Major cities and places - Vladivostok
Area: over 600.00 sq km
Location: Southeastern Russia, administrative center of Primorye Territory
Population: approx 850.000
City code: 4232
Vladivostok is an administrative center located not far from the Russo-Chinese border. Both a historical and commercial hub, Russia's Vladivostok is an interesting city.
The architecture of Vladivostok is a mix of different styles. There are no skyscrapers or large bridges spanning the bays, but the historic center of city reflects a sense of old charm with its unusual buildings that were constructed between 1880 and 1900. Various architectural styles and traditions reflect Western and Oriental Cultures. Splendid buildings, such as the Versailles Hotel, the Pushkin Theatre, the Vladivostok Post Office, and Kunst and Alberts Department Store make Vladivostok a unique city.
An unusual China town district remains in the center of the city. Many years ago, Chinese people built an interesting labyrinth of houses, yards, passageways, and staircases. Today, you can purchase some unusual items in the district, but be careful not to lose your way in the passageways and dead-end streets.
Today, visitors may view a number of churches such as the Saint Nicolay Cathedral and Assumption Church. The former Bishop's Grounds, now a convent, provides an interesting stop for tourists. Other religious attractions include old Catholic and Lutheran churches as well as some new churches built in recent years.
Traditional culture is cherished by many people in Vladivostok. Folk dance and song groups and traditional handcraft industries make it possible to preserve and develop traditional art and culture. The city of Vladivostok hosts many festivals and events accompanied by folk performances. One of the most popular occasions is the Biennale of Visual Arts held at early July. The Biennale is attended by many folk groups from various parts of Primorsky Province, including groups that represent traditional aboriginal culture of the Udeghes, the Orochi, and other local aboriginals.
Vladivostok museums display impressive collections on local ethnography, geology, history, flora, and fauna. Expositions of stones, coins, sea shells, antique garments and home appliances, ship models, old books and photographs are displayed there. Some museums host painting and photograph exhibitions, meetings, and scientific roundtables.
The marine history of the city is documented through monuments throughout the city and in several museums including the Museum of Frontier Guards History, Pacific Fleet Museum, and the Vladivostok Fortress. Just below the city square, the historic vessel "Red Pendant" floats in the harbor and a Soviet C-56 submarine is displayed nearby on land. Both of these vessels are open to the public. They are a part of a Memorial of the Pacific Fleet Glory located near the place on the coast where the founders of Vladivostok outpost landed in 1860.
Most tourists visit the Museum for Primorsky Krai Regional Studies named after Vladimir Arsenyev a famous Russian scientist, writer, and explorer of the far east. The museum is housed in the several buildings in the downtown area. Displays of special interest to visitors include such topics as traditional aboriginal culture, the history of the first settlers and the old believers as well as extinct and endangered animals. Also, the Arsenyev Museum has a couple of souvenir shops.
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