Petrozavodsk (Петрозаво́дск; Karelian/Vepsian/Finnish: Petroskoi)
Petrozavodsk is the capital of the Republic of Karelia, Russia, with a population of 266,160 (2002 Census). It stretches along the western shore of the Lake Onega for some 27 kilometers. Petrozavodsk can be considered as gateway to the famous Valaam Monastery and the fascinating wood churches (built with no nails) of Ки́жи (Kizhi).
The main street of the city is Lenin avenue. It goes from the railway station to the Onego Lake waterfront. There are numerous fountains, many shops, bars and restaurants on Lenin avenue. If you turn right on Engels street you will find the historical center of the city - Lenin Square.
Ferry to Monastery.
It is amazing that there are many names of streets and squires left from the Soviet times in Petrozavodsk. The answer could be the calm and patient northern mentality that is not in a rush to change things. Furthermore, the local authorities say there is no need to change your history. Karl Marks avenue is another street with the name remained from the Soviet times.
The Lenin statue was erected in the 1930s and during the Soviet-German War the local authorities had no time to evacuate the monument when Finnish troops were about to seize the city. But in fact, the Finns have practically nothing against this person because it was Lenin who gave them independence in 1918. And this statue survived through the occupation though became dilapidated.
Along the Onego Lake waterfront you'll be welcomed by the bronze monument of Peter the Great. The town founder is in full-dress uniform with his sword. His right hand points at at the mouth of the River Salmon where in 1703 a gun foundry was given the name of Petrozavodsk. Initally the statue was unveiled on Circle Square but after the October Revolution it was substituted by Lenin's monument.
Petrozavodsk was the host to the 2008 Miss Russia pagent.
The city was founded on 11 September 1703 as Petrovskaya Sloboda by Prince Menshikov at the behest of Peter the Great who needed a new iron foundry for manufacturing cannons and anchors for the Baltic Fleet at the time of the Great Northern War.
By 1717, Petrovskaya Sloboda had grown into the largest settlement in Karelia, with about 3500 inhabitants, a timber fort, a covered market, and miniature palaces of the Tsar and Menshikov. The town's best known landmark was the wooden church of Sts. Peter and Paul, rebuilt in 1772 and renovated in 1789.
The city was occupied by Finnish troops for nearly three years before it was retaken by Soviet forces on June 28, 1944. Before leaving the town the Finnish troops provided the inhabitants with a week's ration of food; a unique deed in military history.
The city is uniquely European, while remaining Russian, in its attitudes and culture. Upon visiting you will notice that unique difference about Petrozavodsk.
The city has a fine frontage on the Gulf of Petrozavodsk. The modern embankment, inaugurated in 1994, displays an assortment of Karelian granites and marbles. It is lined with extravagant postmodernist sculptures presented by sister cities of Petrozavodsk from around the world.