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CITIES OF THE RUSSIAN NORTH

Hunting the Northern Lights:

 

Only eight countries reach north above the Arctic Circle, but with no doubt Russia reigns supreme. In all of them you may watch one of the planets most awe-inspiring spectacles the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.

 

Here are seven of the top unique destinations to view the northern lights in Russia:

 

Arkhangelsk - the city with the name of an angel" Arkhangelsk takes a worthy place in the family of the Russian cities. The city is born by the sea, and its life is connected with the sea throughout four centuries. This is the first sea trading port. This is the first sea gate in countries of Western Europe. This is the native land of domestic shipbuilding.

 

Places to see:

 

Citytour

 

During the excursion you will visit Archangel Michael's Cathedral, St. Nicholas Church - Solovetskoe courtyard, Trinity Church, Church of the Assumption. 

 

Excursion "Treasures of the Antonyiyev Siysky Monastery." During the  excursion you will visit Saint-Trinity Antonievo-Siysky monastery. The monastery located in the 160 km from Arkhangelsk. It is a unique Russian architectural monument of the 16th century, situated on the bank of the marvelous Mikhailovskoyo Lake. Today it is a functioning monastery which revives its traditions. Visit the bell tower.

 

Departure to the village Holmogory. Holmogory - one of the oldest settlements in the Russian White Sea North. The first mention of Kholmogory occurs in charters in 1138. Examination of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral (1685- 1691), belfry, episcopal chambers (1688-1689), the Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit (1865) and Twelve Apostles (1755-1761). Excursion to the village Matigory, inspection Voskresenskaya Church. The temple stands on a high bank near a small river. It was built in 1694 and has reached our days, without losing its external decoration. Gold domes glittering, gleaming gold crosses. Return to Arkhangelsk.

 

Solovki

 

Excursion «History and Architecture of the Solovetsky Monastery»: The Spaso-Preobrazhensky (Transfiguration) Monastery and its numerous hermitages are situated on the islands of the Solovetsky Archipelago in the White Sea. The first monks to inhabit this place were the Reverend Gherman and Savvaty, who came here in 1429. Their cause was continued by the Reverend Zosima who was the first to settle in the place of the monastery to be. The Solovki Cloister soon became the centre of missionary work and the stronghold of the Russian Orthodox Church in the northern lands, as well as the stronghold of the Russian State being a mighty fortress on the way of Swedish, Finnish and other foreign conquerors. You can see the Holy Gates, the Transfiguration Cathedral, the Assumption Church, the Annunciation Church, the Refectory Complex, cobble walls, turrets and watchtowers, the exhibitions of the museum of Gulag.

 

Excursion «Botanical Gardens Makarjevskaja Hermitage» At the end of the 19th century favourable climatic and soil conditions allowed the monks to arrange botanical garden on the Islands; a great number of plants were acclimatized there, among them apple-tree (M. palassii), dwarf shadbush, Hungarian lilac, Siberian pea-tree, Japanese rose with a high content of vitamin C, etc. The bus will take you to the monuments of the Makary Pustyn (Makarys Hermitage), you will see the trees planted during the Monastery and Camp periods on the territory of the Botanical Garden.  Excursion to Sekirnaya mountain. Sightseers will visit one of the highest points of the Bolshoi Solovetsky Island - Mount Sekirnaya. Acquainted with the history and monuments of the Svyato-voznesenskiy skete, where, during the Solovki camp was a punishment cell - a place of detention and punishment of prisoners, see the unique church-lighthouse.

 

«Along the green and blue roads of the Solovki». Visitors will learn of the hydro technical monuments and constructions of the Bolshoy (Great) Solovetsky Island during the excursion, they will oar their way along the man-made canals which connect 7 lakes.Transfer to the airport. 14:40 Departure to Arkhangelsk. Arrival. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition "Nordic letters" (ancient iconography).

 

Nothern lights, Arkhangelsk
Nothern lights, Arkhangelsk
Nothern lights, Arkhangelsk
Nothern lights, Arkhangelsk

Murmansk is the worlds biggest Arctic city.  Murmansk  celebrated its 100th birthday in 2016.

 

Murmansk is a city in northwest Russia, the capital of the Murmansk region. The city stretches over 20 km along the rocky eastern coast of the Kola Bay, 50 km from the open sea (the Barents Sea). It is located about 1,850 km north of Moscow and 1,330 km north of St. Petersburg.

The population of Murmansk is about 305,000 (2015), the area - 154 sq. km.

 

Though north of the Arctic Circle, the winters are relatively mild due to a warm ocean current that crosses the Atlantic from the Gulf of Mexico. There are nearly 24 hours of darkness from Dec. 2 to January 20 and 24 hours of daylight in June and July. During the winter darkness (late November to mid-January) the Northern Lights over the snow-covered landscape are an  magical sight.

 

Murmansk is the largest city in the world located above the Arctic Circle. Murmansk sea port is one of the largest ice-free ports in Russia. It is the port of registration of the barque Sedov, the largest sailing vessel in the world. All Russian nuclear icebreakers are also registered in this sea port. The port is the basis of the economy of Murmansk. The Northern Sea Route starts here.

 

The port is ice-free during the year due to the warm Gulf Stream waters. Severomorsk, a satellite city of Murmansk, is an important Russian Navy base.

 

Murmansk is located in the Atlantic-Arctic zone of temperate climate. The local climate is formed by the proximity of the Barents Sea, which enhances the effect of the warm North Atlantic Current. The average temperature in January is minus 9.2 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 13.8 degrees Celsius.

 

The city has a relatively well developed network of hotels. The largest hotels are: Azimut, Arctic, Meridian, Park Inn Poliarnie Zori, Moryak, Ogni Murmanska, 69 parallel, Morskaya.

 

Murmansk places of interest:

 

Despite its young age, there are a lot of places of interest in Murmansk. In three districts of the city there are over thirty monuments and memorial boards. Two memorial complexes are the most interesting: Murmansk Alyosha - the monument to the defenders of the Soviet Arctic and the memorial to sailors who died in peacetime. Murmansk Alyosha is one of the largest statues in Russia.

 

The largest number of attractions are concentrated in the October district, on Pyat Uglov (Five Corners) Square and Lenina Avenue. The tallest building in Murmansk (an 18-storey building of the hotel Arctic) as well as the first monument in Murmansk (the monument to the victims of foreign intervention) can be found here.

 

The heart of the Leninsky district is Semyonovskoe Lake with a fountain in its center. Murmansk oceanarium, the most northerly in the world, stands on the shore of the lake.

 

Recently built bridges across the Kola Bay and Church of the Savior on the waters are among the unique sights of the city.

 

Nothern lights, Murmansk
Nothern lights, Murmansk
Nothern lights, Murmansk
Nothern lights, Murmansk

Located to the south of Murmansk, Severodvinsk is considered one of Russias scientific capitals and one of the biggest Russian seaports. Severodvinsk is the second largest city in the Archangelsk region, with a population of 240,000 people.

 

Nothern lights, Severodvinsk
Nothern lights, Severodvinsk
Nothern lights, Severodvinsk
Nothern lights, Severodvinsk

Only accessible with a special permit, this northern archipelago, which includes Wrangel Island, is one of the most extreme locations to view the northern lights. Watch the glow of lights, bathing herds of reindeer in subtle greens as they stroll on islands stranded in a frozen sea during polar night. Novaya Zemlya is an archipelago in the Arkhangelsk Region, in extreme northern Russia. Its two major islands, called simply Severny (Northern) and Yuzhny (Southern), are vast. As a mountainous archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, Novaya Zemlya is a remote and inhospitable place with very harsh weather.

 

Nothern lights, Novaya Zemlya
Nothern lights, Novaya Zemlya
Nothern lights, Novaya Zemlya
Nothern lights, Novaya Zemlya

Naryan-Mar (meaning Red City in Nenets people language) is a city in Russia, the capital of the Nenets autonomous region. It is located above the Arctic Circle, in the Low Pechora, 110 km from the Barents Sea, 1,500 km from Moscow, 660 km from Arkhangelsk. Enjoy learning myths, legends, and indigenous lore and beliefs such as never whistle during the northern lights; in a truly unique journey through Russias heartland.

 

Nothern lights, Naryan-Mar
Nothern lights, Naryan-Mar
Nothern lights, Naryan-Mar
Nothern lights, Naryan-Mar

Salekhard is a city in Russia, the capital of Yamalo-Nenets autonomous region (the largest gas producing region in the world). Salekhard is the third largest city in the region after Novy Urengoy and Noyabrsk, the only city in the world located right on the Arctic Circle.The population of Salekhard is about 48,300 (2015), the area - 28 sq. km.

 

Salekhard thrives on the northern lights. Known for a specific tint of green locals call Nger Harp the light of the dead, Salekhard is a city with its own unique connection to the winter light show.

 

Nothern lights, Salekhard
Nothern lights, Salekhard
Nothern lights, Salekhard
Nothern lights, Salekhard

Dixon is the northernmost town in Russia. The population of the town is 657 people and most of the town is situated on the island. The bright white light show seen only during summer.

 

Nothern ligts, Dixon
Nothern ligts, Dixon

Tixi, being the main port of this sea, is a town within Russias Sakha Republic, which is the part of Yakutia. Yakutsk is the coldest city on earth with -50C and lower (regular temperature) in winter. Tixi lies on the complete north coast of this territory. It is accessible from Moscow by air and might be your easiest avenue for seeing the northern lights. Known for its consistency (as well as over 10 weeks of the polar night) the aurora borealis is especially stunning here during spring and autumn equinoxes in April and October.

 

Nothern lights, Tiksi
Nothern lights, Tiksi
Nothern lights, Tiksi

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