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Kem(kĕm), river, c.240 mi (390 km) long, Karelia, NW European Russia. It rises SE of Kuusamo, Finland, and flows E into the White Sea.
a city and the center of Kem’ Raion, Karelian ASSR. It is situated on the Kern’ River at its entry into the White Sea. The city has a railroad station on the Petrozavodsk-Murmansk line. Population, 21,000 (1970). The city has a timber industry and is a tourist center.
Kem’ is mentioned in chronicles dating from the 15th century, when it belonged to the posadnitsa (governor) of Novgorod, Marfa Boretskaia, who in 1450 presented it as a gift to the Solovki Monastery. In 1657 a stockade was built around Kem’, and in 1785 it became the district center of Olonets Province and, later, of Arkhangel’sk Province.
Most of the city’s buildings are wooden. Outstanding among the old monuments is the wooden Uspenskii Cathedral, with its three tent-shaped roofs (1711–17, restored in 1956). Joined to the main part of the cathedral, surmounted by an eight-sided “tent” roof, are two side-chapels with tent-shaped roofs and a refectory, forming a picturesque composition. In the cathedral’s five-tiered iconostasis, dating from the end of the 18th century, are icons painted in the 17th-century Novgorodian style.
REFERENCEOpolovnikov, A. V. Pamiatniki dereviannogo zodchestva Karelo-Finskoi SSR. Moscow, 1955. Pages 27–52.
a river in Krasnoiarsk Krai, RSFSR, a left tributary of the Enisei. It is 356 km long and drains an area of 8,940 sq km. The Kern’ flows along the southeastern edge of the West Siberian Plain, meandering in its lower course. It is fed chiefly by snow. High water occurs in May, and in the summer there are floods caused by rain. Its most important tributaries, the Belaia and Tyia rivers, enter from the left.
a river in the northern part of the Karelian ASSR. Length, 191 km; drainage area, 27,700 sq km. It has its source in Lake Nizhnee Kuito. It flows through several lakes and is called the Eshan River between Lakes Khap and Iuli. The Kem’ flows into the Zapadnaia Solovetskaia Salma Strait of the White Sea. It has many rapids (Mal’vikia, Ostrovnoi, Poduzhemskii) and is fed by rain and snow. At 18 km from the mouth the average annual discharge is 275 cu m per sec. The river freezes in early November and thaws in the first half of May. Its chief right tributaries are the Chirka-Kem’ and Okhta, and its principal left tributaries are the Kepa and Shomba. Timber is floated down the river. The town of Kem’ is situated at its mouth.