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Reference on historical and cultural features of Kostomuksha urban district

Territory of Kostomuksha urban district is located in the southwest part of the White sea coastal Karelia, adjoining the frontier between Russia and Finland with which there is a good transport communication through Lyttä-Vartius international check point opened in 1994. Railway and automobile roads connecting Kostomuksha with ports of the gulf of Bothnia and the White sea, as well as with many regions of Karelia, including Petrozavodsk, go up to the check point on both sides of the border. Kostomuksha is a node of Arkhangelsk corridor connecting Scandinavia, Karelia and Arkhangelsk area. The territory is flat, but quite split. The basic natural dominants of the territory are three large lake-and-river systems located in the north, southwest and south of the region. Each of them has its tourist features. In the north it is the system of Vuokijoki river-Sudnozero lake-the western part of Verhneye Kuito lake. There remained large virgin undisturbed woodland making a basis of planned Kalevala national park and a number of villages in which E.Lönnrot had recorded the majority of runes which have made the immortal epos of Kalevala. Ecological, cultural and educational tourism may be organized the best way in the region. In the southwest of the region there is Kostomukshsky reserve which heart is comprised by Kamennoye lake and Kamennaya river famous for their original beauty. In addition there are untouched coniferous woods and complete absence of people which makes it clear, that it is an excellent base for development of ecological tourism. Kostomukshsky reserve is well-known in Finland and in a number of other countries as together with the Finnish natural park of Kuhmo it makes first Druzhba (Friendship) international park. A popular tourist route is laid there now. From the south the City Council's territory is backe up by the system of lakes of Luvozero-Volgozero-Kimasozero-Niuk connected with small rivers full of rapids; there are perfect conditions for development of water sports and fishing tourism.

Historical and Cultural Potential

Territory of Kostomuksha urban district does not have many monuments of history and culture, these are mostly objects of the modern time connected with history of occurrence and becoming of the town and the ore-dressing and processing enterprise. However, Kostomuksha district should not be considered depersonalized historically - on the contrary, it has left the brightest trace in history of culture of the two neibouring peoples - Karelians and Finns. In villages of the north of this are Elias Lönnrot recorded most of runes comprising the epos of Kalevala being an epoch-making literary monument.

Now northern villages of Kostomuksha district together with villages of the central part of Kalevala region have the status of historical and cultural territory of the all-Russian value. There are offers of the Finnish and Karelian parties to give this territory more famous as the White Sea coastal Karelia the status of the object of the world cultural heritage of UNESCO.

The heart of this territory within the framework of Kostomuksha urban district is the village of Voknavolok with well preserved Karelian lifestyle. Together with nearby small villages of Pirttiguba, Pongaguba, Sudnozero and Ladvozero well entered in the picturesque water and wood landscapes Voknavolok can become the center of a very perspective international tourist complex which ideological basis will be made with routes Following Lönnrot or To the Sources of Kalevala runes. Wthout exaggeration, that this land was a cradle of Karelian and Finnish culture and it will be a guarantee of constant tourist interest to this territory. Besides, in Voknavolok and villages surrounding it there are over 30 monuments of architecture presented by old Karelian log huts, utility structures (barns, baths) and buildings for public worship.

On the regular basis in Kostomuksha there is held the Subber Musical Academy, International Festival of Chamber Art, the S.Ozhigov Republican Festival of Singer Poets, North Session Rock Music Festival, Kalevala for Children Folklore Festival, the V.Pällinen Song festival, Kanteletar Republican Festival.

In 2005 folklore collectives of Voknavolok and Kostomuksha celebrated their anniversaries: Hette folklore ensemble celebrated its 20 anniversary, Karelskaya Gornitsa ethnographic ensemble celebrated its 20 anniversary, folklore ensemble Marta celebrated its 15 anniversary. It has became a tradition to hold republican seminars and master-classes on the basis of Karelskaya Gornitsa ethnographic ensemble.

In 2004 on the basis of the Culture and Museum Center there has been founded the Masters of the North public organization which overall objective is preservation, revival and development of arts and crafts. Within the scope of activity of this organization the festival of female arts and crafts has been held for which skilled workers from all over the White Sea coastal Karelia have gathered. Then in the town museum there opened the constantly operating exposition on History and life of Karelians of the end of the XIXth beginnings of the XX centuries. The school of ethnography operating according to the author's program of the Museum branch manager T.Burelomova is very popular. Active work on development and carrying out of the excursions acquainting population and guests of the town with history and culture of Karelian land, its traditions and sights is executed by the branch of Cultural Tourism of the Culture and Museum Center. In 2004 the route On the Ancient Karelian Land became the winner in the Best Route of Year nomination in the Museum of the Year Republic's competition.

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Created: November 14, 2002. Last updated: January 15, 2009.
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