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    Arkhangelsk Region

Russian North is remarkable for its majestic scenery and unique architecture. The ancient Archangelsk played the leading role in the history of Russian architecture. Nowadays tourists can see the monuments that remind of the ancient epoch.

Due to its strategic location, the region has a rather grim history since for quite a long time the region was home to many prison and exile camps. The main attraction of the region is however the untamed northern wilderness, the open museum at Malye Korely or the Solovetskye Islands.

The Solovetskye Islands (Solovki) have always been used for exile and retreat: here was one of the most famous monasteries of the Russian Empire, a tsaristera penal colony and a Soviet prison camp. It is still a place one can hardly live in. For travelers unphased by remote locations and complications in getting there, the islands offer unparalleled beauty, with frequent reminders of their troubled history. The region is known for its wooden architecture similar to that of fabulous Kizhi and pleasant scenery around the natural reserve. Malye Korely, a small town 25 km east of Archangelsk, houses a prominent collection of the 19th century wooden buildings, windmills and watermills, bell towers and wooden churches, brought here from various places throughout the Archangelsk Region.

Especially wonderful are summer white nights-since the end of May till the end of June, the only time of the year when the sun never goes down. In winter you may observe marvelous soft white snows and northern lights. There are about 25 thousand lakes, including salt, mineral sources, that allowed to create famous resorts Solonicha and Solvychegodsk in the Archangelsk Region.

The Archangelsk Region is attractive for foreigners because of its history, art, traditions and business.

Population

Arkhangelsk Region has a population of about 1,443,300 people (2001 estimate). The population density is 2,5 persons per sq km. Some 74% of inhabitants live in towns. The largest cities are the following: Archangelsk 361,800 (2000 estimate) people; Severodvinsk 229,300 people; Kotlas 66,200 people; Novodvinsk 49,000 people.

Ethnic composition is comparatively homogeneous with 92 % represented by Russians. Among other nationalities are Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Nenets, Komi, Tatars, etc. The average age is 36.

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