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Arkhangelsk has several-centuries history. Geographical position of the region has determined its development. Founded in 1584 by the order of Ivan the Terrible, Arkhangelsk soon turned into one of the prominent trade centers that played a crucial role in the relations between Russia and Western Europe. Close location to the White Sea contributed to quick development of the settlement which at first was known as Novo-Kholmogory. In 1613 Arkhangelsk obtained its present name. For VI - VII centuries the settlement experienced rapid growth. At those times Arkhangelsk served as the major sea port from which extensive trade with the western countries carried out. In the late VII century it became the place where the countrys shipbuilding started. The regions prosperity was based on foreign interactions realized through trade missions in the White Sea.

In the times of Peter the Great Arkhangelsk contributed a lot to the development of Russian navy. In 1693 the Admiralty was established here, the process controlled directly by the tsar. During the Northern War with Sweden (1700-1721) Arkhangelsk represented a crucial strategic Russian fort post and Peter I ordered to build fortifications here. In 1701 the construction of the Novodvinsk fortress started. This fortress distinguished by its regular design: a square in the plan with four bastions on the corners. On 25-26 of June 1701 here took place Novodvinsk battle, in which Russians for the first time in that war won a victory over the Swedish navy. With the foundation of the Baltic port of Saint Petersburg in 1703, Arkhangelsk partly lost its significance, but it preserved its role of the regional center, especially in the spheres of trade, shipbuilding, fishing, and timber production.

In the beginning of the XIX century during the Napoleonic wars when the continental blockade was enforced by France, Arkhangelsk was the single port in Russia through which colonial produce was imported. This situation facilitated the region economic growth. IX were the centuries of another period of the regions development. Arkhangelsk turned into a major timber producing center in Russia. A lot of expeditions departed from here, including those of V.Chichagov., F.Litke, V.Rusanov, G.Sedov.

During World Wars I and II Arkhangelsks strategic position again contributed to its being one of the most important Russian sea ports and it was this port through which the country was receiving Allied aid. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, when Bolshevik rule started to spread throughout the country, Arkhangelsk turned into one of the strongholds of the anti-Bolshevik White army.

For centuries of the Arkhangelsks existence its administrative and territory status has gone through a range of changes and present Arkhangelsk Region was created 23 of September, 1937, in the result of the Northern Region division into Arkhangelsk and Vologda Regions.

Today the Arkhangelsk Region is an important industrial and cultural center of the Russian North. It is a large port on the White Sea and an essential railroad crossing, as well as point of intersection of a range of airline routs. Major industries include timber processing, shipbuilding and building materials production.




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