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The ancient town of Kargopol is located in the south of the Arkhangelsk region has some of the most important historic landmarks in the Russian North. Kargopol was first mentioned in 1146.

To our days the town preserves the atmosphere of the of the Russian Northern province. This happened due in many respects to the local merchants who took the decision not to build railway lines n the town. Thus Kargopol stayed far from temptations and haste of the civilized world. Thats why Kargopol is famous for its streets dotted with log houses and one-storeyed stone buildings.

The ancient Cathedral Square has a wonderful ensemble of 17- 19th century churches and the Belfry, the tallest building in the town built in honor of Catherine the Great.

The oldest of Russian hip-roofed churches preserved on the territory of Kargopol is the St. Mikhails Church of the Feast of Purification (1655).

There are also some other churches in Kargopol that are worth seeing and admiring: Cathedral of the Nativity of Mother of God, Trinity Cathedral, Resurrection Cathedral, and Cathedral of St. Ioanne the Precursor.

The Cathedral of the Nativity of Mother of God was built in 1672-1680 on the Annunciation Square at the expense of local merchants. This five-domed well-shaped cathedral is largely decorated with fine carving and tracery eaves.

The Resurrection Cathedral is another masterpiece of the Russian stone architecture. The distinctive features of this church are the snow-white color of the walls, graceful proportions, and the beautiful architectural ornamentation executed in the original style developed by Kargopol masons and named Kargopol tracery. The carving of the apses and windows was done (according to the tradition) by different masters, so the patterns of the ornament never repeat.

Kargopol is famous for its traditional folk crafts: clay toys and ceramics, elm wickerwork, and weaving. Tourists can buy these souvenirs in Kargopol at a very decent price.


The village of Lyadiny 37 km from Kargopol has preserved a true masterpiece of the 18th century architecture Pogost (an administrative, religious, commercial and cultural center of several villages). The Pogost in the village of Lyadiny is a unique architectural ensemble. In the center of the village are 2 wooden 18th century churches and the Belfry. One of the two churches - the Church of Intercession (1743) is hipped-roofed, and its hip is one of the biggest one in Russia. The other one the Epiphany Church (1793) has 12 domes, which makes the church look really beautiful and festive. It has one more unique feature - a large round porch. The village also has a school of local handicrafts and the Museum of Peoples Life. Excursions there are held by children. Merry old ladies (babushkas in Russian) wearing bright national costumes would be glad to sing folk songs and dance for their guests.


The village of Oshevensk located 50 km to the northeast of Kargopol is no less interesting. It has a number of attractions: Pogost with the 18th century Epiphany Church, the remains of the St. Alexanders Oshevensk Monastery (18th century), St. Georges Chapel, quite unusual for the region, and Sacred Stones that are believed to have healing effect.

The Epiphany Church (1787) is a wooden octagonal hip-roofed cathedral with a magnificent hip and non-central annexes. It looks really monumental surrounded by picturesque landscapes and small log peasant houses.

Tourists will be also able to have village dinner in one of peasant houses and to try out traditional Russian cuisine: Russian cabbage soup, potatoes dressed with sour cream, pickles and fresh milk.

Tags: Arkhangelsk Region Kargopol    



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