When you’re going to visit a new place it’s vital to have at least a little information about it, its structure, and infrastructure. This article is about Petrozavodsk and concerns these issues, so when you come here you’ll be aware of where you are.
Petrozavodsk is a small but cozy city. It stretches along the western shore of Lake Onega for some 27 kilometers. Its population is about 300 thousand citizens.
There are more than 15 districts in Petrozavodsk. Some of them are situated far from the centre. Our students aren’t accommodated in them; as a rule they live in the central districts such as:
They are situated relatively close to each other so it’s possible to get from the Centre to any destination in 15 - 20 minutes in average.The transport system is good in the town. The circulation of buses, trolleybuses, shuttle-buses is all right and they are not expensive at all! Going by trolleybus is 12 rubles (1 € is about 42 rubles currently; 1 $ is about 30 rubles) and by shuttle-bus/bus 15 rubles. There are no trams and underground in the town. Don’t forget that taxi is available 24 hours and is also not so expensive: it will cost about 80-100 rubles within the town).
To catch and get off public transport is possible on specially equipped bus-stops though you’ll soon notice that shuttle-buses take people and get them off everywhere. Mind that tickets for using trolleybuses are sold right in them; there are controllers who go back and forth inside the trolleybus and sell these tickets. It’s forbidden to use trolleybuses without these tickets. To use buses and shuttle-buses you don’t need any tickets –just give the money to the driver while getting off.
As far as taxi cabs are concerned, you may order one via a phone. It comes to your place in several minutes. Very often you may see a taxi or private car staying at the bus-stops or nearby; you may take one of them but it may be dangerous, it’s better not to risk. In Russia you can’t catch taxis going past you: usually they are already ordered. There are plenty of taxi companies you may choose; for instance, call the number 052, 063, 77 77 77, 59 22 59, 57 57 57.
The most of Russian streets have names of famous people, historically significant personalities; politicians, leaders, heroes of wars, artists, actors, poets, writers…and so on. Petrozavodsk is not an exception to the rule. There are also streets devoted to some historic events, towns, sister-cities, other proper names, etc.
Living in the Central district means that you have quick access to the cultural centre of the town. That are Gagarin Square, Shotman street, Krasnoarmeyskaya street, Anohin street, Antikainen street, Andropov street, Kirov street, Eremeev street, Pushkinskaya street and, of course, Lenin prospect (the сentral streetof the town); it goes from the Railway station down to the Lake and embankment. And all these streets are pependicular to it, cross it.
Kirov Square, Lenin Square and the Embankment are in the Centre as well.
Lenin Prospect is one of the most popular streets not only among tourists as plenty of the places worth seeing are here, but among the locals as well. Lenin Prospect is always full of people. That’s the centre of the youth life since 2 universities, a cinema (“Pobeda”), the Exhibition Hall, great number of various cafes, bars/pubs, discos, restaurants, numerous shops are situated here. When the sun starts setting young people go out to meet friends, get together and walk up and down the Prospect and attached streets visiting different places. Each central street is culturally significant for the town and is extremely interesting and valuable for those who would like to know more about Petrozavodsk, Karelia and Russia.
Gagarin Square is the first place that one sees when coming to Petrozavodsk as the Railway station is situated here. The square is surrounded by a very old and historically important house ensemble built in 1950-s. The building of the station is a sightseeing itself! From the right there is Krasnoarmeyskaya street where one of the most popular trading centres “Gogolevskiy” and the biggest computer centre “Kei” are located. From the left is Shotman street that leads to our Russian Language School.
When you go down Lenin Prospect between Anohin street and Antikainen street you won’t be able to miss the building of the State Petrozavodsk University and Studencheskiy boulevard in front of it. That is a well-known place where the youth, students get together. There is one of the symbols of Petrozavodsk there; the fountain called Molecule or Capsule or just the Fountain.
Not far from there our Russian Language School is situated. Down the Prospect you’ll see cafes “Kivach” from one side and “Parisienne” from the other. Visit a pancake café called “Chainaya Lozhka” (“Tea Spoon”) where you may taste real Russian pancakes with different fillings or a Spanish cuisine restaurant “Sanches”. Cross the road after the University and soon you’ll see the cinema “Pobeda” and night club “Karelia”; they are in one building. In front of it you may find the Exhibition Hall where there are always some exciting photo or picture exhibitions on. Further there are also cafes “Kaffee Hause”, “Caffe In”, restaurant “Severniy”(“Northern”), beer house “Neubrandenburg” and many others. “Caffe In” and “Severniy” are in the building of the hotel “Severnaya”, that’s also the visiting card of our town.
If you turn right before the hotel it will be a calm and cozy Engels street with a Karelian cuisine restaurant “Karel’skaya Gornitsa” (“Karelian Chamber”) and new Finnish cuisine restaurant “Suomi”. Go down Engels street and you’ll soon reach Lenin Square; this is one of the cultural and historic centres of Petrozavodsk: here you may visit the Museum of Regional Studies, the Museum of Wild World of Karelia, you won’t miss the memorial ensemble “Vechnyi Ogon’” (“the Eternal Fire”) with monuments and memory stones to victims devoted to the Soviet Union great victory in the Velikaya Otechestvennaya Voina (the Great Fatherland War) and World War II over the Nazist Germany in 1945. Go left from the memorial and you’ll get to the Gubernatorsiy park (the Governor’s park), a very quiet and unbelievably beautiful park with a monument of the first governor of the Olonetskaya Gubernia (Olonets Province) - future Karelia, a famous Russian poet Gavriil Derzhavin.
If you turn left from the Eternal Fire and go down Karl Marks Prospect parallel to Lenin Prospect you’ll observe the historical buildings along it. There are cafes there as well so come in and have a cup of coffee there! Soon there will be one of the biggest trading centres of the town “Karelia”, further you’ll see the National Theatre with wonderful sculptures on its façade; it’s like a real masterpiece of the modern art inside! Look straight and you’ll see Kirov Square, the place where all the holidays, big concerts take place, and where Music and Drama Theatre is located. Recently reconstructed it’s awesome and breathtaking not only outside but also inside, in the spacious huge halls with thousands of luminous chandeliers and a great chandelier in the very middle of the ceiling. Its troupe is highly professional and its each performance is a masterpiece. Kirov Square (Catherdral Square historically) begins its history when the buildings of the Male Gymnasium and the Cathedral (future Theatre) were constructed there in the 18-19th centuries. A lot of artists, poets, writers of the country significance graduated from the Gymnasium that is the Museum of Fine Arts currently. When in Petrozavodsk don’t miss your chance to visit it and observe its great collection of pictures updated regularly.
Between Karl Marks and Lenin Prospects, left before the trading centre “Karelia” is Kirov street where the Karelian State Philharmonic is located. It’s unique because it has one and only Symphony orchestra throughout Karelia, Murmansk and Archangelsk Regions. There in the Philharmonic there is also a small but very talented and ambitious troupe of Tvorcheskaya Masterskaya (Art Workshop), its performances get the full hall of audience together every night. Walk along Pushkinskaya street that is almost at the Embankment. You’ll definitely be charmed by the architecture of the buildings of the Karelian State Pedagogical Academy, the swimming pool and hotel “Akvatika”, the National State Library. There are special places to observe the Embankment and the Onego as the street is much higher than the lake. That are good places to watch salutes and performances held at the embankment. Near the Library there is calm and cozy park with the Pushkin monument. Sit on the benches under the trees and have a rest.
Further Karl Marks and Lenin Prospects along is the Onego Lake Embankment. Guess it’s possible to talk about this place for hours! It was prolonged in 2003 as the present for the citizens when the town was celebrating its 300-year anniversary. Walk from the River port and town’s Side-show to a new Embankment with wooden historic buildings and observe ships and tourist liners of the port, the Peter the Great monument, plenty of sculptures - the presents of Petrozavodsk’s sister-cities all over Europe on different occasions. Petrozavodsk has about 15 sister-cities. Each sculpture has its name and meaning and it may be exciting to discover something about them. Further there will be the town’s administration, a new hotel “Onego Palace” and a beautiful pink building of the registry office. It would be great if you see new-weds disembarking down the stairs of the office. This is very amazing!!! Visit some open-air cafes right at the Embankment and taste shashlyk (a specially cooked meal of pork, chicken or beef meat served on special metal sticks) and other specialities of different nations of Russia.
Not far from the Centre there is Golikovka. It includes Nevskiy Prospect (the main street of the district), Pravda street, Kalinin street, Meretskov street.
The name of the district origins from the very beginning of the history of Petrozavodsk when in the beginning of the 18th century it was just a small Petrovskaya Sloboda (Peter’s Settlement) with a Petrovskiy zavod (Peter’s plant) on the bank of the river Lososinka. Historically this plant was the nucleus of a new settlement; thanks to it the town started developing and is existing currently. Golikovka is from the word “golyi” (“deserted”) that means “a deserted, stony, rocky area” where the working people used to live.
Even now it’s possible to see the buildings of an old plant that isn’t working currently. Here on the bank of Lososinka you’ll see a Spartak Stadium and may walk in a beautiful alley along it. Further there is a Stadium “Junnost’ (“Youth”) that is seen from Karl Marks street and Kirov Square. The upper part of the river bank is called the La-Rochelle Embankment devoted to La-Rochelle in France, a sister-city of the town.
Of course, it’s a must to come to the Aleksandr Nevsky Cathedral. Aleksandr Nevsky was extremeny vital in the history of Russia and is one of the Saints who patronize the Republic. The Cathedral is magnificent and awesome. A few weeks ago the Aleksandr Nevsky monument was open near it timed to the Anniversary of the Republic of Karelia (on the 8th of June, 2010 we celebrated its 90-year anniversary).
Pravda street starts from Kirov Square and crosses Nevsky Prospect. Its name is the name of one of the most popular newspapers of the Soviet times, “Pravda”.
If you go in the direction of the centre down Pravda Street soon you’ll see a kind of a back-water of the Lososinka river, a very beautiful park surrounding it, with small bridges, sculptures and the fountain in the middle of it. That’s a very quiet and peaceful place where the locals like strolling. Here, by the way, is one of the town’s beaches; so in the hot sunny summer weather you’ll see the beach crowded with the sun tanning people.
The district has a great infrastructure; there are plenty of shops and small trading centers here. You may also come to the cafe called “Paparazzi” in the building of the Trading centre “Nevsky passazh” (Nevsky Arcade”). A bit further right in front of the Cathedral there is an entertainment centre “High Way” where you may play bowling and mini-billiard or spend time in a bar. If you go in the opposite direction to Kluchevskoe shosse (motor road) along Pravda Street you’ll see a new living area there with a cinema “Premyer” and a new trading centre “Lotos”.
The transport system is all right as well, so you may easily get to any destination you need. To get to Lenin Prospect take shuttle buses № 20, 46 from the right-side bus stops on Nevsky Prospect and № 17, 41, trolleybus №1 from the right-side bus stops on Pravda Street.
Zareka is situated a bit lower than Golikovka, close to the lake. It’s called this way because the workers area appeared beyond the river Lososinka (“za rekoj”). Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish the line separated the two districts (Golikovka and Zareka). Zareka includes the lower part of Nevsky Prospect, Lunacharskiy street, Rigachin street, Probnaya street, Promyshlennaya street, Derzhavin street.
It’s one of the oldest districts of the town with one of the oldest churches – Krestovozdvizhinskay Church (the Cross Erection Chirch) – and cemeteries on Pravda street.
Probnaya street bears this name because historically that was the place where new cannons produced at the plant were tried. Probnaya is from the verb “probovat’” (to try).
Lunacharskiy Street is connected with the Kirov Square and crosses the river Lososinka, so you may see the park and the fountain we were talking about before. In front of it there is the hotel “Karelia” with perfect service and comfortable accommodation. A Spa centre is situated here as well. The hotel faces the Lake and a magnificent park.
To get to the Centre get on shuttle bus № 41, trolleybuses № 1 and 3. Shuttle buses 19 and 25 will also bring you to Lenin Prospect but only to its beginning near the Administration.
The Centre, Golikovka and Zareka are historical, old districts of the town. That’s the old town.
Kluchevaya starts from the Kluchevskoe shosse and rounds the Lake. This is a rather young suburb. Its name tells us that there are a lot of pure water springs (“kluchi”). Its architecture differs much from the old historically significant buildings of the initial areas. The houses are all the same and it’s hard to tell one street from another. They are Repnikov street, Susanin street, Antonov street. But though the district rather quiet! There are places of the town’s significance here; first that are old factories and plants. Here you may visit a trading centre “Desyatochka” (“A Ten”) with a cinema and one of the most popular among the youth night club “Yletai” (“Fly Away”). One of the streets of the district is Noibrandenburgskaya street, its name is devoted to one of the sister cities of Petrozavodsk German Neubrandenburg.
Shuttle buses 10, 17, 8 will bring you to the Centre.
Kukkovka is one of the first new suberbial districts of Petrozavodsk. The name origins from the finnish word “kukko” (cock). This bird is the symbol of the district. There is even a sculpture of a cock near one of the trading centers “Pitm” (“Rhythm”).
Its architecture is monotonous as well and the houses are all the same. The main streets are Rovio street (the central street), Sortaval’skaya street (a name of one of the Karelian towns Sortavala situated on a shore of Ladoga Lake), Tornev street, Frolov street, Baltiyskaya street.
The infrastructure is developed very well. There are the number of places to spend free time. Visit the cafés and night-clubs “Brooklyn”, “Raikom” “Pinta-pub”, shops and small trading centres among which “Ritm” is one of the most popular.
Kukkovka is connected with Nesky Prospect with Komsomol’sky prospect. One of its bus stops is called Kurgan (Barrow). This is an area where different sport complexes are situated; here skiers are trained. Here is also the beginning of a ski track, very popular among the residents. It goes to the forest to the place called Fontany (Fountains). This route is a place of annual ski competitions.
To get to the Centre take shuttle busses № 46, 25 (they go through Nevsky Prospect), trolleybuses № 2, 5.
Drevlyanka is connected with Kukkovka by Lesnoy Prospect, with the Central district by Lososinskoe shosse (motor road) and with Perevalka by Chapaev street. The district is a bit detached from the town and is connected with it only with these three roads.
The word “drevlyanka” origins from the word “derevo”, “deveyannyi” (“wood/ made of wood”). The idea is that the area was built in the forest and this gave the name to the district. The streets are Lososinskoe shosse, Lesnoy Prospect, Drevlyanka street, Beryozovaya Alley, Popov street.
This is one of the newest areas built and the architecture is also tame and monotonous. But at the same time it’s a suburb, one of the most cozy and safe regions of the town. Plenty of people try to settle here deliberately as the infrastructure is great; there are plenty of schools and day care institutions, playgrounds for children. Here there also are many shops, a trading centre “Stolitsa” (“Capital”), an open-air market, a hyper-market “Sigma”. Visit a pub “Pinta-pub”, the entertainment centre “Atmosfera” (“Atmosphere”) with a cinema, bars, billiard, a night club and so on. In between the town and Drevlyanka there is an entertainment complex “Gorka”. Here you may skate, ski, toboggan, snowboard in winter, play tennis, volleyball in summer or just sit in a wooden café or make shashlyks or barbeque with friends in a specially equipped wooden building.
A small part of Drevlyanka is a cottage area with nice cottages and private areas. Near it the track to the Fontany is situated. There is an equestrian sport complex not far from this track.
Beryozovaya Alley (Birch Alley) is the place where people get together on holidays, stroll in the evening with their families or friends after a working day. Here there are benches, a children sportsground (in front of the centre “Stolitsa”), a fountain. If you go further, past the open-air market you’ll see a new-built Orthodox chirch.
To get to the Centre catch shuttle buses № 4, 17, 20, 6, 7, 46, trolleybus № 1.
Perevalka is also one of the oldest districts in the town. Its main street is a very long Chapaev street that goes from a ring road with Shotman street, the Central district (our School is here!), up to a ring road with Lesnoy Prospect, Drevlyanka right to the hyper-market “Sigma”. On the right the private sector is located. On the left you may see cafes, shops, an open-air market. Deeper in the district a building of the Karelian television is situated. The main streets are Vatutin street, Chkalov street, Parhomenko street, Zelyonaya street.
To get to the centre is very easy from here. Just take a shuttle buses № 4, 41, 46 or trolleybus № 1 or just stroll a bit down Chapaev Street.
The names of Pervomaiskiy (First of May) and Oktyabrskiy (October) Prospects are, of course, connected with the Soviet period of the Russian history. A century ago there was a forest, an uninhabited area instead of these districts, so the revolutionists used to organize meetings here. Later on the names of new regions of the town were devoted to the revolution.
Pervomaiskiy Prospect’s name is devoted to May, 1st; historically this is the holiday of all the labour people when they went out to participate in the demonstrations that were held in every town and village. Nowadays it’s just a day of Spring and Labour, an extra day off to go to the countryside and have a rest. Pervomaiskiy, Oktyabrskiy Prospects and the Varkaus embankment that goes right along the shore of the Onego are parralel to each other and are connected by the streets Leningradskaya (Leningrad street, that's an old Soviet name of St.Petersburg), Moskoskaya (Moscow street), Murmanskaya (Murmansk street), Melentyeva.
Pervomaiskiy Prospect goes from the Central Market on the crossroad with Lenin Prospect up to the industrial suburbs of Petrozavodsk where mostly plants, factories, a hyper-market “Mega”, industrial and agricultural bases are located. It’s very long and there are some places worth visiting. One of them is a night club “Kontakt” (“Contact”) situated next to the Central Market. Don’t miss a cinema complex “Kalevala”; here there are two cinemas and cafes. In the same building night clubs “Metelitsa” (“Snowstorm”) and “Mamba” are waiting for their guests.
A bit further there is a billiard club “Petrograd”. Visit a café and night club “Aviaretro” with its bowling tracks, a banquet hall, a billiard room and two dance floors. Practically in front of the club you may notice a monument with a tank. This is a memorial to the Great Fatherland War, 1941-1945. Actually the tank is the original T-34!
To get to Lenin Prospect just catch shuttle buses № 27, 6, 7, trolleybus № 3.
If you turn right before the “Kalevala” complex and go down the Leningradskaya street soon you’ll see a new hyper-market “Lenta” and a building of the Petrozavodsk Conservatory in front of it. This is the beginning of Oktyabrskiy Prospect (October), it’s left from Leningradskaya street and is parallel to Pervomaiskiy Prospect and the Varkaus embankment. Its name is connected with the October revolution in 1917. The Varkaus embankment is called in the name of one of Petrozavodsk’s sister cities Finnish Varkaus.
Since the three streets are parallel they are connected with Leningradskaya street (Leningrad street, that’s the Soviet name of St. Petersburg), Moskovskaya street (Moscow street), Murmanskaya street (Murmansk street), Melentyeva street. One of the main streets is Krasnoflotskaya street.
Oktyabrskiy Prospect is crossed by Alleya Pobedy (the Victory Alley) near Moskovskaya street, a place where the memorial called “Ptitsa Schastya” (“The Bird of Happiness”) devoted to Marshal Meretskov, a hero of the Great Fatherland War. You may spend time in a cafe “Parisienne”, “Koritsa” (“Cinnamon”), a beer bar “Bavarius”.
Along the shore of the Onego lake is the Varkaus embankment. There is a palace of culture “Mashinostritel’” (“Mashine Builder”) where the Varkaus embankment meets Moskovskaya street. In the end of it, on the crossroad with Melentyeva street there is the most young and popular among people of all walks of life music café and dancing club “Territoria” (“Territory”). The Varkaus embankment is also one of the town’s beaches.Soon will be town gates, an Airport “Peski (“Sand”) and the biggest town beach “Peski” where you will definitely spend great time.
To get to the centre from the Varkaus embankment get on trolleybuses 6 and 2. From Oktyabrskiy Prospect there are shuttle buses 4, 6, 25 to the centre.
This is round-up information about the main part of the districts of Petrozavodsk. All of them have something worth seeing and each is beautiful and has its advantages.
Petrozavodsk is unbelievably beautiful, it’s also known as a “green” town. You’ll definitely find this out for yourself while walking around it. All over it there are numerous parks, green zones, shadow alleys…All the streets are green! There are even the whole forest areas left inside the town!
Petrozavodsk is also famous for its fountains. You’ll find them everywhere; big and small, they make the streets cozy and nice and the air fresh even on the hottest summer day.