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Arkhangelsk
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Arkhangelsk

The city of Arkhangelsk (Арха́нгельск, formerly in English Archangel) lies on the Northern Dvina River (Се́верная Двина́) near its exit into the White Sea in the far north of European Russia. It is the capital of the Arkhangelsk Oblast. Population 355,500 (2002).

History

In 1555 Ivan the Terrible granted trade privileges to English merchants. They founded the Company of Merchant Adventurers (later renamed the Moscow Company), and began sending ships annually into the estuary of the Northern Dvina. Dutch merchants also began bringing their ships into the White Sea. In 1584 Ivan order the founding of Novo-Kholmogory (Kholmogory being a smaller town at the mouth of the Dvina) which would later become Arkhangelsk. At the time access to the Baltic Sea was still controlled by the Hanseatic League, so while Arkhangelsk was icebound in winter, it remained Moscow's only link to the sea. Arkhangesk and pomors maintained trade routes to Northern Siberia as far as trans-Ural city of Mangazeya.

In 1682 Peter I took power at the age of ten, and in 1693 he ordered the creation of a state shipyard in Arkhangelsk. A year later the ships Svyatoye Prorochestvo (Holy Prophesy), Apostol Pavel (Apostle Paul) and the yacht Svyatoy Pyotr (Saint Peter) were sailing in the White Sea. However he also realized that Arkhangelsk would always be limited as a port due to the five months of ice cover, and after a successful campaign against Swedish armies in the Baltic area, he founded Saint Petersburg in 1704.

Arkhangelsk city declined in the 18th century as the Baltic became more important, but trade revived at the end of the 19th century when a railroad to Moscow was completed and timber became a major export. During World War I and World War II Arkhangelsk was a major port of entry for Allied aid.

The city resisted Bolshevik rule during 1918 to 1920 and was a stronghold of the anti-Bolshevik White Army, supported by the military intervention of Entente forces.

Economy

Today Arkhangelsk remains a major seaport, now open year-round due to improvements in icebreakers. The city is primarily a lumber and fishing center.

Miscellaneous

A maritime school, forestry institute, and a regional museum are located there.

Mikhail Lomonosov came from the Arkhangelsk area.