Ye. A. Kozmina Cultural-Historical Heritage of the Konosha District: Sketchings about the Potential Tourist Objects A short survey of the Konosha District The Konosha District (population 30400) is situated in the south of the Arkhangelsk Region and borders with Kargopol, Nyandoma, Velsk Districts of the Arkhangelsk Region and Vozhegda Region of the Vologda District. The Konosha Distrcit is a kind of a gate connecting middle parts of Russia and its North. The District centre is a settlement Konosha. Thanks to its railways crossing Arkhangelsk is connected to Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Kotlas and Vorkuta. The Konosha District was organized in 1935. Before 1917 its area belonged to four uyezds (districts) of three guberniyas (regions): Kargopol uyezd of the Olonets Guberniya, Kirillov Uyezd of the Novgorod Guberniya, Velsk and Kadnikovo uyezds of the Vologda Guberniya. Thus, its bordering situation is a historical peculiarity. Another peculiarity is that the district centre is a railway station Konosha with a settlement attached to it. The settlement is not rich with traditions while the territories around it have deep roots in our history. As a result of such arrangement the rural culture was hushed up, the district authorities planned to develop a city culture. The third peculiar feature is multinational population of the Konosha District. In the 1920s people were exiled here under administrative laws, in the 1930s many people signed to move here to work in timber industry, in the 1980s Young Communist League members came here to build pig-breeding complex and mixed fodder producing plant which were announced the Komsomol construction sites. Internet on the cultural heritage of the Konosha District On July 5, 2005, we researched the information on the cultural heritage of the Konosha District available on the Internet. The results of our small scale search were the following: 1. The most often is the information on Joseph Brodsky who was exiled to Konosha District. 2. Documents on the Konosha District coat of arms, approved in 2004. 3. The railway station Konosha as a crossroad to the tourist attractions of the Urals. 4. Also mentioned are the restorations of the Savior Transfiguration Church in Khmelniki, of the Serafim of Sarov Church in Konosha, then come baskets (tuyes) with printed patterns by V. Petukhov, the folk song “Komarochki” (Mosquitoes) text from the village of Valdeyevo, ethnografic expeditions to the Konosha District. The results obviously are not rich. Today the administration of the Konosha District makes it its task to make tourism one of the priorities in economics. So we have much to do to develop the image of the District in the Internet. Perspectives of tourist attractions in the Konosha District We consider the following tourist attractions of cultural, historic and natural heritage as potentially promising in the Konosha District: LITERARY TOURISM The house in the village of Norenskaya where in 1964-65 a world-famous poet Joseph Brodsky lived in exile. Restoration of the house is planned; a museum of the poet is envisaged in it. Alexander Kobak, a managing director of the International Dmitry Likhachev Charity Foundation, once said that the stay of Joseph Brosky here brings Konosha into one row with Saint Peterburg, New York, Venice. The name of Joseph Brodsky is just one of the literary names on the map of District. The Konosha Central District Library named after Joseph Brodsky has been working out a literary tour which includes a visit to the village Rotkovo where Ivan Mikhailovich Yakimov was born (he is the author of the book on his compatriots “Rotkovo Cranks”) and to the village of Podyuga where Ivan Alekseyevich Porokhin lived (a prototype of Komissar Danilov, a hero of the Vera Panova’s novel “Companions”). MEMORIAL TOURISM The military cemetery in Konoshozeriye: here are soldiers who died of wounds in Konosha evaquation hospitals during the Great Patriotic War. The military cemetery is looked after by the Konoshozero School, searches have been done by the School Local History Museum. In the years of repression the main office of Kargopol Labour Camp was located in the settlement of Yertsevo. The photographs here show not the Camp zone but vital things built by Camp prisoners – famous all over the country cultural workers, doctors, teachers, scientists. Another page in our history is that of special settlements arranged in the Konosha District in the 1930s for builders of the timber industry complex. The Podyuga area is especially rich in such settlements. On June 13th , 2005, on the Podyuga Settlement Day, a monument to people forcedly brought here to work was opened. These people influenced much the culture of the District. At the end of the 1930s Regional Folk Festivals (Olympiads) were held in Arkhangelsk, while other districts would send local folklore artists, the Konosha District once sent a Tatar choir and a girl with Ukranian songs. The photographs show life in one of such special settlements Normenga at the end of the 1930s; they were published in “Pravda Severa” in 193839. The Podyuga timber industry unit where people forcedly brought here worked was a unit of Stakhanovets (the most productive workers). From 5 Stakhanovets in the Arkhangelsk Region in the photograph, three were from the Podyuga timber industry unit. Many of these people took roots in Konosha land. Maybe this is why some untraditional sports develop here. Podyuga can boast of world champions in Japanese chess-Rendzu, Konosha is famous for its champions in Korean wrestling Taekwondo. EXTREME TOURISM Two big enough rivers take a start in the Konosha District, but they run in different direction – one to the valleys of the Northern Dvina and the Onega Rriver in the Arkhangelsk Region, another falls into the lake Kubinskoye in the Vologda Region. One of them is called Kovzha; it is in the west of the Konosha District. Once there was a route which the so called “ushkuiniks” followed coming from Novgorod, so the area of the Konosha District was populated by two colonies: in the west people from Novgorod settles, and in the east from Rostov Suzdalsky. Hunting, fishing is very popular, some tourists, too, take part in them. Very attractive is “hunting” with video-camera. Famous is fishing on the lake of Vozha; its major part is situated in the Vologda Region. Its length is about 40 kilometres. The Konosha District in general is a lake district. The lakes are mostly of glacial origin. ECOLOGICAL TOURISM Nature in the Konosha District is very special, the District is considered to be the most clean in the north-west of Russia as far as ecology is concerned. This is why they are building an Institute of Biosphere Ecology in the village of Klimovskaya. The construction began by the initiative of an academician Nikolai Pavlovich Laverov, a Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Sciences. There is an idea of having an ecological festival in Klimovskaya village. COUNTRY TOURISM Life style in the Konosha District villages is close to the old traditional one, it is well measured and rational, making the villages a wonderful place for rest to the city dwellers. Fresh air, rivers and lakes, traditional Northern cuisine. A chance to try to test oneself in agricultural works…A visit to Konosha also means a possibility of learning some traditional crafts. The centre of crafts is an amateur club “Radushenka”; they have 18 groups studying different crafts and arts. Famous in the Konosha District are the Folk Masters of the Russian Federation Aleksandr and Valery Petukhov (they wood carve, make sliver birds, baskets of birch skin). The Petukhovs’ roots are in the Kargopol Ditsrict. As a legacy from former Vologda Districts we have Vologda bobbin lace making in the Konosha District. One more tradion here is making wicker furniture which started in the 1930s. Two masters making wicker furniture were given the titles of “Folk Master of the Arkhangelsk Region”; they are Andrei Rudakov and Nikolai Cheplagin. Today wicker furniture is “a visiting card” of the Konosha District. Monuments of history and architecture on the territory of the Konosha District are municipal. Mostly they tell us of the traditions of the past, the old style of living. The southern border of the District actually was a northern border of the huge landowners’ estates thus making the Konosha Distrcit a borderline between serfdom and free peasants. There was once a landlord’s estate in Klimovskaya (then it was in Novgorod Guberniya). Today the estate is in a bad state. In Khmelniki there exists a manor which belonged to a chief forester. State peasants called him a landlord, and his house, his office and household buildings were called an estate. Out of 6 building constructed in 1903 only 3 exist now. In the village of Valdeyevo one can see houses that belonged to prosperous free peasants. Very picturesque is the house of Fedosov, the architecture of which is a good example of two cultures (of Vaga and Kargopol) merging. The Savior Transfiguration Cathedral in Khmelniki is now being restored. It is interesting to note that it was the last to be closed by the Bolsheviks Regional Executive Council in 1939 and the first to be restored. FESTIVITIES TOURISM The “Vokhtomsky Torzhok” Fair was not a huge one, but it is the only know fair to be held on the territory of the Konosha District. In the 1990s the fair was held by the initiative of a researcher from Maly Karely Museum Ludmila Kozinskaya, who was born in Vokhtoma. (The photograph shows the amateur folk group “Slavutnitsa”from Vokhtoma) Traditional village festivals are numerous; I will list only the most famous: Suslov Day in Beltsy, Peter’s eve of the feast in Bor, Feast of Honey in Klimovskaya, the Feast of Protection (veil of the Mother of God) in Valdeyevo. Very popular is the festival “Beside the Pavlov Bridge” in Tavrenga, which combines old and new traditions. Every year we have a District festival called “June Colours”. The festival travels from place to place, its main theme is also different depending on the identity of the area it is held in. In 2004 this Festival took place in Podyuga, a place the culture of which is closer to urban, this is why the Festival was a summer open-air celebration for young people. This year it was held in Khmelniki, one of the most ancient areas, and was devoted to the traditional folk arts. To develop tourism one should not only have a dense social and tourist infrastructure. It is important to see a good example of successful and profitable tourist business, to have people who are interested in it. One of the main things we have witnessed in the year of the 70th anniversary of the Konosha District was self-identity of people living in Tavrenga, Rotkovo, Vadya, etc. – all together identifying themselves as Konosha people. We shall continue to develop tourism. On the 21st of October, on the eve of the 107th anniversary of Konosha, there will be a seminar “Forms and Methods of Local History Studies”. Cultural heritage is a key issue in the District projects competition “Village Culture 2005: Native Land”. The discussion of the projects will be opened; local businessmen will be invited specially in the hope that they will support some of them together with the local government. There is an intention of announce a competition for projects in tourism in 2006. If the idea is supported, we shall, like in previous year, first arrange a seminar on the project theme, again inviting local business people. To develop tourism we should organize cooperation of cultural institutions as creative force (such as local history museums, clubs of traditional folk culture “Radushenka”, municipal libraries) and of industrial ones as an economic force.