Arkhangelsk was the starting point from which the exploration of Russia’s North began. It became the main city from which the first polar expeditions set off along Russia’s northern shores, and from which research was conducted on the features of the North’s geography, flora, and fauna and the distinctive way of life of its inhabitants.
Arkhangelsk is the largest city in Arctic Russia, a major historical, industrial, scientific, and cultural centre in the northwestern part of the country, a seaport, which became renowned during the world wars. It is located in delta of Northern Dvina River, which creates favourable conditions for navigation, and is the primary waterway. The city has a population of 350,000 and covers an area of 294 square kilometres.
Arkhangelsk was founded in 1584 by order of Ivan the Terrible. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Arkhangelsk became the country’s largest timber processing and wood export centre. The city also served as an important base for the development of the Arctic and the establishment of shipping via the Northern Sea Route.
Arkhangelsk is not just the first seaport in Russia’s history, it still remains a major transport hub, providing a solid link between rail and sea routes. Due to its active involvement in Arctic projects, Arkhangelsk can be viewed as a regional platform for Russia’s Arctic operations.
There are two universities in Arkhangelsk: Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University and Northern State Medical University. The region’s education institutions are dedicated to preparing highly skilled specialists capable of working at high latitudes and conducting research and development.
Leading enterprises in the timber, fishing and fish processing, food production, and retail and service industries are concentrated in Arkhangelsk.
Arkhangelsk is not only the industrial centre of the region, but also the local cultural and historical capital, and the centre of development of northern culture, traditions, and wooden architecture.