Medvezhjegorsk (156 kilometers from Petrozavodsk to the north) is large regional center.
Medvezhjegorsky region has ancient history, it is reservation of traditional culture of Russians and Karelians, it keeps traditions of Karelian wooden architecture and folk art.
Formerly it was deep forest on the territory of the present-day Medvezhjegorsk, with swamps and roaming bears.
According to the legend about the city emerging, the bear as big as mountain had been walking through forests and swamps, until he reached Onega Lake. He bended to take a swallow, but froze because of charming by the beauty.
A little of imagination – and even from the railroad station one can see bear-like mountains above the waters of Onega Lake.
History of the city is mainly history of local plants.
Beginning of the city history is construction of wood processing plant in 1792 – 1794 at Kumsa river.
Manufacturer Zakharjev was owner of the plant.
Plant is not existing at the present time but the wooden house of Zakharjev descendants, built in 1900, is kept to the moment.
Development of the city is partly connected to the construction of Murmanskaya railroad.
(one of the expositions of local museum is devoted to 90th anniversary of Oktyabrskaya Railroad (former Murmanskaya Railroad).
In 1915 on the shore of Onega Lake the pier was constructed to bring food, equipment and prisoners by water.
Then houses, warehouses and wooden temporary locomotive depot emerged around the pier.
It took short time to move mountains of earth, create hundreds of bridges, build the road of more than 1 thousand kilometers.
Official date of opening of Murmanskaya Railroad movement is 16th of November, 1916.
One year later the railroad station was constructed according to the design of engineer Gabbe. The station is similar to Dutch Church, it still decorates the city.
In thirties of the 20th century is the center of Gulag. Buildings of the project institute of Belbaltcombinat and administration of NKVD. One should pay attention to the building, which was built, like more other buildings, by the prisoners of Medvezhjegorsk prisons. Architectural style can be described as Stalin Empire style. Originally it was hotel of the Channel, S. Kirov used to stay here many times.
Kirov’s monument stands across the building.
Kiss Bridge – some kind of visit card of the city.
At the present time Medvezhjegorsk is city of stone buildings, ferroconcrete bridges and enterprises.
Unfortunately old churches and historical building are not existing for the moment.
There is memorial cemetery 15 kilometers far from the city
Sandarmoch –massive deposition of victims of political depressions.
From August, 1937 until December, 1938, about 9500 people were shot and buried here. Among them were Russian, Karelian, Finnish, Ukrainian, Byelorussian, Jewish, Polish, German people and others.
In 1998 in Sandarmoch the memorial complex was opened, designed by G. Saltup, the sculptor. It is granite boulder with sculptural bas-relief and the writing: People, don’t kill each other.
Chapel of St. George the Victorious is located close to it.
Both Orthodox and Catholic crosses are set in this place.
Povenets is located 26 kilometers to the south from Medvezhjegorsk.
In ancient times it was trade place, one of the places existing along trade roads of Obonezhje. This settlement is noted in historical documents dated 1496.
In the 16th century there were warehouses of the merchants buying salt, fish and firs.
In the 17th century path of pilgrims to the sacraments of Solovki Monastery lied through Povenets.
Povenets became famous during the Northern War, when Peter the First had constructed Osudareva Road from White Sea to Onega Lake through forests and swamps.
During the Great Patriotic War old Povenets was destroyed: it was the frontline, great battles took place here.
Now it is modern village.
The only sightseeing of it is the Belomorsko-Baltic ChannelDue to its existence Povenets became large lake and river port.
In memory of the Channel constructor and warriors, died during the Great Patriotic War, in 2004 St. Nicolas Church appeared in Povenets.