Petrozavodsk is the capital of Karelia and the center of the industry, culture, and science of
the Republic. There are about 266,000 inhabitants in the city.
Petrozavodsk was founded in 1703. At the command of Peter the
Great, the iron foundry and cannon factory were built on the shores of Lake Onego.
Around the factory the Petrovskaya sloboda (settlement) developed. The factory became famous
because of the cannons and the art castings. In 1777, during the reign of Catherine the Great, who was the
first foreigner to sit upon the Russian throne, the village was granted the status of a
town and named Petrozavodsk.
Petrozavodsk stands on the western shore of Lake Onego. Its length and width are 10 km and 2 km, respectively.
The main street of the city is Lenin avenue. It goes from the railway station to the Onego Lake waterfront.
There are many fountains, shops, bars and restaurants on Lenin avenue.
If you turn right on Engelsa street you will find a historical center of the city - Lenin
Square (formerly Circle Square, though Circle Square sounds funny in English).
It is amazing that there are many names of streets and squires
left from the Soviet times in Petrozavodsk.
The answer could be the calm and patient northern mentality that is not in a rush to change
things. Furthermore, the local authorities say there is no need to change your history.
You will see historical buildings dating back to 1777 and a statue of Lenin at the square.
The Lenin statue was erected in the 1930s and during the WW2 the local
authorities had no time to evacuate the monument when Finnish troops were about to seize the
city. But in fact, the Finns have practically nothing against this person because it was Lenin
who gave them independence in 1918. And this statue survived through the occupation though
Karl Marks avenue is another Petrozavodsk street with the name remained from the Soviet times.
Yet, one of the first names of the street was English Perspective. The reason for the name was
that when Catherine The Great came in, she invited a lot of international engineers and
experts to work for Alexander's cannon foundry (former Peter's factory).
Mostly, the engineers and experts would come from Great Britain and live on this very street.
This is why it was named as English Perspective. The street has shops on one side
and a park on the other.
Going further you will enter Kirov Square with its four theatres.
Passing Kirov Square and down Karl Marks Ave you will approach the Onego Lake waterfront area.
Walk along the Onego Lake waterfront. You will be welcomed by bronze Peter the Great at the
coast. The founder of Petrozavodsk is in full-dress uniform with his sword. His right hand points at
the mouth of the Lososinka River (Salmon River) where in 1703 a gun foundry and the settlement were founded.
Authentically, the statue was unveiled on Circle Square but after the October Revolution,
to be exact in the 1930s, it was substituted with Lenin's monument.
Petrozavodsk has a number of sister cities, and you can find uncommon architectural installations,
presented by them, at the Petrozavodsk waterfront. There are sights from Duluth (USA), Varkaus
(Finland), Umea (Sweden), Mo I Rana (Norway), Neubrandenburg and Tubingen (Germany),
La Rochelle (France).
Restaurant "Karelskaya Gornitsa".
The restaurant is located in the heart of Petrozavodsk in 13, Engelsa Street, opposite Severnaya hotel Petrozavodsk.
The interior represents traditional design of the Karelian house -
wooden tables and benches, handmade carpets, stove,
kitchen utensils and household items.
"Karelskaya Gornitsa" offers traditional Karelian, Finnish and Russian cuisine -
"ukha" fish-soup, roasted, baked and salted fish, fish-pies, pork, beef, reindeer,
game (elk, bear, black grouse, capercailye, quail, hazel grouse), traditional Karelian "kalitkas" (pies),
mushrooms and berries.
Restaurant "Karelia", 2, Gullinga Embankment.
The bright and spacy restaurant and bar "Karelia" are located in the hotel "Karelia"
with windows overlooking at the Lososinka River and the Onego Lake.
The restaurant serves buffet breakfast daily from 07:00 (on Sunday from 07:30) till 10:00 and
buffet lunch on weekdays from 12:00 till 15:00. For dinners, the restaurant offers "fusion"
Restaurant "Severny" is situated in the hotel "Severnaya" in Lenina Street, 21.
A bit in the "Soviet" style, the restaurant
offers Russian and European cuisines as well as entertainment program on the weekends.
Restaurant "Petrovsky" is situated in 1, Andropova Street.
Located in the basement of the historical house of the 18th Century, the restaurant
offers meals of Russian, European and Karelian cuisines.
Portions are substantial but service can be slow and not so smiling.
The most popular meal is "meat a-la Peter (the Great)" - meat and mushroom stew.
Bistro "Dezhavu". 20 Lenina Street, across the street from the hotel "Severnaya".
Always crowded, bistro serves small but cheap portions of food.
Cafe "Kivach" is situated in 28, Lenina Street,
on the crossroads with Antikaynena street.
It stands on the main street of the city just a few steps from two universities and is a popular place among
Petrozavodsk students. Food is various, including "borsch" and "solianka" soups, pizzas, tex-mex type
chicken, beef and pork.
Cafe "FM". 12, Kirova Street.
Art-cafe "FM" is located in a basement of the local Philharmonic Hall.
The Cafe is expecially popular at the weekends when they hold jazz, rock and folk concerts,
as well as discos. Service is generally fine but can be slow when the place is full.
The cafe may be a good choice for lunch or dinner during weekdays when it is not so crowded.
You can find a tour to Petrozavodsk in our selection of
Karelia tours and Excursions.