The little town of Vytegra (population approximately 11,000) boasts a series of fine museums that tell the story of this intriguing area of the Russian North.
The main Museum of Local History has an excellent and diverse range of exhibits, ranging from displays devoted to the fauna, flora, and geology of the region, to historical displays that tell the story of a bustling merchant town in the nineteenth century, and of the center of a renewed canal system in the twentieth. The Museum also possesses an outstanding collection of icons, a legacy of the mosaic of outstanding early modern churches that dot the landscape of Vytegra County. The Museum, located within easy reach of the town passenger quay, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day during the summer, and is closed only on Mondays during other seasons.
Another Vytegra museum is devoted to the area’s most famous son, the poet Nikolai Klyuev, who was born and brought up in villages not far from Vytegra, and who spent some of his most productive years in Vytegra in the town. For an excursion to the Nikolai Klyuev Museum, or for a motorized excursion to the villages of his childhood and youth, enquire at the main Museum.
A third museum charts in detail the story of the northern waterway of which Vytegra has been for two centuries the capital. For an excursion to this musuem, enquire at the main Museum.
Administratively separate from these three museums, but also well worth a visit is the Electro-Diesel Submarine B-440, docked in Vytegra, on the bank of the Vytegra Reservoir.
The view from the Bell Tower of the Cathedral of the Feast of the Purification is a «must» for every visitors. For access to the Bell Tower enquire at the main Museum.
About 60 km west of Vytegra, along the main road to St Petersburg, is the village of Oshta, center of the only part of Vologda Province touched directly by the Second World War. A museum in the village commemorates the heroic defence of the area, which played a small but significant part in actions that would eventually lead Soviet troops from deep within their own country to the defeated enemy’s capital, securing, at the cost of huge sacrifices, one of the greatest victories in the history of warfare.
The Museum of Local History has a gift shop which offers locally-made souvenirs, publications, and post cards.
You can read more about the Museums of Vytegra, and about the town, its environs, the history and culture of the Vytegra area (including details of artists associated with the area) on the other pages of the English section of this web site. Don’t forget to check back soon, as more materials are added to all these pages on a regular basis.
And, finally, the English pages of this web site provide contact and location information; a guest book where you may leave your comments; and details of opportunities to become a sponsor or supporter of the Vytegra museum system.