The Unique Facts about Petrozavodsk You Should Know

Petrozavodsk is a city in northwestern Russia, the capital of Karelia and the administrative center of the Prionezhsky district, located on the shores of the Petrozavodsk Bay of Lake Onega. Here are some of the city’s unique facts worth knowing whether you plan to pay it a visit or just for the sake of knowledge.

1. It’s far from Moscow but uses Moscow’s time

The distance from Moscow to Petrozavodsk by rail is 921 km. The fast branded train Karelia No. 18 overcomes the distance in 14 hours and 25 minutes. Railway connections with St. Petersburg and Murmansk are also well established. Two Yak-40 airplanes, departing from Moscow Vnukovo airport, arrive at Besovets airport in Petrozavodsk in 2 hours 30 minutes with a layover in Cherepovets.

By bus from Petrozavodsk you can get to most of the settlements of Karelia, to Vologda, Cherepovets and St. Petersburg. There is no time difference between the city and Moscow.

2. The winter is long, the summer is short

Petrozavodsk has a temperate continental climate with marine features, characterized by long but mild winters and short cool summers. Western and southwestern winds prevail, and eastern winds are quite frequent. More than half the days of the year are cloudy. The weather in the city is unstable, due to frequent cyclones, even in the summer the cloudless sky can quickly give way to heavy rain and strong cold wind.

The coldest months in Petrozavodsk are January and February, when the average temperature reaches -10°C, and the warmest month is July with an average monthly temperature of +16°C. Winter in Petrozavodsk begins in the second half of October, with the highest snow cover from January to March. Mostly not very cold, but cloudy days with strong western winds may happen with the most windy month in February. The lowest air temperature at -41.6°C was observed in January 1987.

Spring comes in mid-April, but a significant drop in temperature to -5-7°C is possible in May, and frosts in the first half of June.

Summer begins in the first half of June. From May to July, eastern winds may bring prolonged rains. Sometimes the city falls into the zone of the northern part of the European anticyclone. On such days the city has clear weather, and the air warms up to +30°C. The hottest summer was in 2006, when the air temperature in July reached +33.5°C. This is the absolute annual maximum in Petrozavodsk. But usually the average temperature of Petrozavodsk summer is around +15°C.

Autumn, characterized by humid south-western winds and rains or clear but cold weather, begins in early September, even frosts are possible at this time.

3. The historical city of Russia

Petrozavodsk is included on the list of historical settlements of federal significance or on the list of historical settlements of regional significance. It’s because within the boundaries of the city there are objects of cultural heritage included in the register, identified objects of cultural heritage and objects that are the subject of protection of a historical settlement. Here are the objects you can find in Petrozavodsk:

  • Onega Embankment; an open-air museum that houses a monument to the founder of the city, Emperor Peter I, numerous monuments, gifts from twin cities, the Wish Tree, as well as other interesting sculptures and structures.
  • Lenin Square – the former Round Square, named after Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
  • Lenin Avenue – the main street of Petrozavodsk. The main objects are the university, the Severnaya hotel and the fountain near it, the Yunost fountain, and the gallery of twin cities.
  • Culture and Leisure Park – the former Petrovsky Garden (Summer Garden) was founded in 1703. It is the oldest park in Russia, in which a monument to the Petrovsky Plant is installed, has an inactive fountain in place of the pond, which was previously located at the Peter the Great Palace. It is currently an entertainment complex with many attractions.
  • Kirov Square that includes the Museum of Fine Arts, 4 out of 5 city theaters, and the Alley of twin cities with the “Tree of Friendship”.
  • Prospect Karl Marx.
  • Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky.
  • Holy Cross Cathedral.
  • Stone forest with a stone quarry lake.
  • Kurgan ski complex.
  • Horse-racing complex.
  • On August 30, 1885, one of the first monuments to Alexander II was unveiled in Petrozavodsk.

4. Rich with events and festivals

All year long, both residents and visitors can enjoy many kinds of festivities and celebrations in the city. The annual events are:

  • City Day; celebrated on the last Saturday of June in honor of the liberation of the city from the army of Finland. On City Day in Petrozavodsk, various events are held dedicated to this event – the performance of city authorities, festive parades and processions.
  • Hyperborea International Winter Festival. The name of the festival is borrowed from ancient Greek mythology, where Boreas is the god of the north wind, and the country of Hyperborea is “the country on the other side of the north wind”. Since 1998, the International Competition of Snow and Ice Sculptures has been held in Petrozavodsk.
  • White Nights of Karelia Music Festival. It is an international music festival that been held at the A.K. Glazunov Petrozavodsk State Conservatory since 2004.
  • The Summer Landscape Consonance of the White Nights Summer Festival.
  • City for Children Holiday.
  • Air Music Festival. This international festivity has been held in Petrozavodsk annually since 2005. Traditionally, this festival of live music takes place in the open air on the last weekend of June. Well-known Russian and foreign artists playing in the style of rock gather on “Air”. They perform on the main stage. In addition to it there is an alternative, where concerts of young teams from different cities, including local ones, take place. There is also a tent camp on the territory provided for the guests.

Those are the interesting facts you can look forward to while visiting Petrozavodsk in Russia.

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