The biggest city in the White Sea area, Arkhangelsk was only opened to tourists in 1990. Before the founding of St Petersburg it was the first and the only seaport in Russia. From here, visitors may also travel to the nearby village of Mali Kareli to view Russian white stone and wooden architecture.
The tract of land sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic shoreline is an annex of the Russian Federation. Its main town is now called Kaliningrad, although it was known as Königsberg when it was the centre of German East Prussia. This area was ceded to the erstwhile Soviet Union following World War II. The territory’s future prosperity depends on the plans of the government to give it special economic status. Architectural bits and pieces which survived the war mark the city’s German heritage, such as the Cathedral.
The town’s most famous son, the philosopher Immanuel Kant, is buried near here, and his memory is honoured by the Kant Museum. The Amber Museum, housed in a restored German fortress tower, celebrates this local and precious stone. The town has many beautiful gardens and parks, as well as a zoo. Close by, Svetlogorsk is a verdant coastal spa resort which has lost none of its charm. The Kursche Spit is a very beautiful sand peninsula extending nearly 100km along the coast, and is a rich habitat for plants and animals.
Rostov-on-Don, once an Armenian town, its low buildings still show Armenian influences. Especially of more interest is the Cathedral of the Resurrection. There are numerous parks, four theatres, an orchestra, a race-course and a beach. Rostov-on-Don is the gateway to the Caucasus.