Places to Visit in Russia
Yelnya, Smolensk region (Russia)
The city of Yelnya is located 82 km southeast of Smolensk in the upper reaches of the Desna River.
The first mention of Yelnya dates back to the 12th-13th centuries. The Elninsk operation of 1941 brought special fame to the city, during which 10 German divisions were defeated. 4 Soviet divisions that participated in this operation were the first to receive the rank of guards. In memory of this event, a memorial to the first guards divisions and busts of Marshal Zhukov and the commanders of the first guards divisions were erected on the central square of the city in 1971.
In Yelnya, on the left bank of the Desna River, on a low hill, the remains of the 12th-century settlements of Gorodok and Ostrozhek have been preserved. The Elninsk Local History Museum was opened in 1969. Its expositions tell about the events of the Great Patriotic War in this area, about the ancient crafts and crafts of the region.
21 km south of Yelnya is the village of Novospasskoye. This place is the birthplace of the great Russian composer M.I. Glinka. In memory of this man, in 1982, the Memorial Museum-Estate of M.I. Glinka, which is a branch of the Smolensk Museum-Reserve. A two-story manor house of the early 19th century, a family church of the late 18th century, and many small manor buildings were restored on the territory of the museum. An extensive landscape park with a cascade of ponds, bridges and greenhouses was arranged here. By visiting the museum, you will feel the atmosphere of the noble life of the 19th century and see Glinka’s personal belongings.
Kalevala, Republic of Karelia (Russia)
The village of Kalevala is located on the northern shore of Lake Srednee Kuito, 550 km northeast of Petrozavodsk. The first mention of a trading settlement on the site of the current Kalevala is found in documents from the 17th century. Today it is an attractive land of rivers, lakes and swamps in terms of tourism, where the songs of the Karelian-Finnish epic “Kalevala” originated. In the village itself and in its environs there are many memorable places associated with the creation of the Kalevala epic.
Rune collector Elias Lennrot, a Finnish doctor, worked here in the early 19th century. It is believed that he recorded epic songs, sitting under an old pine tree, which is located in the village to this day and is called Lennrot’s pine. In Kalevala in the house of the storyteller Maria Remshu, the museum “Run singers of Kalevala” is located. Folklore festivals and performances by local folk ensembles are held here every year.
Lake Kuito, on which the village of Kalevala stands , is the main natural attraction of the region. It is an arc 140 km long, consisting of three lakes – Upper, Middle and Lower Kuito. All of them have indented coastlines and many small islands. There are 12 species of fish in the Kuito Lake basin, including such valuable species as salmon, vendace, whitefish and grayling. Near the northeastern shore of Lake Srednee Kuito, in the lower reaches of the Kepa River, there is the largest bog in Karelia, Yupyauzhshuo , 23 km long.
Southeast of Kalevala in the eastern part of the Kalevalsky district is the ancient village of Panozero. The first mention of it dates back to the beginning of the 13th century. The traditional Karelian wooden architecture has been preserved in the village – houses, barns and baths. Yushkozero, Voinitsa, Kepa, Luusalmi and Kuusiniemi can also be distinguished from the ancient settlements of the region with unique monuments of ancient architecture.
Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad region (Russia)
According to computergees, Kaliningrad is the center of the westernmost region of Russia. Until 1946, Kaliningrad was called Koenigsberg and belonged to Germany. The city was founded in 1255 by the crusaders of the Teutonic Order. In 1525-1618. Königsberg was the residence of the Prussian dukes, and from 1701 was part of the Kingdom of Prussia. After the Second World War, by decision of the Potsdam Conference, he went to the USSR.
Kaliningrad is a controversial city. Here, a gothic-style cathedral and Khrushchev’s five-story buildings, ancient German bastions and monuments to Soviet leaders, the ruins of buildings destroyed during the Second World War and quarters of modern buildings coexist. Despite significant destruction during the war, Kaliningrad succeeded in retaining its original features. Its main attractions are the Cathedral (XIV – XVI centuries), which houses the grave of Immanuel Kant; Albertina University, founded in 1544 and the oldest university in Russia; the Amber Museum, located in a 19th-century bastion; Museum of the World Ocean; city fortifications (mid-14th century); Botanical Garden; zoo, which is the largest wildlife park in Russia. During the season, Kaliningrad pleases the eye with an abundance of greenery – about a third of its territory is occupied by parks, boulevards, gardens and squares.