|Federal subject||Vologda Oblast|
|• Body||City Duma|
|• Head||Yury Sapozhnikov|
|• Total||116 km2 (45 sq mi)|
|Elevation||120 m (390 ft)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||63rd in 2010|
|• Density||2,600/km2 (6,700/sq mi)|
|• Subordinated to||city of oblast significance of Vologda|
|• Capital of||Vologda Oblast, Vologodsky District|
|• Urban okrug||Vologda Urban Okrug|
|• Capital of||Vologodsky Municipal District, Vologda Urban Okrug|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (MSK )|
|Dialing code(s)||+7 8172|
|City Day||Last Sunday of June|
Vologda (Russian: Во́логда, IPA: [ˈvoləɡdə]) is a city and the administrative center of Vologda Oblast, Russia, located on the river Vologda within the watershed of the Northern Dvina. Population: 313,944 (2021 Census); 301,755 (2010 Census); 293,046 (2002 Census); 282,802 (1989 Census).
The city serves as a major transport hub of the Northwest of Russia. The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation has classified Vologda as a historic city, one of 41 in Russia and one of only three in Vologda Oblast. 224 buildings in Vologda have been officially recognized[by whom?] as cultural heritage monuments.
The official founding year of Vologda is 1147, based on the 17th century "Tale of Miracles of Gerasimus of Vologda" and Ivan Slobodsky's 1716 "Chronicler", which tells the story of the arrival of the monk Gerasimus who founded the Trinity Monastery near the Vologda river. This date, which would make Vologda about the same age as Moscow, was introduced by the historian Aleksey Zasetsky in 1780.
However, historians and archaeologists have expressed doubts on the official founding year, due to the age and secondary nature of the sources and also due to archaeological excavations dating no earlier than the 13th century. Instead, they believe that the city was founded in the 13th century with Vologda being mentioned in a 1264 agreement between the Novgorod Republic and the Grand Prince of Vladimir as an outlying possession of the Novgorod Republic.
The nucleus of Vologda in the 13th century was not located in the area which is now the city center, but rather the area known now as "Lazy ground" (Ленивая площадка), close to the Resurrection church. This area was the center of Vologda up to 1565. Until that year, no stone constructions existed in Vologda; all of the city fortifications, bridges, houses, churches, and industrial enterprises were made of wood.
The unique position of Vologda on important waterways connecting Moscow, Novgorod, and the White Sea (via the Northern Dvina) made it attractive for the Novgorod Republic, as well as for the princes of Tver and Moscow, who fought numerous wars between the 13th and the 15th centuries.
In 1371, Dmitry Prilutsky, a monk from the Nikolsky Monastery in Pereslavl-Zalessky, founded Nikolsky Monastery, now known as Spaso-Prilutsky Monastery, close to the city. Dmitry Donskoy, the Grand Prince of Moscow, was the chief benefactor of the monastery and viewed it as a stronghold of the influence of the Grand Duchy of Moscow in the Northern lands in competition with Novgorod.
In 1397, during the reign of Vasily I, Vologda was added to the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Subsequently, the city was several times attacked by Novgorod forces. During the Muscovite Civil War, Vologda played a key role. After Vasily II the Blind, the Grand Prince of Moscow, was defeated by Dmitry Shemyaka in 1447, he swore to never start a war against Shemyaka, was exiled to Vologda, and got the city as a personal possession. From there Vasily traveled to the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery where the hegumen released him from the oath. The civil war continued, and in 1450, Vologda was besieged by the troops of Dmitry Shemyaka; however, they did not manage to occupy the town.
After the death of Vasily in 1462, Vologda passed to the possession of his son Andrey Menshoy and became the center of the Principality of Vologda. In 1481, after the death of Andrey who had no successors, Vologda passed to Ivan III, the Grand Duke of Moscow, and was included to the Grand Duchy of Moscow.
During the reign of Tsar Ivan the Terrible, Vologda became one of the major transit centers of Russia's trade. The foreign trade was conducted mostly with England, Holland, and other western countries via the White Sea. Arkhangelsk was the major foreign trade haven, and Vologda stood on the waterway connecting Moscow with Arkhangelsk. The trade with Siberia was conducted via the Sukhona and the Vychegda, and Vologda also played an important role as a transit center. The state courtyard was built in the city on the bank of the Vologda. In 1553, Vologda was visited by the English seafarer Richard Chancellor who officially established diplomatic relations between the Tsardom of Russia and England. In 1554, trading agent John Gass described Vologda to English merchants as a city with an abundance of bread where the goods were twice as cheap as in Moscow and Novgorod, and that there was no city in Russia that would not trade with Vologda. Following the reports of John Gass, in 1555 England opened a trading office in the city, and the first Russian ambassador sent to England for negotiations became Osip Nepeya, a native of Vologda.
In 1565, Ivan the Terrible introduced the policy of Oprichnina and included Vologda in the structure of Oprichnina lands. That year, he visited the city for the first time and decided to make it the center of Oprichnina and consequently the capital of the country. The Tsar ordered to build a new fortress. It was decided to build it not in the former town center, but rather in another part of the town, limited on the one side by the river, and on the other side by what are now Leningradskaya, Oktyabrskaya, and Mira Streets. The fortress was surrounded by a moat. Ivan the Terrible traveled to Vologda in person to supervise the foundation of the fortress on April 28, 1566, which was the day to celebrate the memory of Saint Jason (Nason in the Russian tradition) and Saint Sosipater. Therefore, the territory of the fortress located in the new part of Vologda was named the "Nason-gorod" (Nason-town). The other name of the Nason-gorod was the Vologda Kremlin (currently, the name is sometimes referred only as the Bishop's courtyard).
Between 1568 and 1570, a new cathedral was built in the new fortress. The Saint Sophia Cathedral became the first stone building in Vologda. The design of the cathedral copied the Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. This was the idea of Ivan the Terrible who wanted to make his new capital similar to Moscow. He personally supervised the construction, headed by the architect Razmysl Petrov. In 1571, Vologda became the center of the Diocese of Vologda and Perm that was formed in 1492 and previously had its main church in the distant settlement of Ust-Vym in Perm lands. Thereby, Vologda was strengthened not only in trading, military and political influence, but also in ecclesiastical affairs.
However, in 1571 Ivan the Terrible unexpectedly stopped the construction work in Vologda and left the city for good. Presumably, this was connected with his decision to abolish Oprichnina, and Vologda was not needed as the second capital any longer. According to the legend, when Ivan visited the Saint Sophia Cathedral, a little stone fell from the roof on his head. The superstitious Tsar who received a serious head injury took it as a sign of misfortune and decided to leave the city. In any case, it is known that the Tsar wanted even to demolish the cathedral, and that the cathedral was never consecrated during his lifetime. The consecration took place only during the reign his son Feodor I in 1587. Parts of the incomplete fortress which were later in the 17th century strengthened with wooden walls stayed up to the 19th century when they were disassembled by the city authorities and local residents and used as a material for stone building.
The Time of Troubles for Vologda began with a plague epidemic in 1605. In 1608, when Russia was split into areas controlled by Tsar Vasily Shuysky and areas controlled by the pretender False Dmitry II supported by Polish troops, the people of Vologda made an oath to False Dmitry. By gaining Vologda not only did he get control over Russian and English trading warehouses, but he also positioned himself to gain control over northern Russia. However, abuses and property seizures by the new administration sent to Vologda caused extreme discontent among the population. As a result, Vologda denounced False Dmitry II and supported Shuysky. Moreover, in February 1609 a national home guard headed by Nikita Vysheslavtsev was formed in Vologda and went to fight against False Dmitry II.
In 1612, people of Vologda rendered sizable food and military help to the home guard organized by Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, which eventually defeated Polish troops. However, after the city sent huge military forces to support the second home guard, it remained without sufficient protection, and on September 22, 1612 one of the Lithuanian extortionate groups seized Vologda without resistance, later burning down the city and killing and imprisoning many of its inhabitants.
After 1613, Vologda quickly recovered due to its convenient location and once again became an important center of foreign trade. During the reign of Peter the Great, Vologda became one of the main military bases of Russia. Military and technical equipment for fortresses and military ships under construction was stored there. Vessels which delivered food supplies to Arkhangelsk were constructed in Vologda. Peter intended to hold them on Lake Kubenskoye, 30 kilometers (19 mi) north of Vologda. However, after personally inspecting the lake in 1692, he abandoned the idea deciding that the lake is improper for that purpose.
Peter the Great visited Vologda on no less than ten occasions, on six of which (in 1692, 1693, 1694, 1702, 1722, and 1724) he stayed in the city for extended time. He always stayed in a small house of the Dutch merchant Goutman, which in 1872 was bought by the city authorities, and in 1885 was transformed into the memorial museum of Peter the Great and became the first museum of Vologda.
However, after St. Petersburg was founded and foreign trade was rerouted to the Baltic Sea, the importance of Vologda as a center of foreign trade decayed. In 1722, Peter issued the decree restricting trade through Arkhangelsk, which damaged Vologda even further. In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708, Vologda lost its functions as an administrative center and was included as a town of Archangelgorod Governorate.
The revival began only during the reign of Catherine the Great who in 1780 made Vologda the center of Vologda Viceroyalty, a successor of Archangelgorod Governorate. In 1796, the viceroyalty, administered by a governor-general, was transformed into Vologda Governorate, the borders of which stretched up to the Ural mountains in the east. The center of Vologda was rebuilt according to the plan of a provincial city issued in 1781. The street network is still in use now.
A new economic lifting of the city was connected with a steamship movement across the Sukhona and with the building of a new railroad line connecting Vologda with Yaroslavl and Moscow (1872), with Arkhangelsk (1898), with St. Petersburg and Vyatka (1905).
In 1871, the Danish merchant Friedrich Buman opened a specialized butter factory in the manor of Fominskoye, 13 kilometers (8.1 mi) from Vologda. It was the first butter factory both in Vologda Governorate and in Russia. Since then Vologda became the center of the butter industry, and the Vologda butter, a special type of butter with the taste of nuts invented by Nikolay Vereschagin and Buman, became a world trademark. In 1911, the manor of Fominskoye together with the Buman's creamery was given to the state and became the base for the Vologda dairy institute. Thereby Vologda turned to one of the largest dairy centers of Russia.
Since the 15th century, Vologda was a political exile destination and was even known as "Siberia close to the capital". In the 19th–20th centuries, such persons as Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov (later the Minister of Foreign Affairs), Nikolai Berdyaev (the famous Russian philosopher), Boris Savinkov (later known as a successful terrorist), Mariya Ulyanova, and Alexander Bogdanov were sent to Vologda. Anatoly Lunacharsky chose to go there to join Bogdanov, and to marry Anna Alexandrovna Malinovskaya, Bogdanov's sister.
Soviet power was established in Vologda in December 1917, and up to the summer of 1918 co-existed with the zemstvo and municipal administration. In February 1918, Vologda became the "diplomatic capital of Russia" for several months. Embassies located in Saint Petersburg were threatened by the German army, so Western powers, led by American Ambassador David R. Francis, relocated them to Vologda. However, pressured by the Bolsheviks, on July 24, 1918, the diplomats were compelled to leave Vologda and repatriate via Arkhangelsk.
During the Russian Civil War, Vologda was the location of the headquarters of the 6th Red Army. The army opposed the White Army under command of Evgeny Miller and the military forces of Entente in northern Russia.
In 1924 the government ordered to close the Vsegradsky cathedral, that used to be one of the biggest and most revered in the city. In 1929, the Vologda Governorate was abolished and included into the structure of a new formation, Northern Krai, which also included former Arkhangelsk and Northern Dvina Governorates, as well as the Komi-Zyryan Autonomous Oblast. The administrative center of Northern Krai was located in Arkhangelsk. In December 1936, Northern Krai was abolished and divided into the Komi ASSR and Northern Oblast, with the administrative center still located in Arkhangelsk. On September 23, 1937, Northern Oblast was divided into Arkhangelsk Oblast and Vologda Oblast by the decision of the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union. According to the same decision, districts of former Cherepovets Okrug of Leningrad Oblast were attached to Vologda Oblast. These districts currently make for the western part of Vologda Oblast. Thereby the current borders of Vologda Oblast were determined.
In the 1930s, a flax factory, a coach-repair factory, and a sawmill, "Northern Communard," were constructed.
During World War II, martial law was declared in Vologda, and its industrial enterprises shifted to military production. In the fall of 1941, Finnish troops crossed the borders of Vologda Oblast, and Vologda thus became a front city. The inhabitants were mobilized to dig trenches. In the city, bomb-proof shelters and elementary shelters were under construction, systems of air defense which protected the railway junction and the military-industrial enterprises were developed. As a result, though attempts of bombardments were numerous, no bombs fell on the city. To commemorate these events, a monument to the air defense forces was later erected on Zosimovskaya Street in Vologda. The monument has the shape of an anti-aircraft gun. In addition, Vologda was a railway hub used to supply the army and to evacuate equipment. It also served as a large hospital center. Residents of Vologda donated blood, money, and jewellery. The tank detachment "Vologda Collective Farmer" was funded by these donations. To commemorate these events the monument to the tank T-34 was built on Mira Street.
Between 1961 and 1985, Anatoly Drygin was the first secretary of the CPSU Vologda Oblast Committee and the head of the oblast. During this period, notable changes in many aspects of economy both of the city and of the oblast occurred. In particular, a bearing plant, a mechanical plant, and an optical-mechanical factory were built in Vologda. A polytechnical university was opened. A large-scale poultry farm was established. A major construction initiative was carried out, and, in particular, the first buildings higher than five floors were constructed. The city expanded, with new residential areas built; in particular, Byvalovo, GPZ, the fifth and the sixth Microdistricts. In 1976, the Vologda trolleybus system opened.
In November 1991, the city administration was formed and the reform of local governments began. In October 1993, the Soviets of People's Deputies of all levels were abolished. After the dissolution of the Vologda Soviet, the City Duma was established. The first Duma elections took place on March 20, 1994. This first Duma only had six seats, but in 1995, after the next elections, it was expanded to thirty deputies.
On July 25, 1996, the City Duma adopted the main city document: the Charter of Vologda. On October 6, 1996, the first mayoral elections in the history of Vologda took place. Alexey Yakunichev was elected and became the head of the city. His term ended in 2008.
In 2003, the construction of a ring road started. Before that, the М8 highway connecting Moscow and Arkhangelsk ran through the city center, causing congestion. Since the completion, the ring road connects the highways А114 (Vologda – Novaya Ladoga), Р5 (Vologda – Medvezhyegorsk), and М8 (Moscow – Arkhangelsk). On August 25, 2005, the City Duma approved the new Charter of Vologda. Even though the deputies introduced more than four hundred amendments and the document increased more than twice in volume as compared with the Charter of 1996, the changes were relatively minor. On October 12, 2008, Yevgeny Shulepov was elected to be the City Head.
Vologda is the administrative center of the oblast and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it also serves as the administrative center of Vologodsky District, even though it is not a part of it. As an administrative division, it is, together with one rural locality, incorporated separately as the city of oblast significance of Vologda (one of the four in Vologda Oblast)—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the city of oblast significance of Vologda is incorporated as Vologda Urban Okrug.
Vologda's climate is mild humid continental (Dfb) under the Köppen classification and temperate continental with mild summer and cold winter (Dclo) under the Trewartha classification. Winter is long and cold but not severe and lasts for five months. Spring and autumn are cool, summer is mild, the coldest months are January and February, the warmest month is July. Rain is most frequent in the summer and autumn.
|Climate data for Vologda (1991–2020, extremes 1844–present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||5.3
|Average high °C (°F)||−6.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−9.9
|Average low °C (°F)||−13.3
|Record low °C (°F)||−47.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||36
|Average extreme snow depth cm (inches)||28
|Average rainy days||6||5||8||14||17||18||16||18||19||18||12||7||158|
|Average snowy days||28||25||19||9||3||0.2||0||0.03||1||10||22||28||145|
|Average relative humidity (%)||86||83||78||71||65||73||76||81||84||87||88||87||80|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||34||64||134||191||268||275||272||217||123||62||32||20||1,692|
|Source 1: Pogoda.ru.net|
|Source 2: NOAA (sun, 1961–1990)|
The population of the city and the oblast consists mainly of ethnic Russians. A considerable part of the city population are government officials and civil servants of different levels – according to various estimates, their number reaches fifty thousand people. The reason is that Vologda is not only a big city but also the administrative center of Vologda Oblast. Around 43 million hectares of farmland is unused, hence government has announced giving away free land. Vologda will lend 468,000 hectares of land for agriculture and raising livestock purpose.
Vologda is one of the best preserved big cities of Russia combining traditional wooden architecture and stone monuments. In Vologda, 193 monuments of architecture and history are designated as cultural monuments of federal significance. The most known of them are
Of 116 historical cities of Russia only 16 have monuments of wooden architecture. Vologda is among them.
Vologda's trademark products include Vologda lace, butter, and flax.
In Vologda, there are ten museums, four showrooms of the Vologda Regional Art Gallery, and the gallery "Red bridge". The largest cultural center of the Russian North is the Vologda State Museum Reserve. Its structure now includes the following museums,
Additionally, Vologda is home to a unique Russian private museum of political history—the Museum of Diplomatic Corps which highlights the short stay of diplomatic corps in Vologda in 1918.
The following annual theater festivals are held in Vologda:
Among annual exhibitions which take place in Vologda are the following:
Many notable Russian writers and poets were born or worked in Vologda. The best known of them were Konstantin Batyushkov, Varlam Shalamov, Nikolay Rubtsov, and Vasily Belov and Vladimir Gilarovsky. Contemporary literature of Vologda is represented by a number of authors which include Nata Suchkova, Maria Markova, Galina Schekina, and Anton Chorny.
Vologda is a major transportation hub, located at the intersection of highways, railways, and waterways.
The public transport network is well developed in the city: There are both bus and trolleybus lines. The city has four big automobile bridges: two automobile bridges across the Vologda and two bridges across railways. There is one pedestrian bridge (the Red bridge) in the city center.
Vologda is the largest sorting and transit spot of the Northern Railway. It includes the stations Vologda-1, Vologda-2, Rybkino, and Losta. The stretch between Vologda-2 and Losta is the most active one in the railroad network of the Russian Federation, with more than 120–150 pairs of trains running through it daily. Suburban trains and long-distance trains originate from the railway station of Vologda-1.
The Vologda Airport is situated 10 km from the city centre along the Arkhangelsk highway. Yak-40 aircraft carry out regular passenger flights to Moscow, Ukhta, Velikiy Ustyug, Kichmengsky Gorodok, and Vytegra. Helicopters Mi-2 and Mi-8 are used by the Vologda aviation company. They are used for the emergency aircraft and for the oil pipeline service.
The following highways go through Vologda:
The new ring road with modern exits connecting roads A-114, Р-5 and М-8 (the Arkhangelsk destination) is under construction around Vologda. The Arkhangelsk direction is still not connected by the ring road.
The municipal transportation of Vologda is carried out by bus and trolleybus routes, and also by lines of fixed-route taxis. Regular bus service started in Vologda in 1929, the trolleybus service was open in 1976. As of November 2009, in Vologda there were five trolleybus routes, nineteen municipal bus routes, and about forty marshrutkas (routed taxis). The main transport companies are the open society "VologdaElectroTrans" (trolleybuses), PATP-1 and PATP-32 (municipal bus routes).
Currently, there are more than ten thousand enterprises of various patterns of ownership in Vologda. The most notable ones are:
Traditional national crafts are presented by the closed joint-stock company «Snowflake» (lace), limited liability company "Hope" and other enterprises.
Vologda has large sports venues such as the stadiums "Dynamo", "Locomotive", "Vityaz", the swimming pools "Dynamo" and "Lagoon", the sports and concert complex "Spectrum", fitness centers, regional athletic spots. Vologda is a home to:
Vologda is twinned with: