Russian North National Park (Vologda Region)

Written on:February 15, 2015
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The main and most famous recreation object among nature resorts in the north of Russia.

The national park, situated on the territory of Kirillov district, Vologda region, was created to preserve the unique nature complexes of Vologda’s lakes and rich historical and cultural heritage of the area. It has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) of federal significance.


On the territory of the Russian North national park there have been registered 72 historical and architectural monuments and objects of engineering. The ensembles of Kirillo-Beloozerskiy, Ferapontov and Goritskiy monasteries as well as Ilyinskaya Church at Tsipin Hill have been defined as monuments of federal significance. In the town of Kirillov 25 architectural monuments have been given the status of monuments of local significance.


Kirillo-Beloozerskiy Monastery is situated in the town of Kirillov on the bank of lake Siverskoye. It was founded by Reverend Kirill, a monk of Moscow Simonov Monastery – one of the largest cells in Russia – in 1397. By the end of the XVII century 11 churches had been built there. During the years of its prime it was one of the richest towns-fortresses, one of the main Russian libraries was situated in it. In 1612 it resisted the invasion of Polish-Lithuanian army. The monastery fortress was built as an emergency residence of Russian tsars in case enemies intrude and is still the biggest above-ground fortress in Russia. Its walls, which are about 2 km long, were thrown up during the reign of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich. The monastery was also used as a place of citation. In 1924 the monastery was eliminated, a museum started work on its territory.


Pherapontov Monastery, established by Pherapont – an associate of St. Kirill – in 1398, is situated 20 km far from the town of Kirillov. The main highlight of the monastery is the Cathedral of the Navity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – the only place, where you can find the survived fresco by the master of Dionisiy, one of the most famous Russian icon-painters. The cathedral was painted in 1502. For many years the monastery had been the place of exile of patriarch Nikon. In 2000 Pherapontov Monastery was added to the list of the objects of the world heritage of UNESCO.


Goritsy Resurrection Nunnery was established by Great Princess Yephrosinya Staritskaya in 1544. For many years the monastery had been the place of exile for noble Russian women of the tsar family – Anna Koltovskaya, Maria Nagaya, Kseniya Godunova and others. During your stay there you will see the nunnery’s sanctities – Resurrection Cathedral (1544), Trinity Cathedral, Pokrovskaya Church, will have a chance to drink well-water from a saint spring. Starting from 1999 the monastery has restored the monasterial life.

Nilo-Sorskaya Hermitage, situated 15 km to the west from Kirillov Monastery, was founded in 1480 by Reverand Nil Sorsky, the pioneer of cell life in Russia. The architectural ensemble is mostly destroyed. The monuments of history and technique of the XIX-XX centuries are buildings of Volga-Baltic and North Dvina water ways. The history of their construction and reconstruction, good preservation of still exploited hydro-technical constructions of the XIX century, convenient position on the territory of the park in regard to the point of visitor’s service (the town of Kirillov) make these monuments attractive tourist objects.

On the territory of “Russian North” national park there are 5 natural monuments – unique natural complexes and objects, 8 hostels, 5 children’s camps and a summer labor camp for teenagers, 4 hunting and fishing seats. Different water, walking and car routs are laid there.


Besides on the territory of the park you can see unique historical and cultural monuments, including ancient trade and migration routs along with various archeological monuments and historical villages, monastery centers, numerous monuments of civil and religious architecture, ethnography, engineering. The monuments are so valuable and charming especially because they are situated in the natural surroundings, in the harmony with nature and historical environment.

Ecological education is one of priority directions in the work of the national park. Its goal is to bring up the nation’s ecological culture, teach man to treat nature in the right way. On this purpose the department arranges scientific conferences, practice classes and seminars, ecological camps, numerous photo exhibitions, bright fests, various competitions. In order to attract to the park’s environmental activity as many people as possible the park’s staff use together with traditional methods also new types and forms of work, innovative technologies. On this purpose there has been established a multi-functional ecological-educational project of “Russian North” Ecology School”.

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