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Vologda is one of the most ancient Russian cities and the chronicles it was first mentioned in date back to the 1147. The city was founded by merchants from Novgorod who were passing through these lands while dragging their ships from one of the northern rivers to another. So, from the moment of its foundation Vologda has played the role of an important trade midpoint between Europe and Siberia.

The date of city foundation is considered to be the year of 1147 when according to the legend one of the Russian saints, Gerasim, came to the Vologda River and was amazed by discovering among the deep forests a wooden Resurrection Cathedral surrounded by artisan settlements.

From the first years of its existence the city served as an important commercial and artisan production center forming natural gates to the northern territories. In 1555 Russia signed a trade treaty with England concerning one of the major trade routs that followed through the White Sea and the northern rivers via Vologda.

Being aware of the strategic significance of the city position, tsar Ivan the Terrible wanted to establish his northern residence here, which led to the building of some impressive constructions among which there was the Saint Sophia Cathedral (1568-1571).

Until the late 17th century Vologda played an essential role of the northern fortress that protected central territories from foreign invaders. Citizens of Vologda participated in the historical fight against the Mongols at Kulikovo in 1380 and their further contribution to the victory over Polish and Lithuanian invaders can hardly be overestimated.

Peter the Great visited Vologda at the beginning of the 18th century and to commemorate this event the first city museum was founded in the house of the Goutmans, Dutch merchants.

With the growing role of Saint Petersburg and the Baltic Sea in the economic life of the country at the beginning of the 18th century, Vologdas significance declined. However, it revived in the 19th century, with the development of the railroad and the lumber industry.

Vologda is noted for being one of the major northern centers of Russian culture. A lot of outstanding personalities, whose names connected with the bright achievements in the scientific and art spheres, were born here. Among them could be mentioned N. Vedenski, K. Batiushkov, V. Giliarovski, V.Vereshchagin.




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