Welcome to Kargopol
Gently attractive Kargopol was one of Russia’s richest cities in the 16th and 17th centuries, when it commanded the Onega River route to the White Sea, then Muscovy’s only coastline. Once Russia had gained access to the Baltic, Kargopol lost its raison d’être and faded into obscurity, hardly helped by a devastating 1765 fire. Today, languor envelops this out-of-the-way historical town, known for its naive-style painted clay figurines (Kargopolskiye igrushki), and there seem to be more churches than people.
Pr Oktyabrsky and parallel ul Lenina run southwest past the hotels, pl Lenina and grassy Sobornaya Ploschad, the town's main square. Local tour agencies can organise transport to the Kenozero National Park.