Vologda Oblast

vologda oblast – вологодская область

The Vologda Oblast has a rich history. It is home of UNESCO World Heritage listed frescoes of Ferapontovo and the official residence of Father Frost - the Russian opposite number of Santa Claus.

kirillov– кириллов

The small town of Kirillov located 130 km north-west of Vologda is worth a visit to see the 1397 Kirillov Monastery. Massive walls with towers surround 12 hectares subdivided into four areas one of which is an active monastery.

The 1523 Holy Gate. The frescoes inside the gate were painted in 1585.

Lenin in Kirillov is looking at the monastery monitoring the current monastic life.

A saint behind Lenin in his turn is watching Lenin.

ferapontovo – ферапонтово

The village of Ferapontovo 20 km from Kirillov is home to another monastery. Czar Ivan the Terrible is said to have frequented Ferapontovo and enjoyed the 1490 Our Lady Nativity Church decorated with frescoes painted by the great artist Dionysius and his sons in 1502. The frescoes have been remedied but never repainted. Thus, what visitors see today was actually made in 1502. That's why the frescoes are so precious and received UNESCO World Heritage listing.

belozersk – белозёрск

Belozersk located on the shore of Lake White is one of the oldest Russian towns. According to the chronicles it already existed in 862. The kremlin is circled with well preserved ramparts. The ditch was dug in the 15th century.

The 1670 Transfiguration Church inside the Belozersk kremlin.

The 1723 Savior Church is in town outside the kremlin.

The village of Ukhtoma on the way from Belozersk to Lipin Bor.

The cemetery church in 2013.

In 2017. Time takes its toll.

When crossing the Sheksna River by ferry before coming to Ukhtoma from Belozersk.

veliky ustyug – великий устюг

This small town founded in 1212 is located in the north-east corner of the oblast and is packed with churches.

Semen Dezhnev - the Russian explorer known to travelers because of Cape Dezhnev  - was born in Veliky Ustyug in 1605.

The statue of Dezhnev stands next to the 1658 Assumption Cathedral.

The belfry of the Assumption Cathedral.

The 1700 St. Dmitry Solunsky Church.

The 1682 St. Nicholas Gostinsky Church.

In 1998 Veliky Ustyug for some reason was declared to be the official home of Father Frost - the Russian equivalent of Santa Claus. It gave rise to family tourism. Families with kids are flocking the town especially in winter time to visit Father Frost's facilities. His Throne Hall and Post Office are located in town.

Father Frost's post office in 2010.

In 2021.

Father Frost’s real estate is in the forest 15 km from the town. It comprises various attractions for kids, places to eat and drink and a hotel. Inside the large wooden fairy tale structure called Father Frost’s house you’ll meet him face to face and for some extra ruble have your photo taken with this red-clad and white-bearded guy.

totma– тотьма

The town of Totma founded in 1137 is about half way between Vologda and Veliky Ustyug. So when you drive from Vologda to Veliky Ustyug it is advisable to make a stop in Totma where you can enjoy two delicately designed churches: the 1794 Entry to Jerusalem Church and the 1748 Nativity Church. The style is sometimes referred to as Totma Baroque.

vytegra – вытегра

The town of Vytegra is located in the north-west corner of the oblast. When driving from Vologda to Karelia it is advisable to visit a B-440 submarine, NATO classification "foxtrot", turned into a museum.

Don Moes of Waco, Texas is having a rest after exploring the submarine.

Somewhere in the vicinity of Vytegra.