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Discover Cozy Medvezhyegorsk
June 22, 2016 00:38


Medvezhyegorsk is a small and quite cozy town. Unlike the majority of Karelian towns, the landscape is not as flat as a table, and it is coming down from the hills to Lake Onega. There is not any quay there, but if you get to the beach you will enjoy a beautiful view.

Once the village was called Bear Mountain (in Karelian - Karhumägi). It was situated quietly on the lake, until it became an administrative center of construction of White Sea Canal in 1930. It is a notorious building area that gave birth to many cities from the White Sea to Lake Onega. In 1938, the village got the city status, and Bear Mountain became a big city of Medvezhyegorsk. Number of title animal sculptures in the city runs high: bears in bronze, marble and gypsum. There are also sculptures a la "Morning in a pine forest", and bears in the north - with the fish and with bread and salt. Places are scenic and huge here. That is why sleepy Medvezhyegorsk became a cinematic capital of Karelia: films "The Fourth Height", "The trees grow on stones too", "Platinum 2" and «Piranha Hunting" were made here.

Most of all the inhabitants are proud of the fact that in 1984 Vladimir Menshov chose their city for the filming of "Love and Pigeons". Since then much has changed here. A house with a small courtyard at Street Nizhnyaya, 12, on the outskirts of Medvezhegorsk, where a team of Menshov was chasing pigeons, was not preserved. There was a fire. Then the new owner dismantled the "historic" building. Now a new house is located here, where a young family lives. Today Medvezhyegorsk makes timid attempts to become a ski resort. Lifts are far from perfect (it is necessary to clamber by oiled hook that is scary and dirty), and there are not many hills there. But there is a lot of snow there and you can ski even in April.

District Local History Museum is situated in the largest (and somber) building of the city on main square of Medvezhegorsk. This is a former hotel of White Sea Canal Office built in 1935 and survived after all the bombing and shell attacks. Halls of the museum are former hotel rooms (very spacious and designed for the visiting Soviet VIPs).

The exposition is dedicated to the history of Onega Territory (traditional architecture, costumes and everyday life). There is a military hall exhibiting "A small town in the Great War". And, of course, the museum has a hall of history of White Sea and Baltic Canal. The fate of Medvezhegorsk was influenced by the channel structure directly. There was BBK Office (it is located here now). In 1930 the railway town became an administrative center of "big building area" and received a city status. During last international conference in Medgora, ("White Sea and Baltic Canal. Time and People"), the historians voiced the figure: 86 thousand people were killed in the construction of BBK during those years.

Railway station of Medvezhegorsk retained its old name of Bear Mountain. So, if you are traveling by train you are recommended to take a ticket to Medgora.

It is the best to come to Medvezhyegorsk by your car. Areas around the city are beautiful. There is many things to see. But public transport is neither regular nor comfort. The town has several cafes and one of them is quite decent: "Penguin" (Gorky Street, 23). You may manage and arrange tours of Medvezhyegorsk and to the country in the city’s local history museum (Dzerzhinsky Street, 22).

There is an equipped ski slope five kilometers from the country club "Small Medvezhka". Two ski trails with the length of 350-400 meters with significant slope and a 400-meter sloping trail for adults and children being trained skiing. Snowboarders and freeriders will enjoy virgin slopes untouched by ratrac. There is a trail for downhill with swings and trampolines. The slope is equipped with lifts. Apart from ski slopes, there are flat trails of varying length (from 2 to 5 km). A special slope "Karapuz" (tot) is built for children. The list of services includes tubing. Sights. Local history museum of Medvezhegorsk, the fortifications around the city, burial of Sandarmokh (19 kilometers from the city), the gateway to the BBK in Povenets, the church of St. Nicholas in Povenets (27 kilometers from Medvezhyegorsk).



Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Medvezhyegorsk Karelia    

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