The Arkhangelsk Region
The Arkhangelsk Region is an original 'store-room' of ancient Russian culture and of oldest traditions of spiritual life of the Pomors.
There are good grounds to believe that the first settlers in the North, primordial hunters and fishermen, came here 14 thousand years ago. The evidence of the fact is more than 800 archeological finds from Paleolithic to Middle Ages, material evidence of the settlements of legendary and mysterious Chud and Lope tribes along the Vaga, Pinega, Mezen rivers and on the Lake Lache.
In the 8th century the first groups of Slavs from Rostov-Suzdal and Novgorod areas came to the North. They brought land-cultivating, written language, Christianity with them. From here the Slavs-farmers went to sea and found sea routes to Scandinavia and Siberia; here an original culture of the Pomors formed and it was here that the Russian fleet was destined to be born and the famous 'three-coloured' flag to be hoisted.
Quite a special place in developing the area belongs to Russian Orthodox escetics and monasteries. In the 12th-15th centuries there already appeared first cloisters, by the 17th century there had been about 60 monasteries which had become cultural centres and safeguards of the northern borders of the Russian State. The monasteries actively used the latest achievements in engineering, promoted ancient Russian arts. Hundreds of talented icon painters, golden-stitch embroiderers, scribes, jewelers, smiths worked in the monastery workshops.
In the 18th century when the centre of external economic activities in Russia moved to the Baltic region the tempo of social and economic development of the Arkhangelsk North reduced; in the process of becoming a Russian province, nevertheless, the region preserved its original colour, traditions and unique historical and cultural heritage of the Russian northerners.
Hundreds of thousands tourists annually come to the Arkhangelsk Region. They are attracted here by the stately beauty of the Solovetsky Archipelago, the grey granites of the Kiy Island, the karst caves of the Pinega Land, the architectural ensembles of Kargopol and Solvychegodsk, the sacred culture of the Kenozero Land, and the unique monuments of the Russian wooden architecture.