Arkhangelsk - once Russia's only port - is a historic though often overlooked city. It does have an insidious kind of beauty, especially on its waterfront along the 2km-wide Severnaya (Northern) Dvina River. The rest of the city is chiefly an expanse of concrete, but it's one with broad, tree-lined streets, interspersed with surprising enclaves of old wooden houses (notably along pr Chumbarova-Luchinskogo).

Arkhangelsk is also blessed with a populace that is surely among the friendliest in Russia and is relatively well connected with the world at large. There's a real sense of Arkhangelsk as a 'happening' city if you meet the right people.

The city was founded in 1584 by the order of Russian tsar Ivan IV. The city's convenient location and proximity to the White Sea made Archangelsk, a Russian first port city, an important trading center with Western Europe. Today Archangelsk is the largest lumber port in the world. The city is surrounded by abundant timber resources, which are aptly dubbed «green gold». Archangelsk is also a popular tourist destination. Historical and architectural landmarks, connected with the life and work of famous Russians, poetic nature, and beautiful landscapes, attract tourists from all over the world. Arkhangelsk is home to two especially noteworthy tourist attractions: the Solovetskie islands, which are a unique archipelago in the White Sea, and the Malie Koroli, a wooden open-air museum famous for its unique architecture.

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