Vologda

/vaw"leuhg deuh/, n.
a city in the W Russian Federation in Europe, NNE of Moscow. 278,000.

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Russia
      city and administrative centre of Vologda oblast (province), northwestern Russia. The city lies along the Vologda River above its confluence with the Sukhona River and is situated about 250 miles (400 km) north-northeast of Moscow.

      The town was founded by Novgorod traders at a point controlling the important portages between the Volga and Northern Dvina rivers. In 1147 a monastery was founded there. The town changed hands several times in the course of the 14th-century power struggles between Moscow and Novgorod, but it finally came under Moscow's control in 1478. The settlement grew rapidly as the main market for furs from the north and northeast and as a trade centre for goods transported between Moscow and Central Russia. The founding of St. Petersburg in the early 18th century led to Vologda's decline, but the town revived in the 19th century with the steady growth of the timber industry in the area and with the coming of the railway from Moscow in 1872. In 1898 the railway was continued to Arkhangelsk, and in 1906 Vologda was also linked by rail west to St. Petersburg and east to Vyatka (now Kirov).

      Its location at the crossing of north-south and east-west railways, as well as its position at the head of navigation on the Dvina River system, has made modern Vologda a major junction and transshipment centre. The town is an important focus of the timber industry and has furniture factories and paper and pulp mills. Vologda also has locomotive repair yards, a plant producing timber-working equipment, and various light industries producing linen, lace, and other consumer goods. Pop. (1993 est.) 289,100.

      oblast (province), northwestern Russia. The oblast consists of alternating broad river basins and morainic hills. The western third is drained by tributaries of the upper Volga River, while the eastern part belongs to the Northern Dvina River basin, draining into it by the Sukhona River. In the extreme northwest a small area drains directly into Lake Onega, the southern shore of which is in the oblast. The entire oblast lies in the zone of boreal taiga, or swampy coniferous forest, which is dominated by spruce, pine, and birch, with some fir and larch in the east. In the south, deciduous species such as lime are found. The lowlands have extensive swamps, mostly peat bogs but also including reed and marsh grass. Broad floodplain meadows flank the rivers. The economy of both urban and rural areas alike is concerned with the timber industry: timber rafting along the rivers, sawmilling along the railways, and pulp making, papermaking, and timber processing in the towns. A considerable portion of the timber that is cut is rafted on the Dvina north to Arkhangelsk or southward on the Volga. Pulp and paper are made in the settlement of Sokol near Vologda city. Other industry includes large-scale ferrous metallurgy at Cherepovets and engineering at Vologda, the oblast administrative centre. Much peat is cut for fuel. Agriculture, undertaken mainly in the south, is dominated by dairying and the cultivation of flax, fodder crops, rye, wheat, and oats. Area 56,300 square miles (145,700 square km). Pop. (1993 est.) 1,362,400.

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Universalium. 2010.

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