The District of Kirillov is located in the north-west of the Vologda Region.
Distance from Vologda: 129 km
Distance from Cherepovets: 100 km
Border regions: the Arkhangelsk Region, the districts of Vozhega, Vologda, Belozersk, Cherepovets, Sheksna, Ust’-Kubunskoye, Vashki and Vytegra within the Vologda Oblast.
Inland waters: White Lake, Vozhe Lake, the Sheksna water reservoir, numerous rivers and small lakes, swamps.
The Volga-Baltic waterway and the Northern Dvina river system pass through the territory of the district.
Transportation routes: nearest railway station in Cherepovets (92 km off Kirillov), highway Vologda-Medvezh'yegorsk
The Volga–Baltic Waterway connecting the Rybinsk Reservoir in the basin of the Volga with Lake Onega in the basin of the Neva, runs several kilometres from Kirillov, following the course of the Sheksna River.
In the southern part of the town, one of the locks of the Northern Dvina Canal is located. The canal connects Lake Kubenskoye in the basin of the Northern Dvina with the Sheksna River, thus connecting the basins of the White Sea and the Volga. In the 19th century, the canal was the main waterway connecting the Volga with the White Sea. However, in the 1930s the White Sea - Baltic Canal was built and the Northern Dvina Canal lost its significance. The canal is still in operation, serving cargo traffic and occasional cruise ships moving from the Sheksna to Lake Kubenskoye.
There are about 300 companies of different organizational forms on the territory of the district. In the branch structure, agriculture, tourism, production of construction materials, food and timber industries take a dominating position.
Attractions and tourism
Places of interest: the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery (15-18th centuries), Ferapont monastery (founded in 1398) and Goritsy nunnery (founded in 1544), national part "Russian North" (set up in 1992), Maura hill
Every year a great number of visitors flock to the city to admire the majestic architectural ensemble of Kirillo-Belozersky monastery, one of the largest in Russia. Tourists are also drawn in the same numbers to the Ferapont Monastery. The Kirillo - Belozersky Monastery and the Ferapont Monastery won an international renown owing to the effect of stateliness and an artistic work of exceptional value. Laid out and built in the traditions of early Russian design, they are preserved as monuments of church architecture.
You may want to pass round the monastery along the perimeter. The length of the walls is about 2 km. Less than two centuries after Kirill's death a small wooden cloister was turned into a marvellous masonry town. Now the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery astounds everybody by the enormous size of its fortified walls and towers. The architectural monuments laid out and built in the traditions of early Russian architecture are mainly productions of the 15th-17th centuries. Among the structures that merit special attention are the Cathedral of the Assumption (1497), the Church of the Archangel Gabriel with a bell-tower and a refectory. Their distinctive traits lie in the simplicity and accuracy of the external décor.
The museum of icons located in the monastery is a really impressive collection. The iconostasis of the Cathedral of the Assumption, in its modern construction, has been preserved to our days. It is a unique fact in the history of the Russian art. In the museum there are several icons belonging to the brush of Dionisius from the Ferapont monastery.
Besides the icons of the museum, works of "silver" embroidery are worth seeing. An extensive library of the monastery has been preserved to our days. In the 15th-17th centuries it was one of the largest in Ancient Rus. By data of the 17th century it contained 1879 books.
The Ferapont monastery is situated 19 km off Kirillov. It is not so large as the Kirillo-Belozersky monastery. Nevertheless it attracts the ever-increasing number of tourists owing to an artistic work of exceptional value - frescoes belonging to Dionisius. The genius of medieval Russian art decorated the Church of the Nativity in 1500-1501. His cycle of frescoes devoted to the Virgin remains a unique monument of medieval painting having national as well as European importance. The frescoes were included by the UNESCO on the World Heritage list.
The National Park "Russian North" established on March 20, 1992 is also one of the main attractions of the Kirillov District. The general area of the park is 166,4 thousand hectares. The National Park "Russian North" offers a unique opportunity to have a rest in an ecologically-friendly region, discover out-of-the-way places and feel the pure pleasures of the great outdoors. The park contains an abundance of wilderness, wildlife and beauty. It abounds with rare varieties of plant life and birds. Such diverse flora of the region can be explained by a number of reasons: the location, suitable relief and fertile soil.
The Goritsy Nunnery, one of the remarkable convents, remains active. It is 7 km off the city on the bank of the Sheksna river at the foot of the Maura hill. It appears that the Goritsy Nunnery was founded by the Moscow princely family in 1544, namely by princess Ephrosiniya Staritskaya. Paradoxically the cloister turned out to be Ephrosiniya's place of imprisonment. In 1563 Ivan the Terrible exposed the Princess and her son "as liars". She was forced to take the veil and was exiled known by the name of Evdokiya.
The city appeared as a settlement attached to Kirillo-Belozersk monastery, founded in 1397 and called after the name of monk Cyril Belozersky. Kirillov city is an administrative center of Kirillov area of the Vologda Region now. However, considerable part of its two-years-old history is connected with Novgorod government.
Novgorod government was founded in January of 1727. It consisted of a number of provinces, including Belozerskaya one, consisting of major part of lands of the future Kirillovsky uyezd.
In 1927 uyezds and governments were liquidated and Cherepovetsky okrug of the Leningrad region, consisting also of Kirillovsky area, was formed. In ten years it was included into the Vologda Region.