Veliky Ustyug Russia
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Description: The Russian north has always held a fairy-tale appeal for its wooden architecture, historical monuments and expanses of forest, marshland and lakes. Nestled in the northeastern corner of the Vologda region, the town of Veliky Ustyug is no exception.
Interesting fact: Veliky Ustyug is the birthplace of a number of famous explorers: Semyon Dezhnyov, the first European to sail the Bering Strait, Vladimir Atlasov, the first Russian to explore the Kamchatka Peninsula, and Alaskan explorer Mikhail Buldakov.
Helpful contacts: the Veliky Ustyug administration’s culture and tourism department (74 Sovietsky Prospekt; +7 81738-2-72-51)
Another place that claims to be Santa Claus’ hometown: Rovaniemi, Finland, whose Santa Claus Village (+358 16-346-270; santaclausvillage.info ) in the Arctic Circle also offers guests seasonal tours, including Christmas exhibitions, a Santa park and trips to Santa’s magical post office.
The Russian north has always held a fairy-tale appeal for its wooden architecture, historical monuments and expanses of forest, marshland and lakes. Nestled in the northeastern corner of the Vologda region, the town of Veliky Ustyug is no exception.
Though a small settlement of some 30,000 people, it boasts a venerable historical pedigree and enjoys a special cachet among tourists after being designated the "hometown" of Ded Moroz in 1998.
A figure akin to Santa Claus in the West, Ded Moroz (or Father Frost) traditionally brings presents to children on New Year's Eve. Snegurochka (or Snow Maiden), his granddaughter, typically accompanies him at Russian Christmas celebrations.
After being originally declared "an ally of the priest and kulak" following the 1917 Revolution, Ded Moroz made something of a comeback from the 1930s onward, though donning a blue coat so as not to be mistaken with the bourgeois Santa Claus or detract from the revolutionary importance of the color red.
It is fair to say that the decision to name the town Ded Moroz's official residence, taken by former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov and the Vologda regional administration, has had a dramatic impact on Veliky Ustyug — not least by injecting a new lease of life into its flagging tourist industry and by making its post office one of the busiest in the world. It has also put the town in direct competition with the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Finland, which boasts an equally impressive number of visitors and a 50-year plus history. Despite this, there appears to be little friction between the two towns — a delegation from Finland amiably visited Veliky Ustyug to take part in a tourism conference earlier this year.
chern ) is a major producer of finished silver goods. Its factory, which manufactures more than 1,000 handcrafted items, employs about 500 people in the town. Though much of the marketing and distribution is coordinated from major cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, the company keeps its main factory in Veliky Ustyug, where local craftsmen have specialized in niello work on silver since the 17th century.
The Ded Moroz legend now exerts such an influence over town life that the imaginary figure even makes a prominent public appearance in the summer months, typically taking to a float as part of celebrations in the town's annual parade.
Photogallery Veliky Ustyug Russia:
Dome Procopius the Righteous in Veliky Ustyug, Russia — Stock ...
Veliky ustyug, Rusia — Foto stock © borisb17 #11301023
Veliky ustyug, Rusia — Foto stock © borisb17 #11301012
antigua iglesia de St. dmitry solun en veliky ustyug — Foto stock ...
Veliky ustyug, Rusia — Foto stock © borisb17 #18938899
Veliky ustyug, Rusia — Foto stock © borisb17 #11301025
historické centrum Velikij ustyug, Rusko — Stock Fotografie ...
Veliky Ustyug: A northern city with old beautiful monasteries ...
Ancient church in Veliky Ustyug — Stock Photo © viknik #44939721
Russian cities: Veliky Ustyug today - Russian traditions
Flickriver: Photoset 'Russia' by Mailbox Happiness-Angee at ...
Children the icy sleigh rides on Ancestral lands Father Frost ...
centro histórico de la veliky ustyug, Rusia — Foto stock ...
Panoramio - Untitled photo
Photo - Diary | Faro | Algarve | Portugal: 2011-10-30