I was born and spent all my life in my native city – Archangel. Archangel is the administrative, industrial and cultural center of Archangel region. It is situated on the banks of the Northern Dvina, not far from the place where the river flows into the White Sea. If you want to have a better look at Archangel you need to start sightseeing from Pur-Navolok, the place where in 1584 the city was founded by the order of Russian Tzar Ivan the Terrible.
The original name of the town was “New Kholmogory” and its present name dates back to 1613 and is connected with the name of the Archangel Michael Monastery, which stood on the place where Drama Theatre is now situated. In the 17th century Archangel became the major center of Russian northern trade with foreign countries, a great sea and river port on the Northern Dvina. The oldest building in Archangel is Gostiny Dvor, dating back to 1684. In ancient times Gostiny Dvor was a trading center and consisted of three parts:
Russian and German yards and the central part-a fortress. The Russian word “Gosti” meant “merchant”, so it was often called Merchant yards, a trading center.
In the 17th century it was the largest building of its kind, but today we can see only a small part of this magnificent and outstanding building, which is now used as an exhibition hall. Preparations are being made for the reconstruction of this unique complex. It is planned to restore the Russian Merchant yards in their original form. A few minute walk from this place will take you to the monument of Peter the Great who did a great deal towards Russian development. It is the work of the sculptor of the 19th century – Mark Antokolsky.
Peter the First is depicted in the uniform of a Preobrajenstij Regiment officer. If you go down the “Red Quay” your attention will be caught by a sailing ship “Zapad”. This place is called the gates to the Arctic. The center of the city is the Lenin Square, where the main administrative buildings, museums and shops are situated.
Here you can see the Northern Obelisk, the symbol of Archangel. The pedestal shows the main branches or economy of Archangel region in previous centuries: logging, fishing, cattle breading and sawing. There are a lot of other interesting places to view, such as our embankment, Children’s Park and many others.