologda oblast monastery

Author: Roberto Ribotta


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