Arkhangelsk Seaport

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Arkhangel’sk Seaport


a large commercial port of the USSR, located at the mouth of the Northern Dvina River, 50 km from the Dvina Gulf of the White Sea.

Arkhangel’sk is an important point for shipping connections with the regions of the Soviet north. Navigability ranges from six to seven months a year. It is of great importance for the export of wood materials.

The founding of the seaport dates to the 16th century. The first British trading ship entered it in 1553, which marked the beginning of the establishment of trade ties with Western Europe. A dock was built in 1584 and in 1693 Peter I had shipyards constructed, from which the Sviatoi Pavel, the first Russian ship, was launched in 1694. Before the beginning of the 18th century Archangel’sk was the sole outlet for Russian goods being snipped abroad. With the construction of the port of St. Petersburg in 1707 the role of Arkhangel’sk declined. In the 19th century the demand for lumber on the world market caused a rapid growth in the number of logging camps in northern Russia and in the port’s freight operations. Dredging operations begun in 1887 made free access possible for ocean-going steamships. Of great importance at the end of the 19th century was the construction of a railroad connecting the port with the center of Russia and making the shipping of Siberian grain abroad possible. The economic growth in the northern part of the country after the Great October Revolution has continued to increase the role of Arkhangel’sk. Its installations have been redesigned and expanded; the basic ship-loading operations are now carried out by numerous types of machinery. At the moorings of the port and by the sawmills dozens of Soviet and foreign ships are loaded and unloaded simultaneously. Icebreakers have considerably lengthened the annual period of navigability. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Arkhangel’sk continuously received from ocean-going ships strategic goods needed for the front and for the national economy of the USSR. Arkhangel’sk receives and ships out lumber, cellulose, coal, equipment, metals, industrial products, and foodstuffs. The seaport is the principal base for northern steamship lines, which transport freight on the White, Barents, and Kara seas; the Northern Sea Route; and foreign routes. Arkhangel’sk is the point of origin for regular passenger lines to Murmansk, Dikson, Onega, Mezen’, Kandalaksha, and points on Novaia Zemlia.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.