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The Beautiful Wooden Churches of Lyadiny

Located around 25 miles from Kargopol in the Arkhangelsk Oblast of Russia, the village of Lyadiny is home to a number of superbly constructed historic wooden buildings, some of which were built centuries ago. These include the Church of the Intercession and the Church of the Epiphany, built in 1761 and 1793 respectively, and a wooden bell tower built in 1920. The three buildings are grouped quite close together and stand on the site of an ancient cemetery. The village itself has less than a hundred permanent residents, with villagers having moved to larger centers over the years, as has been the case with many villages in northern Russia.


Visit the Town of Kungur in the Ural Mountains

Located in the Ural Mountains, where the Shakhva and Iren Rivers flow into the Sylva River, the town of Kungur started out as a settlement in the mid-1600s, but was destroyed by Bashkirs in 1662. It was rebuilt as a fortified settlement in 1663, and by the early 18th century Kungur had its own commercial tannery and had earned a reputation for the production of fine leather products, including footwear. By the late 18th century, Kungur had developed into a prominent commercial center, serving the traffic on the Siberian trade route. By the end of the 19th century, the town was known for its industry, including the manufacture of tea, leather, rope and linseed oil, and was the cultural hub for the area. Today Kungur remains a bustling commercial and industrial town, serving as the administrative center of Kungursky District.


Family-Fun in Yekaterinburg

Located on the Iset River, surrounded by taiga forests and small lakes and with the Ural Mountains as a backdrop, Yekaterinburg is a charming city to visit. Its many attractions add to its appeal, and this vibrant Russian city is a popular tourist destination. As the cultural center in the region, Yekaterinburg (Anglicized as Ekaterinburg) is home to many museums, cinemas and theaters, offering a variety of entertainment any time of the year. In the warmer months, natural areas nearby, such as the Kamenniye Palatki rock formations and Shartash Lake, as well as various spots along the Iset River, offer plenty of opportunity to enjoy nature at its best.


Russia’s Bering Sea Islands

Covering an area of more than two million square kilometers, the Bering Sea has Alaska to the east and northeast, with Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula and Siberia on the west, and the Aleutian Islands on the far north where the Bering Strait connects the Bering Sea to the Chukchi Sea. The islands of the Bering Sea which fall under the jurisdiction of Russia include the Commander Islands, the Diomede Islands and Karaginsky Island. Included in the Commander Islands is the Bering Island. Both the island and the sea are named for the Danish navigator, Vitus Bering, who died on Bering Island in 1741, along with twenty-eight of his men, after being shipwrecked.


Rostov-on-Don: Port for Five Seas

Ranked in 2010 as the tenth largest city in Russia by population, Rostov-on-Don, located on the Don River around 32 kilometers from the Sea of Azov, is an important port city and the administrative center of Russia's Rostov Oblast. Among its many interesting attractions and notable landmarks are the historic City Duma Office; the Maxim Gorky Theater; the striking Obelisk of Teatralnaya Square; the Rostovchanka statue; Maxim Gorky Park; the ancient Azov fortress; the Rostov state opera and ballet theatre; the Rostov circus; the Orthodox Cathedral of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin; the Museum of Local Lore, Rostov Regional Museum of Fine Arts' Museum of Russian and Armenian Friendship; and the Don Plaza Congress Center.


Travel Along the Chuysky Trakt

Stretching from the city of Novosibirsk, the administrative center of both the Novosibirsk Oblast and Siberian Federal District, to the border between Russia and neighboring Mongolia, the 953 km long Chuysky Trakt, or Federal Highway M52, was constructed by Gulag inmates in the early 1930s. The road passes through Berdsk, Novoaltaysk and Biysk, running along the right bank of Russia's Ob River for a distance before turning to traverse a steppe region and continuing into the Altai Mountains, at times reaching an altitude of 2000 meters.


Makhachkala – Capital City of Dagestan Republic

Located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea, Makhachkala serves as the capital city of Russia's Dagestan Republic. The city was initially founded as a fortress in 1844, being granted town status in 1857. While the town of Makhachkala has a comparatively recent beginning, the nearby town of Tarki, which has become a suburb of the city, dates back to at least the 15th century, with some scholars of the opinion that it is even older than that. According to oral tradition Tarki was established on the site of Samandar, the settlement which served as the capital of Khazaria up to the early 8th century, but the site of Samandar has not been confirmed, and so the history of Tarki open to correction.


Explore the City of Krasnodar

The city of Krasnodar is located on the Kuban River in Russia's Krasnodar Krai and serves as the region's administrative center. When it was founded at the beginning of 1794 it was named Yekaterinodar, meaning "Catherine's Gift", being a reference both to the patron saint of the city, Saint Catherine, and to Catherine the Great's grant of land to the Black Sea Cossacks in the Kuban region, which is now known as Krasnodar Krai. The name of the city was changed in December 1920 to reflect the communist rule at the time, with Krasno meaning 'red' and dar meaning 'gift'.

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