In the 17th century Arkhangelsk was immensely important as Russia’s only seaport and in 1693 Peter the Great began shipbuilding operations here, launching the Russian navy’s tiny first ship, the Svyatoy Pavel, the following year. Though the founding of St Petersburg in 1703 pushed Arkhangelsk out of the limelight, it later became a centre for Arctic exploration, a core of the huge northern lumber industry and a...
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