Murmansk is the administrative, industrial, scientific and cultural center of the Polar Regions. The official date of foundation of the city is the 4th of October 1916. Here meet the sea, air, railway and automobile ways; here is based the exclusive ice-breaking fleet. The Murmansk memory keeps heroic exploits, dates and heroes who glorify it. This can be seen walking along the city streets.
Five Corners Square
Five Corners is the main square in Murmansk, it has the building of the regional Duma, the Kirov Palace of Culture, the hotels "Arctic" and "Meridian" and the department store "Volna" (Wave). The Five Corners Square holds celebrations, concerts and demonstrations. From 1977 to December 1990 it was called the "Square of Soviet Constitution." But the name did not stick.
Near the square, in the park, one can find a monument to the Victims of Foreign Intervention, built on public money collected by subscription among the townspeople for the ten-year anniversary of the October Revolution, which is almost 11 years after the founding of the city. The monument is placed over the mass grave of the killed participants in the uprising against the Whites in Murmansk on the 21st of February 1920.
One of the favorite places of citizens for recreation is the Drama Theatre. Today the repertory of the theatre includes the Russian and foreign classics, and modern drama. Each year the theater holds 7 - 8 premières. There is a special place given for performances for children, there are held New Year's events and thematic matinees. Theatre has been honored the governor award for its special contribution to the development of arts and culture. The theatre actors participate in the all-Russia festivals.
The monument to Sergei Kirov
On the 21st of February 1940 in the city center at the intersection of the streets Vorovskogo and Pushkinskaya, in a cozy little park was unveiled the monument to Sergei Mironovich Kirov. This event has coincided with the twentieth anniversary of liberation of the Kola Peninsula from interventionists and the Whites.
Sergei Mironovich Kirov is a famous Soviet party and state leader. He was an active participant in the Civil War. Since 1926 he was the first secretary of the Leningrad Regional Committee (RC) and the City Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks). On the 1st of December 1934 in Leningrad, right in the corridors of the Smolny, Kirov fell victim to a terrorist act.
The idea to immortalize Kirov by the anniversary the Soviet Power in Murmansk has appeared suddenly. The base of nearly five meters has been made of concrete and was plastered. The sculpture with the height of 3.2 meters was casted in Moscow under the design of a renowned sculptor Z. M. Vilensky. Zinovy Mikhailovich has portrayed his hero in motion with his right hand raised up, wearing the usual for that time paramilitary clothes: a soldier’s blouse, with an army belt and in trousers tucked into boots. The dynamism of the figure is emphasized by the unbuttoned overcoat, as if blown by the fresh wind.
For its existence Murmansk must thank the port, as because of it the city was built in a hurry, because it became necessary to forward and accept trade and military ships through the north of the country, as the Kola Bay does not freeze year round, in contrast to the White Sea, where until the early XX century was located Arkhangelsk, the central northern port. It was the port of Murmansk to which was tracked the railway, it was the port of Murmansk which was defended from enemy during the war, it was the port of Murmansk that in the postwar period glorified the city as the "Arctic Gateway" and it was after the decay of this world's largest polar port that caused the decay of the whole city early in the century XXI. The Northern Sea Route is closed and the Pacific Ocean is not entered by any ship from Murmansk - for majority of the passages the final destination is Dudinka. Occasionally, the ships of the Murmansk Shipping Company visit Belushya Guba (the capital of Novaya Zemlya), Naryan-Mar, Dikson, Tiksi, Pevek and other ports - there is send fuel and food, the ships bring back the containers with things of people moving to the mainland and production of "Norilsk nickel."
The famous route from Murmansk to Vladivostok which existed in 1930-1990’s along the northern coast of the country, has proved to be uneconomical in the new millennium, it is much easier to bring to the Far East the same goods from China, Korea and Japan than to transport them from the European part.
This seaquarium a unique and the only existing aquarium in Europe, where arctic seals are trained and give performances.
The Murmansk seaquarium is unique in many ways it is the only training center in Russia for arctic seals. It is possible to say that the Murmansk seaquarium is more a scientific base dealing with the large-scale studies of the world ocean and, in particular of seals (here are studied their habits, physiology, abilities, etc.) The Murmansk seaquarium was planned to be like this, but later it began to organize spectacular shows with seals and of course, visually acquaint the residents and visitors to the city with the sea life.
The seaquarium is famous for the fact that it began to hold sessions of seal-therapy for children with autism and other incurable diseases. Prior to that, there was only a method of dolphin-therapy, which consisted in a friendly relationship between dolphins and children. However, the scientists have concluded that other marine mammals can have a positive effect on human health.
Murmansk Regional Museum of Art
Another attraction of Murmansk is the Regional Museum of Art.
Currently it has more than 4000 exhibit items. The basis of the collection consists of the works of contemporary local art.
There are works of L. Bogomolets, A. Deineka, O. Eremeev, B. Johansson, V. Kraynev, E. Moiseenko, Yu. Podlyasky, N. Romadin and others. The graphic section includes the works of A. Aleinikov, M. Alexich, M. Butrova, G. Vereysky, V. Vetrogonsky, N. Zhukov, E. Katsman, K. Kalinycheva, M. Kupriyanov, A. Pakhomov and others. An important place in the collection is given to the works of Murmansk artists: B. Baranov, N. Kovalev, N. Morozov, V. Bubentsov, M. Kirin, A. Sergienko, V. Zubitskaya and others, which gives a fairly complete picture of the development of the fine arts in the Kola north in 1960-1990.
Помимо выставочной, музей занимается научной и методической деятельностью, а также проводит активную просветительскую и педагогическую работу.
Murmansk Regional Museum of Local Lore
The Murmansk Regional Museum of Local Lore is the oldest museum in the area; it was founded on the 17th of October 1926. It is engaged in acquisition, storage and promotion of the monuments of history and culture of the Murmansk Region. The museum has 17 exposition halls. There is a monument to the icebreaker "Ermak" standing in front of the museum. Opposite the museum, in a quiet garden square, there is a quite original memorial sign to the sister cities of Murmansk: Vadsø, Tromsø (Norway), Rovaniemi (Finland), Lulea (Sweden), Groningen (Holland), Jacksonville (USA), Akureyri (Iceland) , Szczecin (Poland), Minsk (Belarus) and Kukskafen (Germany).
On the 9th of May 1958 at the intersection of the Lenina Prospectus and the Profsoyuznaya Street was unveiled a monument to the native of Murmansk, the Hero of the Soviet Union, Anatoly Fyodorovich Bredov. Young couples bring here flowers; families with children come to see this monument. And on every military holiday or anniversary a lot of crowns and red carnations pave the pedestal.
In the Zelyonaya Street there is a monument of architecture and urban planning, the complex of which includes the St. Nicholas Cathedral in the name of St. Nicholas Wonderworker and Cathedral of Tryphon of Pechenga. Both monuments were built during the 1980’s.
Near the lighthouse-stela is located the Marine Orthodox Church of the Savior-on-Waters, which was built on the donations from enterprises and citizens. There is a grand staircase leading to it.
From a viewing platform near the church is opened a panorama of Murmansk and the Gulf. There is also a monument to the sailors who lost their lives in the peacetime.
Memorial for the defenders of the Soviet Arctic
The Memorial for the defenders of the Soviet Arctic, also known as Alyosha, is located in the northern part of the city on a hill called Zelyony Mys. The central component in the memorial is the majestic figure of soldier. On a seven-meter pedestal, stands a warrior in a cape with a gun over his shoulder.
The height of the monument is 31.5 meters, its weight is more than 5000 tons and inside the sculpture is hollow. The soldier looks calm and strong. His gaze is fixed on the west, where in 1941 misfortune came to our land and where the enemy has found its inglorious end.
The podium "Eternal Flame" is located in front of the monument. Next to the figure of the soldier guarding the Motherland, there is a sloping triangular pyramid, according to the author this is a slightly dropped battle-flag symbolizing the mourning for the fallen soldiers. The complex also includes the alley of commemorative plates of the hero-cities, which opened in 2004. Under each plate, symbolizing one hero-city, is buried a capsule with the earth of this city.
The Murmansk region has more than four hundred historical and cultural monuments. We have described only a few of them, which are the most famous. Each of them is connected to the historic and heroic past of the city. All the commemorative cultures identify heroism, faith in victory and unity, and also they are the symbol of worship and remembrance of famous people! The history and culture of Murmansk is pride of every citizen!
Memorial for "Mariners who lost their lives in peacetime"
In the Leninsky district of Murmansk on the slope between the Chelyuskintsev street and the Geroev-Severomortsev Prospectus is located a memorial complex for "Mariners who lost their lives in peacetime."
The grand opening of the memorial coincided with the City Day and was held on the 5th of October 2002.
The architectural dominant of the memorial complex is the six-sided tower-lighthouse with the height of 17.5 m. On both sides the lighthouse is attached by a wide marble staircase with observation sites. On the top site is located the Cathedral of the Saviour-on-Waters. Near the lighthouse is located the ship anchor with a capsule filled with seawater underneath.
On the 15th of June 2009 near the lighthouse was installed a deckhouse from the nuclear submarine "Kursk", which became a monument to the submariners who lost their lives in peacetime. The unveiling of the monument coincided with the day of the Navy of Russia. If you try, you can find a horse on this monument.
A monument to Cyril and Methodius
The monument to the Slavic enlighteners has appeared in Murmansk thanks to the polar writers. On their initiative, not only in our city, but also in the Soviet Union, on the 24th of May 1986 for the first time was celebrated the Day of Slavic written language and culture, which soon was declared a public holiday. On the 3rd of March 1990, on the Independence Day of Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim in the presence of Soviet and Bulgarian officials has consecrated the monument.
There was signed the act on its transfer to the representatives of Murmansk. The document states: "The state-social organization "13 Centuries of Bulgaria" on behalf of the entire Bulgarian nation gives the copy of the monument to the saints Cyril and Methodius to Murmansk, where in 1986 for the first time in the Soviet Union was celebrated the Day of Slavic Written Language." The Murmansk monument is the author's copy of the famous work by the Bulgarian sculptor Vladimir Ginovski. The original stands in front of the National Library in Sofia, where it was installed on the day of the 1100th anniversary of Slavic Written Language.
Later, two other casted sculptures were installed in the Bulgarian city of Blagoevgrad and Rome, and the last copy was sent to Murmansk. In Murmansk, the bronze statues, symbolizing the inextinguishable candles, were set on a low concrete pedestal, which, in its turn, stands on a massive base of 12 granite slabs. The site in front of the monument is faced in fragments of sawn stone. The complex includes the framing of the square, made of blocks of gray granite. The sculptures of enlighteners are simple but at the same time majestic. The thin inspired face of Cyril is full of thoughts.
In his hand, the creator of Slavic written language is holding a pen, as if preparing to inscribe the discovered writings. Saint Methodius is carefully pressing the Holy Writ to his chest as the evidence of his untiring pastoral activity. He is full of strength and energy, his face is the very wisdom. The brothers, dressed in wide robes, hold the rollout with the first letters of the Slavic alphabet: "A" and "Б".
Museum "Nuclear Icebreaker "Lenin"
The nuclear icebreaker “Lenin” is the first nuclear-powered surface vessel in the world with nuclear propulsion. The icebreaker was built in the Soviet Union, primarily to service the Northern Sea Route.
The ship was bottomried in 1956 at a shipyard named after A. Marti, in Leningrad. It was launched on the 5th of December 1957. On the 12th of September 1959, from the Admiralty Shipyard it was sent to the sea trials under the command of P. A. Ponomarev. On the 3rd of December 1959 it was registered by the Ministry of the Navy. Since 1960 it makes part of the Murmansk Shipping Company.
Due to the large capacity of the power plant and high autonomy, during the first navigations the icebreaker has shown his excellent efficiency. The use of the nuclear-powered icebreaker has significantly extended the navigation. In 1966 according to the results of operation, it was decided to replace the old tri-reactor nuclear steam-generating installation for the more advanced bi-reactor. Only within the first 6 years of operation the icebreaker has covered over 82 thousand nautical miles and has guided over 400 vessels.
The icebreaker "Lenin" has worked for 30 years and in 1989 was decommissioned and placed on its eternal parking in Murmansk. Now it is used as a museum.