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(vô`ləgdə), city (1989 pop. 283,000), capital of Vologda region, N central European Russia, on the Vologda River. It is a major river and rail junction in a dairying region. There are railroad repair yards, machine factories, lumber mills, and flax-processing plants. Vologda is famed for its lace. Founded in 1147 by merchants from Novgorod, it passed to Moscow in the 15th cent. and was from the 15th to 17th cent. a major trade center and transit point to NE Russia, Siberia, and W Europe. It declined in the 18th cent. but revived in the late 19th cent. with the development of the lumber industry and the coming of the railroad. In Vologda's old kremlin are the 18th-century bishop's palace and the Cathedral of St. Sophia, built (1568–70) by Ivan IV. The Spasso-Priluki monastery (founded 1371) is nearby.



a city; administrative center of Vologda Oblast, RSFSR. Junction of the Moscow-Arkhangelsk and Leningrad-Kirov railroad lines. Landing on the Vologda River (32 km from the point where it empties into the Sukhona). Population, 178,000 (1970; in 1926, 58,000).

Vologda was founded along the portage that linked the Sukhona and Sheksna basins. It was first mentioned in written sources in 1147. Until the end of the 14th century it was part of the possessions of Novgorod; later, it came under the rule of the Grand Principality of Moscow. In the 15th through 17th centuries the city was an important commercial and artisan center and a center in the trade of the Russian states with Pomor’e, Siberia, and Western Europe. With the founding of St. Petersburg and the development of trade on the Baltic Sea, the economic importance of Vologda declined. In 1708 the city was assigned to Arkhangel’sk Province. In 1719 it became a provincial city, in 1780 the administrative center of the Vologda Vicegerency, and in 1796 administrative center of Vologda Province. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries a railroad was built through Vologda, linking the city with Moscow (through Yaroslavl), Arkhangel’sk, St. Petersburg, and Viatka (now the city of Kirov). Before the October Revolution political exiles were sent to Vologda. In 1894 the first Marxist circle was organized there, in 1902 a literary group of exiled Social Democrats, and in 1903 a Social Democratic group, which was formally organized in 1904. Soviet power was established in the city on Dec. 12 (25), 1917. During 1918-20, Vologda was an important center in the struggle against counterrevolutionaries and foreign interventionists in the north.

The main branches of industry are machine building and metalworking, which account for more than 20 percent of the gross output. They are represented by the Severnyi Kommunar Plant, which produces woodworking tools, sawmill frames, and lumber trucks, as well as a locomotive and rail-road car repair plant and a machine repair plant, which repairs tractors and agricultural machines and produces spare parts. A bearings plant has been under construction since 1971. The food-processing industry holds second place, accounting for more than 25 percent of the gross output. It is represented by a meat-packing combine, dairy combine, creamery, liqueur and vodka distillery, and beer brewery. There is also a pharmaceutical factory. Light industry has an important place in Vologda. There is a flax combine, clothing and sheepskin factories, and a furniture combine. The city also has building materials enterprises. Vologda is a major center of the lace industry.

In the old center of the city—the Bishop’s Courtyard, which is surrounded by stone walls with towers (1671-75)—are located the Cathedral of St. Sophia (1568-70; paintings by the Yaroslavl master D. G. Plekhanov, 1686-88) and an octagonal bell tower (1654-59; rebuilt in the 19th century). The Bishop’s Courtyard also has the two-story palace of the Kazennyi Prikaz (Treasury Office; 1659; paintings from the 17th century), the three-story palace of losif Zolotoi (1764-69), and the Voskresenskii Cathedral (1772-76; now a picture gallery, opened in 1952). All of these buildings are in the baroque style. Vologda has many churches in the style of figured architecture (the Church of St. Constantine and St. Helen, c. 1690; and the loann Zlatoust Church, late 17th to early 18th centuries) and in the so-called Naryshkin style (the Sreten’ia na Naberezhnoi Church, 1731-35). The SpasoPrilutskii Monastery (16th-17th centuries) is located on the outskirts of Vologda.

In 1781 a regular plan of Vologda was drawn up. The most typical buildings are small private homes in a style transitional between baroque and classical—for example, the Barsh home (1781). In the classical style are the governor’s houses (1786-92), the buildings of the Udel’noe Vedomstvo (department in charge of the immovable property of the imperial family, 1810), and the Vitushechnikov house (1822-23). Vologda also has wooden homes with carved porches, balconies, and cornices. In the Soviet period housing construction and urban improvements have been carried out according to a general plan (1953; architects, lu. M. Kilovatov and others).

Vologda has a pedagogical institute, a dairy industry institute, a branch of the Northwestern Polytechnic Institute, and 11 specialized secondary educational institutions. The city also has drama and puppet theaters, a museum of local lore, a picture gallery, the M. I. Ul’ianova House Museum, and the Peter I the Great House Museum. The poet K. N. Batiushkov was born in Vologda.


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Letopis’ goroda Vologdy (1147-1962). Vologda, 1963.
Ocherki istorii Vologodskoi organizatsii KPSS: 1895-1968. Vologda, 1969.
Fekhner, M. V. Vologda. Moscow, 1958.
Zhelezniak, V. S. Vologda. Vologda, 1963.
Bocharov, G. N., and V. P. Vygolov. Vologda, Kirillov, Ferapontovo, Belozersk. [Moscow, 1966.]



a river in Vologda Oblast, RSFSR. Right tributary of the Sukhona River. Length, 155 km; basin area, 3,030 sq km. Its current is quite rapid in its upper reaches, but in the lower reaches it is very slow. The Vologda is navigable from the point where it is joined by the Toshnia River (its most important tributary). Located on this river is the city of Vologda.


an industrial city in W central Russia. Pop.: 295 000 (2005 est.)
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