Vladivostok, Russia: Strategy of Cultural Heritage Protection and Use
Anna Myalk, Victor Fersht, and Victor
Korskov. Translation by Zoya Proshina.
History of the Region’s Development and Heritage
Russian Far East is a vast territory of 6.1 million square kilometers,
making up about a third of Russia. The Far Eastern Federal District of
Russia stretches from the Bering Sea in the north, to the Sea of Japan
in the south; in the east, its territory is bounded by the Pacific Ocean
coastline. The district includes nine regions.
Regions of the Russian Far Eastern Federal District
and administrative district
(thousand - sq. km)
cultural heritage sites (number of revealed items is in
significance (architecture and history)
Jewish Autonomous Oblast
Sakhalinskaya Oblast (59 islands)
Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)
Chukotskiy Autonomous Okrug
Immovable cultural heritage of the Far Eastern District (Table 1.1),
besides archeological monuments, is related to 1) the history of
exploration and land development by Russian pioneers, who established
and developed handcrafts, industries, and trade; 2) the history and
culture of Russian migrants from the central Russian regions; and 3) as
the history of indigenous peoples.
development of the territory of the Russian Far East began as early as
the seventeenth century. By its middle, the first units of land
explorers reached the seacoast of the north-east of Siberia, explored
the Lena River, and came to know about the Amur River. At that time,
discord with China did not make it possible to move freely along the
Amur River; therefore, the Northeast and its unknown regions of Yakutia
became the main direction for exploration.
the rise of Peter the Great, who opened the gate to enlightened Europe,
Russian people were inspired to discover new lands, not only to enrich
the state treasury, but to conduct scientific research and to meet the
interests of Russian trade and industry. The
governmental expeditions of the time brought the most important
geographical discoveries: the Aleutian and Kuril Islands, the coast of
northwestern America, and Sakhalin Island.
1860 Russia received the lands of Amursky Krai from signing the Aigun
and Peking Treaties. The empire got the opportunity to take advantage of
warm sea harbors; entrepreneurs received a way for easy and profitable
trade with China, Japan, Korea, and America.
this became possible through the energetic measures of East Siberia
Governor-General N.N. Muravyov-Amurskiy, a great Russian public figure
and leader of the great exploration of new lands. In his 13 years of
service, new cities rose along the Amur River: Blagoveschensk,
Khabarovsk, and Nikolayevsk. The sea fortress and port of Vladivostok
were founded in the south, at Peter the Great Gulf. N.N. Muravyov-Amurskiy’s
activities ended with the construction—started in 1891—of a grand
railroad, inspiring new life in Amurskiy Krai. The great Trans-Siberian
Railroad connected Russia’s heart with the easternmost point of the
country, Vladivostok. The distance between Moscow and Vladivostok is
Primorskiy Krai, whose capital is Vladivostok, takes an intermediary
historical and geographical position among such powerful cultural and
historical Pacific centers as China, Korea, the Amur River basin, and
Japan. Through all historical epochs, this region was on one hand a
buffer zone and, on the other hand, a pass for migrating tribes and
peoples. Hundreds of archeological monuments are mute
witnesses—sometimes the only ones—of historic events of great
Primorye is an integral part of Russia, but its history is closely
connected with the history of East Asian peoples: minorities of the
Russian Far East, as well as the peoples of China, Korea, and Japan.
Moreover, there is evidence that ancient tribes from Primorye
participated in the race-formation processes of the indigenous
population of the American continent. Therefore, many regional
archeological monuments are of international significance and provide
insight into the historical processes that took place in the Pacific
population of Primorskiy Krai is mainly comprised of the descendants of
migrants from the central part of Russia (Arkhangelskaya, Voronezhskaya
Guberniyas and other regions) and Malorossiya (Ukraine). There are
people of 119 different national origins in Primorskiy Krai, 70% of whom
are Russians. Representatives of every ethnicity contributed to the
general culture of the region. As time passed, the architecture of
Primorye acquired ethnic traditions, brought by migrants, as well as
motifs of Asian architecture. The appearance of these motifs is
explained by their suitability to the peculiarities of the climate and
by the area’s general artistic interest in Oriental décor. Indeed,
Primorye and the Russian Far East contain a great number of outstanding
examples of Mongol and Chinese architectural elements in constructions
by Russian architects. This characteristic distinguishes the regional
quick development of entrepreneurship and trade in Primorye drew the
attention of famous European and American companies as long ago as the
nineteenth century. The emergence of well-to-do clients attracted
renowned architects for the construction of residential mansions,
trading houses, educational and municipal institutions, and public
buildings. The state’s permanent attention to the development of the
region and the defense of its territory made possible big state orders
for construction and the engagement of specialists of high quality to
carry them out. All these factors allowed for the distinguished
architectural build-up of the main cities of Primorye (Vladivostok and
Ussuriysk) by 1914.
the cities of the Russian Far East, the most significant cultural
heritage belongs to the cities of Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Ussuriysk,
and Blagoveschensk. In these localities, downtown ensembles, highlighted
with stone buildings of high architectural value, were formed in the
late-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries.
Foundation and Growth of the City of Vladivostok
Europe came to know of the land where the port of Vladivostok would
emerge after a French whaleboat visited the place in 1851. The Russian
government decided to build up a military outpost there because they
sought the best place to shelter a naval flotilla and stay for the
winter. The first Russians sent to construct the outpost landed on the
Golden Horn coast on June 20, 1860. The Southern Harbors Department was
transferred to Vladivostok from Nikolayevsk-na-Amure in 1864, and a year
later a shipbuilding yard was opened.
According to Town Construction Instruction, issued in 1864 by
Primorskaya Oblast Military Governor N. Korsakov, the local land
surveyor M. Lubenskiy was to map out three settlements, Khabarovsk,
Nikolayevsk-na-Amure, and Vladivostok, taking into consideration the
existing constructions. Lubenskiy drew up the plan in 1868 (Fig. 2.1).
The plan for Vladivostok was done in the layout typical of the time:
rectangular blocks and streets crossing at right angles. In 1871 and
1872, the Navy Port Administration and the Siberia Flotilla main base
moved from Nikolayevsk-na-Amure to Vladivostok. In 1880, Vladivostok
acquired official status as a city and was separated from Primorskaya
Oblast as a military governorship.
city started to grow rapidly after 1880, necessitated by its
strengthening as a military outpost (Fig. 2.1). A regular boat service
from Odessa to Vladivostok launched, the decision to make Vladivostok a
Trans-Siberian railroad terminus was promulgated, and the city’s
population greatly increased. In 1883 the population of town was 10,000;
in 1886 it had grown to 13,000 inhabitants. The machine plant that
started to go up in 1883 on the northern shore of Golden Horn Inlet
later turned into Dalzavod, the largest enterprise in the Russian
military governorship having been abolished, the city was incorporated
into Primorskaya Oblast again as its administrative center, and the
governor’s residence was transferred from Khabarovsk. Nevertheless, in
August 1889, Vladivostok was proclaimed a fortress, increasing its
significance in the Far East. Cesarevitch Nikolai, later known as
Nicholas II, visited Vladivostok in 1891. The would-be emperor
proclaimed the foundation of a dry dock in his name (this dock is still
in operation) and announced the plan for the eastern part of the
Trans-Siberian Railroad. These developments all intensified the
strategic importance of the city.
railroad construction the city launched in May of 1891 became one of the
landmarks in the late-nineteenth century. Other landmarks for the city
included the opening of a new commercial port and the beginning of
regular freight and passenger traffic, in 1897, by the Ussury railroad
up to Khabarovsk. Since the shipment of construction materials was
mainly by sea, Vladivostok rapidly built up its port capacities.
However, the situation changed drastically at the end of the century.
Russia secured the long-term lease of the Liaodong Peninsula, and the
State Treasury allocated money for constructing southern ice-free ports.
Vladivostok’s development came to a standstill.
1904-05 Russo-Japanese War brought great changes. Russia lost Port
Arthur and Dalniy (Dalian), the main competitors with Vladivostok.
Gradually, Vladivostok turned into a large European-type center for
culture, trade, and industry in the Russian Far East. (Fig. 2.2)
After the shock of Russia’s defeat in the war, and having put down the
revolutionary uprisings, the city intensified construction work. The
building of the naval fortress, with its forts, coastal batteries,
munition depots, and fortress roads, became the most intensive project.
It was in this period that the Vladivostok fortress was generally
civil war halted construction activities, but its end brought a new
phase of city development. The Russian Communist Party Central
Committee resolved, in 1931, to reconstruct the 12 major Soviet cities,
including Vladivostok. This new impetus spurred renewed development.
1932, Japan occupied Manchuria, breaking the 1922 agreement. This
stimulated the decision to establish the Pacific Navy, thus turning
Vladivostok into the major navy base in the Russian Far East. The
Vladivostok fortress constructions, which had been abandoned, were
employed anew. Coastal installations and piers to moor men-of-war were
built. A shipbuilding and repair base grew at Golden Horn Inlet and
Diomede and Ulysses Bays.
Country authorities began struggling against religion in the 1930s and
1940s. In Vladivostok, the Assumption of the Mother of God Cathedral and
the Holy Virgin Intercession Church, which were pivotal elements of the
downtown architectural composition, were barbarously destroyed. In
addition to those outstanding buildings, the city was deprived of many
other churches that used to decorate the landscape.
1939 the population of the city had reached 206,000. New areas of the
city were planned in accordance with the first complex master plan,
“Great Vladivostok,” executed under the direction of architect-engineer
E. Vasilyev. However, World War II prevented the implementation of many
Fig. 2.1. 1885 map showing a net of
streets planned according to the general plan by Lubenskiy, 1868.
Fig. 2.2. The 1909 layout of Vladivostok.
October 1959, Nikita Khruschev, Chairperson of the USSR Council of
Ministers, visited Vladivostok and envisioned a new role for the city.
He vowed to turn it into a new San Francisco. On the instruction of the
country’s leader, a commission headed by V. Kucherenko, the USSR
Gosstroy (State Construction) Chairperson, was sent to Vladivostok
to outline the major lines of city development for the near future (that
is, until 1965).
commercial port, which is of great significance in the Pacific,
reclaimed its international status. At the same time, Vladivostok had
become the Soviet gateway to the eastern seas. The 1970s and 1980s
brought large-scale civic construction, extending the city’s territory.
Vladivostok functioned as a real capital city in the early 1990s. It
was an administrative center, a marine commercial port, one of the
largest transportation junctions, and a center for fishing and
ship-repair. As a cultural and educational hub, it served the entire
Russian Far East. It developed as a tourism center and holds a unique
resort zone. Simultaneous with all these characteristics, the city
retains its historical function as a national naval base. Its current
population counts 620,000 residents.
historical center of Vladivostok is located on the southernmost end of
the Muravyov-Amurskiy Peninsula, washed by Amurskiy and Ussuriyskiy
Bays, on territory with a unique natural landscape inseparable from the
city history. Until the 1980s, Vladivostok architecture did not dominate
the landscape. Buildings coalesced, emphasizing beauty. The city
architecture took advantage of the landscape, raised due to the
configuration of terrain, or suddenly opening above, behind the turn of
a steep street (Fig. 3.1). Although today many topographical formations
are hidden among city constructions, the skyline of the city remains
unchanged (Fig. 3.3).
original natural scenery and sea panoramas surrounding the built
environment are Vladivostok’s most precious property. Generally, all
buildings, blocks, and architectural complexes can be seen not only from
their street fronts, but also from the mountain peaks and upper slopes
(Fig. 3.1, 3.3). One superb feature of Vladivostok is the ability to
view, just from Golden Horn Inlet and the Goldobin and Shkot Peninsulas,
the city buildings amidst the hills that create a grand rhythm of
downtown city plan has not changed. Historical ward size has been
preserved, with buildings of appropriate sizes harmonized with the
landscape. The system of gardens and squares, designed before 1920 and
completed in the 1950s, has determined the spatial composition of the
unique downtown neighborhood.
Fig. 3.1. Mordovtseva St.
Fig. 3.2. The 2004 layout of
Vladivostok’s historic downtown.
Fig. 3.3. Panorama of historic downtown
and Golden Horn Inlet. Vladivostok Train Station, 1912, is in the
forefront. Architect V. Planson.
(2 Aleutskaya St.)
Fig. 3.4. The beginning of Svetlanskaya
Fig. 3.5. Svetlanskaya St. Complex, Kunst
& Albers Trade House buildings (1900-1907).
Svetlanskaya St. Vladivostok Post and
Telegraph Office (1899), architect A. Gvozdziovskiy. Valden’s House
(early 20th century).
Svetlanskaya Street is the city’s main street. It stretches from Amur
Bay along the Golden Horn Inlet to its western end. By 1922 the
architectural complex of Svetlanskaya Street had been formed up to
Kluchevaya Street. It was mainly composed of major festive buildings
(Fig. 3.4, 3.5). The two sides of the street are developed differently,
though. The northern side is full of monumental buildings, whereas the
southern side has open, verdant spaces that separate buildings from each
other at a great distance.
very first plan for the city’s development implies that this uneven
development of the two sides was an intentional decision that provided
for a view of Golden Horn Inlet to the south. The buildings and
complexes south of the street, between the street and the water line, do
not interfere with the view, as they are shorter and built down the
hill. The northern side of the street is supplied with a system of small
gardens, street pockets made in a natural rhythm in place of former
Streets going down the slopes perpendicular to Svetlanskaya Street did
not end in major buildings for the most part. All of them are instead
directed to Golden Horn Inlet, the centerpiece of the city. Monuments,
silhouetted against the sea and the Goldobin Peninsula, mark two places
in the axes of these street networks. In the Soviet period, this
city-planning tradition was upheld by building the monument to the
Fighters for the Soviet Power in the Far East on the axis of the
Okeansky (Ocean) Avenue in the city’s central square, located in the
place of the former city garden.
building complex of Svetlanskaya Street blends with the space of
Pushkinskaya Street. The administrative and public city center was
originally located here, and the ensemble of building with a system of
dominants and co-coordinated architectural accents was generated and
kept till our time.
historic downtown of Vladivostok reveals all the architectural styles
that were used by city architects, ranging from neo-Classicism of the
late-nineteenth century to modernist styles and neo-Classicism of
1930-1950 (Fig. 3.6). Many outstanding architects, well-known in Russia
and abroad, worked in Vladivostok: A. Gvozdziovskiy, H. Junghaendel,
Shebalin, I. Meshkov, S. Vensan, A. Bulgakov, N. Konovalov, Y. Shafrat,
Y. Wagner, V. Planson; in the Soviet period, A. Zasedatelev, A. Poretskov,
L. Butko, and others. Works of some of them are shown in this paper.
Immovable Cultural Heritage of Vladivostok
city and its environs contain a rich and diverse historical and cultural
heritage. The number of cultural heritage items is as follows: 579 of
local significance, 127 of federal significance, and 38 of archeological
spatial composition determined by the historical system of streets and
squares and the scale of blocks and buildings remains. Almost
fully preserved are entire downtown blocks, including the first
buildings in the area of Pushkin St., Vsevolod Sibirtsev St., Lutskiy
St., and Klyuchevaya St. The built ensemble of Svetlanskaya St., the
historical environment of Aleutskaya St., the built ensemble of
Pushkinskaya St., Ofitserskaya Sloboda are also intact and
well-preserved. Barracks camps of the Military Department remain on
Davydov Street, Borisenko Street, and Russkiy Island. Though they are
intact, urgent measures are required to restore all of these structures
in terms of engineering, foundation protection, renovation of utilities,
and renewal of roofs and facades. The outstanding architectural
monuments are mostly preserved. However, some Orthodox churches and
certain buildings that interfered with implementing new town-planning
ideas in the 1970s were pulled down.
There are certain buildings beyond the downtown that are outstanding
architectural monuments. These are resorts and health centers, including
the institution for mud-cures in Sadgorod, where mud baths were open as
early as the nineteenth century. The resorts Primorye and
Okeanskiy voyennyi sanatoriy (military resort) are monuments of the
1930-1950 period, and are magnificently adapted to the landscape.
world’s largest marine fortress complex is a monument of federal
significance. The current complex has preserved and includes the
following: 44 coastal batteries, nine ground force batteries, two
fortifications, two redoubt, six strongholds, 16 forts, four casemated
powder-magazines, 12 tunnel powder-magazines, 15 anti-assault caponiers
and semi-caponiers, a cold storage, a cable road station, and four
Soviet coast batteries constructed in the 1930s that defended
Vladivostok from the sea.
list of architectural monuments in Vladivostok includes a great number
of industrial structures: the refrigerated storage Union, the
locomotive shop at Pervaya Rechka railroad station, Stalin Tunnel
between railroad stations Lugovaya and Tretya Rabochaya, a
water tower at the Vladivostok railroad station, the main
fire-fighting station, the dry dock named for Cesarevitch, and other
unique constructions in the Russian Far East.
Memorials in the area include the Marine Cemetery, which contains the
memorial to the perished seamen from the cruiser Varyag,
V.K.Arsenyev’s grave, and a memorial to Czech and Canadian legionaries.
The downtown neighborhood has a number of monuments, including one at
the burial site of Count Muravyov-Amurskiy’s remains, which were brought
from Paris. In the area also are the first city monument to Admiral
Nevelskoy and a modern monument to the Fighters for the Soviet Power in
the Russian Far East. A talented work of the sculptor and architect
that has turned into a symbol of Vladivostok, an A.S. Pushkin bust
exists, made by the well-known Soviet sculptor Anikushin. These are
several examples of monuments that are of artistic and historical
natural and anthropogenic landscape of Vladivostok is closely associated
with the perception of Vladivostok as a historical city. As a result,
the historical skyline of the city is being preserved. It should be
noted that between 1970 and 1990, thoughtless construction caused a lot
of damage to the historical visage and landscape. Many panoramic sites
are preserved nonetheless: Naberezhnaya Street and observation points on
Orlinaya and Pochtovaya Mountains. The landscape continues to dominate
the buildings that carpet the hill slopes. The terrain is only really
shown up by certain structures: outstanding architectural works.
Archeological monuments of Vladivostok and environs represent all
historical epochs, ranging from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages. The
area of Vladivostok and its environs, though relatively well-researched
as to its identified archeological monuments, is a prospective place for
future archeologists. Only areas along highways and country roads are
well-researched; other territories await thorough archeological
agglomeration of the city of Vladivostok (Nedezhdinskiy, Shkotovskiy
Rayons, and Artyom) is an active economic zone, which threatens
preservation of the archeological objects located in desirable
residential and commercial areas. Both unknown and discovered
monuments are being destroyed. Particular threat comes from mass
privatization of installations and land plots. Development also speeds
the exposure of archaeological evidence to the elements. All of these
factors make full-scale archeological research of the area urgent.
Vladivostok Fortress is one of the most significant tourist objects in
eastern Russia. It is a unique defensive and historical monument, and
the military engineers who constructed it contributed to the cultural
heritage of the rest of Vladivostok. The defensive structures are
larger than today’s urban construction area, being about 100 kilometers
in perimeter and covering 37 kilometers from the northernmost to
southernmost points (Fig. 5.3).
There has never been a war operation on the territory of Vladivostok,
yet, just by its existence, the fortress saved Vladivostok. In the
early twentieth century, Vladivostok Fortress was considered the
strongest naval fortress in the world. It was founded to protect the
naval base and city of Vladivostok, and it is located on the
Muravyov-Amurskiy Peninsula, Russkiy Island, Elena Island, and Shkot
Island. It operated formally for 34 years, from 1889 to 1923.
fortress fortifications, constructed during the years 1910-1917, in view
of the Port Arthur heroic defense, had no analogs in the world practice
at the time. Some engineering decisions were 10 to 15 years ahead of
the time’s military strategies. These strategies included the wide and
extended sequence of forts, precise adaptation of their forms to the
landscape, and creative, anticipatory design to defend against the
largest-caliber artillery shell attack. Some of the engineering designs
anticipated conclusions that only broadly arose after the experience of
World War I. Foreign experts who examined the fortress in the years
1918-1922 acknowledged that its fortifications were “a miracle of
engineering.” The 1995 decree of the Russian president declared
Vladivostok fortress fortifications to be monuments of federal (that is,
universal Russian) significance.
Decommissioned fortifications that have lost their military function
have commonly been turned toward the purpose of tourism throughout the
world. The remaining Vladivostok fortress fortifications are
architecturally expressive (Fig. 5.4, 5.5), with the majority of them
located in suburban forests, on mountaintops, and on the coast (Fig.
5.1, 5.2). Many of these fortifications have branching underground
passages and various casemated shelters (Fig. 5.6). All these features
contribute to the unique value of the remaining fortifications for
tourist and recreational employment.
Fig. 5.1. Fort Russkikh (Fort of the
Russians), 1895-1902. Work done by military engineers Romanovich and E.
Fig. 5.2. Fragment of the gun-pit for the
semi-battery Larionovskaya-at-the Peak (1902). Military Engineer
Fig. 5.3. General layout of the
Vladivostok Fortress (1916). The plan copy was made by N.B.Ayushin,
based on the archive materials.
Fort # 4, 1910-1917. Military engineer E.
Protsenko. A double counter-scarp caponier (coffre) in the ditch
Fort # 4. A rifle parapet and exits from
the gallery beneath the parapet
Fig. 5.6. The plan of Fort # 4.
o – barbed wire obstruction; g – gorge caponier; p – postern; ct – caserne
tunnel; c – caserne; t – open fire position for flanking guns; oc –
observation cupola; b – barbette; s-rp – rifle parapet with gallery
beneath it; m – moat; a – counter scarp caponier (coffer)
Drawing by Volobuev S.A. from materials of RSMHA and field investigations.
6. Heritage Preservation Law
Russia, cultural heritage is regulated by the 2002 Federal Law, “On
items of cultural heritage (monuments of history and culture) of peoples
in the Russian Federation.” This law replaced the 1978 RSFSR Law, “On
protection and use of historical and cultural monuments.”
enhance cultural heritage preservation in the Russian Federation, a new
federal organization was established in 2004 with the Ministry of
Culture: the Federal Service to Control the Observation of Federal Laws
in Mass Media and Cultural Heritage Preservation (Roskhrankultura).
A Roskhrankultura office was established in Primorskiy Krai. The
division is responsible for protecting the monuments of federal
significance and enforcing laws regarding heritage of regional and
municipal significance. Because only the new law of 2002 addresses
monuments of local (municipal) significance, the Russian Far East and
Primorskiy Krai monuments are not subdivided into regional and local
Methodological Commission of Experts has been formed with the Primorskiy
Roskhrankultura office. The commission includes honorary
experts in town-planning, architecture, and monument preservation, as
well as archeologists. The members of the commission examine and discuss
all questions concerning protection and restoration of federal
monuments. Based on the experts’ opinion, Roskhrankultura makes
the necessary decisions.
control state-owned monuments of federal significance, the federal state
culture establishment Agency for Control
and Use of Historical and Cultural Monuments (FSCE ACUHCM),
under the Ministry of Culture and Mass Media, was established in 2002.
The Far Eastern Federal District branch of this establishment was formed
in Vladivostok in 2004. The tasks of the establishment are as follows:
providing for the correct use of monuments, concluding lease documents,
collecting monument money from the leases, and spending this money on
conservation and restoration of items.
present, the FSCE ACUHCM is responsible for thirteen sites of the
Vladivostok Fortress; a resolution is pending on assigning 70 more
fortress installations to its care. Since the time of its establishment,
the branch of FSCE ACUHCM has succeeded in inventorying cultural
heritage items, including them in the immovable property register,
making topographical maps, determining borders of protection zones and
territories, and searching for potential holders.
law currently in force charges the administrations of the Federation
subjects with protecting monuments and carrying out protective measures:
controlling town-planning, restoration, and preservation; coordinating
project documentation for restoration projects; highlighting and
researching monuments; issuing monument passports; implementing
preservation zone projects; and controlling owners and users maintaining
Department of Culture, Primorskiy Krai Administration, is a local body
for preserving monuments. The Primorskiy Krai Law on Cultural Heritage
Objects has been passed by the Legislative Assembly and is in force on
the territory of Primorskiy Krai. The law determines the procedure of
monument protection and preservation.
Municipal administrations provide for the maintenance of
municipally-owned objects, restoring them in a timely fashion, and
improving land. They also control enforcement of the law in the
preservation of the historical environment for monuments in the city.
In restoration projects, the condition of cultural heritage items is
examined. Measures for preservation, especially for preservation of the
authentic constructions, fragments, and decorations, are then specified.
In some cases when it is otherwise impossible to save the building,
hidden inner structures are replaced with modern ones. All these
measures are implemented under the supervision of the state (Krai’s)
agency for monument protection, whose functions are performed by the
Department of Culture, Primorskiy Krai Administration. Every year the
city’s administration spends about $1 million for this purpose.
Vladivostok administration has organized the general town-planning
scheme. The plan includes developing monument preservation zones, which
will determine: the general requirements for providing the best views of
the monuments, the city’s historical environment, observation points,
and the historical landscape when new construction and other activities
take place in the city.
1989 fortress-enthusiast researchers formed the club The Vladivostok
Fortress. A new generation of young people continues to study the
fortress’ history and the 1930s Pacific Fleet coastal defense,
discovering new chapters in history. The club members provide invaluable
assistance to state and municipal agencies and do a lot to popularize
the fortress monuments, attracting tourists.
Primorye Department of the All-Russian Society for Preservation and Use
of Cultural and Historical Monuments functions in Primorskiy Krai and
Development of Preservation Practice in Primorskiy Krai
Questions of objects’ preservation arose for the first time in Primorye
territory and Vladivostok at the end of the 1950. At that time the
legislative base was a statute on the protection of cultural monuments,
maintained by a resolution by the Council of Ministers of the USSR in
1948. A similar resolution from the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR
(the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic) was accepted elaborating
on this document. Adoption of a 1976 law, “On the protection and use of
historical and cultural monuments,” was a great step forward.
the first time, some monuments in Primorskiy Krai came under national
protection by the decision of the RSFSR Council of Ministers in 1960.
After that, objects of cultural heritage value in the city were
protected through the decisions of the executive committee of the
Council of People's Deputies in Primorskiy Krai, Krai's Duma, the
governor of Primorskiy Krai, and the president of the Russian
Federation. In all, protection decisions were made 14 times up to 2000.
All-Russia Society for Protecting Historical and Cultural Monuments had
the leading role in registering monuments up to 1989. The state body for
preservation had minimal staffing for the discharge of these functions
and leaned on the knowledge of the society’s members. A special group
was created in 1989, the Research-and-production center for
protection of monuments (RPC).
During the existence of RPC, significant research and registration was
accomplished while also establishing protection zones and controlling
restoration projects. In
governor of the region approved temporary zones for protecting
historical monuments and the historic center of the city.
7.1 Hotel, theatre, and restaurant, Golden Horn. 1906. Architect
7.2. Central Hotel. 1907. Architect V. Goldenstedt.
7.3. Salesman’s Assembly.
1908. Architect Yu. Wagner.
Fig. 7.4 Versaille Hotel. 1908.
Architect I. Meshkov.
Vladivostok after the revolution (the years 1918-1990), old buildings
very seldom underwent thorough overhaul. Those buildings that were
renovated lost many valuable elements and details, usually finishing
elements on roofing
(marquees, turrets, domes, etc.). In the 1930-1950 period many
buildings were built with one or two floors. The monuments of
architecture that were not touched by repairmen, despite their bad
technical condition, have retained all the architectural and decorative
elements in their original forms.
the beginning of political reorientation in 1986,
economic stagnation left no means for full-scale repair. At this
time many houses were vacant, their technical condition critical. The
question frequently arose as whether to tear down these monuments,
especially those that posed danger to people. Besides the danger, they
spoiled the visage of the city center. Yet these are now the outstanding
architecture like the Merchant’s Assembly, the Golden Horn (Fig. 7.1),
Central Hotel (Fig. 7.2), Salesman’s Assembly (Fig. 7.3), and A.B.
Filipchenko’s tenement house, from which one wall of the main
facade was kept.
1995 to 2000, the new owners of these structures had to carry out
large-scale conservation and
salvage operations: strengthening the foundations, strengthening
bearing walls with metal and ferro-concrete bandages, fully changing
overlappings, etc. Compromise was necessary in the process. For example,
it was necessary to agree with the desire of the proprietor to not
recreate the original interiors in the Gold Horn, which had stood in
ruins for more than 10 years as the owner wished to use it as a shopping
center. However, the rich decor of the facades, previously lost, has now
been restored in full.
façade of Hotel Central has lost most of its original ceramic tiles
because of revetments and the fastening of ferro-concrete belts.
The tile managed to be preserved around only a few windows, and the
owners did not have the means to fully restore the façade; city and
regional budgets could not help them. However, the turrets and marquees
on the roof, disassembled in the 1960s, have been reconstructed.
1993 restoration of the Versaille Hotel (Fig. 7.4) is the first
full restoration in the city. The building lay vacant for three years
after a fire, which partially destroyed interior stucco moldings. As a
result, it was possible to restore, in an original form, facades (except
for some window fillings) and some interiors: the lobby, foyer, a
staircase, and halls of the restaurant. The guest rooms were partially
re-planned and equipped with modern engineering systems. Their
interiors were not kept.
lost stucco molding has been replaced, but not well. The owners of the
building sought to reduce costs by involving a Chinese contract
organization. Communication between the Russian architects and artists
with the Chinese workers was extremely difficult. Much had to be
altered, especially the interior color scheme. Victor Obertas, the
chairman at the time of the Far Eastern branch of the All-Russia Society
for Protecting of Monuments (RCP) supervised the project.
restoration of the House of the Military Governor of Primorye in
1995. After the revolution
this monument was used for state and public functions. Many
interior details (a stucco molding, fireplaces with the forged lattices,
etc.) had been lost by the time of a repair effort in 1980. RCP
had to negotiate extensively to ensure that the 1995 efforts were
true to the original building and materials. As a result of the RCP
requirements practically all materials are authentic to the
building’s period, including wooden fillings on windows and doorways and
a recreated canopy above a domestic terrace. Cast pig-iron elements have
been replaced but simplified, in spite of the fact that enough of the
original ironwork details remain for their design to be copied.
Grandiose works were conducted around the same time on a federally
significant railway station building. The Vladivostok train station
exemplifies a well-done restoration project (Fig. 3.3). The train
station was built in a Russian architectural style in 1912 by the design
of architect V.A. Planson. This stylistic decision was approved by the
czar to be applied to all train station buildings along the
Trans-Siberian railroad in order to symbolize the triumph of Russian
imperial power in the illimitable space of Siberia and the Russian Far
train station building was restored in 1994. Vladivostok architects A.I. Melnik,
V.I. Smotrikovskiy, T.A. Tkachova designed and supervised the
restoration. General work was done by the Italian company Tegola
Canadese. Ceramic panels on the facades were restored and ceilings
painted by the local artists L.V. Smirnova, T.G. Limonenko and V. F.
Kosenko. During the restoration, the bases of the building were
strengthened so that bridging beams of the floor deck that were in an
emergency state were replaced; metal grids on the roof were restored
according to the discovered old fragments and old pictures; the roof was
completely replaced; and ceramic plates in the restaurant interior and
floor plates were almost fully replaced. It is interesting to know that
new floor plates were ordered from the same Italian factory that had
produced the original plates. Modern ventilation systems operate in the
building, the equipment hidden in the roof space. Lacking are the
plastic window reliefs and the mirror glasses, which have slightly
altered the original impression of the monument.
the period of 2005-2006, the Far Eastern Federal District branch
of FSCE ACUHCM has been restoring wooden architecture located in
its office. Fundamental work has proceeded in changing rotten logs
(about 50%), replacing the roof, restoring interiors, and reconstructing
carved decorations on facades (Fig. 7.5, 7.6).
There were very few wooden buildings in Vladivostok. Those that did
exist were in poor condition, and served as housing for only the poor.
Therefore, each example that did remain gradually acquired greater
cultural value as rare carriers of national features in architecture.
Today some of outstanding monuments of architecture are completely
restored and in good condition. Facades are
already repaired on 25, and three are under restoration. Other
buildings wait their turn. Recently, the administration of Primorsky
Krai announced a design competition for the complex restoration of one
of the significant monuments of architecture in which a state gallery
and museum will reside.
of the mentioned buildings and many other Vladivostok monuments are
located in the historical city center. Returning these works to their
original countenance has strong public support. Citizens as well as
authorities are convinced that improving the condition of historic
structures will attract tourism and positively influence the general
mood of the city. The Primorsky Krai governor’s economic development
strategy for 2004-2010 focuses on the development of tourism,
preservation, and the rational use of cultural heritage. Preservation
of the original appearance of Vladivostok, then, is urgent for the
economic well-being of the city, Krai, and the entire Russian Far East.
7.5, 7.6. Historic house. 1909. Architect A. Bulgakov.
economic activity of many enterprises of the city, Primorskiy Krai, the
Russian Federation, and various international enterprises is directly
dependent on the appearance of Vladivostok’s historical downtown
district. Company directors tend to have their offices there as well.
The location lends legitimacy, for it speaks of a company’s solid
profits (as real estate costs are much higher downtown), steady
operation, reliability, and deep roots. Such a company can be dealt
with. Moreover, businesses that contribute to downtown cultural heritage
preservation prove that they care for the area’s greater good, for no
economics can develop without culture. It is the historical features of
the city that attract tourists and investment. They are catalysts of
cultural and economic exchange, giving ground for new links and
cooperation in various fields.
the historical center, visual appeal is demanded. On the one hand, it is
a positive force for preservation, when buildings have the funding for
the activity. However, the cost of responsible conservation projects can
be prohibitive, and so reconstruction begins. The city holds a number of
examples of unauthorized alterations, with the destruction of crowning
details on facades. An example is one three-tiered building in a
neo-Classical style with elements of baroque, as it is traditionally
accepted in Vladivostok, that has been topped by Attic accents. Then, in
2005, a private owner purchased the building, and it acquired glass
Primorskiy department of Roskhrankultura has since taken measures
to stop these kinds of works. The impediments to responsible
restoration projects have mainly been:
The insufficient education
Proprietors and users do not understand the
importance of restoration requirements.
The insufficient quantity of experts in
Police and supervising bodies have stepped up their enforcement.
Lawsuits are pending. A criminal case has recently begun in Ussuriisk
over the destruction of the interiors of a building during repair work.
All citizens interested in preservation of cultural heritage anticipate
continued progress in the preservation of monuments.
In 2004 the
governor approved and published “Strategy for the Social and Economic
Development of Primorskiy Krai for 2004-2010.” In the strategic context,
Primorskiy Krai is considered “the southern economic and cultural gate”
of Russia, CIS, and Europe to the Pacific. The first stage (through
2007-2008) has Primorskiy Krai become a recreation and tourist center of
the Russian Far East and Siberia. Then, by 2010-2012, it is to become a
large international center of ecological technologies and cultural
tourism for a number of countries in the Asian Pacific Region.
main strategies for accomplishing these goals is the intention to
consolidate the financial means of the economic participants in the
recreational and tourist complex and create all-seasonal recreation,
amusement, and show opportunities. The following projects remain to be
carried out: creation of a unified information and marketing center,
construction of a water park in Vladivostok, restoration of the fortress
installations, complex recreational development of Russkiy Island, and
efficient marketing of the existing monuments of history and culture.
opened for foreign visitors in 1991,
Vladivostok is gradually becoming an important site for
international tourism. The tourism infrastructure must be improved; it
will increase the tourist in-flow to 1-1.2 million tourists annually.
The total tourism contribution to the state’s economy will make up over
10 billion rubles.
The city of
Vladivostok has a variety of characteristics on which various lines of
tourism can be based. Vladivostok and its environs are rich in natural
resources: the sea coast, picturesque islands (18), and forests. There
are three professional theaters and seven public museums in the city.
The transportation infrastructure is reliable. The international
airport in Vladivostok makes short flights possible from Europe,
America, Japan, India, and other countries. The port of Vladivostok can
receive 2,670-passenger Grand Class vessels like the Diamond Princess
and the Sapphire Princess. The Trans-Siberian
railroad enables transport through Siberia and Central Russia to Moscow
and further on to Europe.
business is a limiting factor. Only 10 of the 55 hotels in Vladivostok
can receive foreign guests with international standards. Vladivostok is
famous for its resorts, though. As early as the nineteenth century,
curative mud baths in the suburbs drew visitors. The Sadgorod mud
therapy resort of 1924 is included on the list of sites preserved by the
state as architectural and historical monuments. Today Vladivostok has
57 summer and year-round resorts, tourist bases, children camps, and
health spas, which collectively receive over 8,000 people. Yearly, 90 to
100 thousand people rest and improve their health there. Residents of
the city and the state, as well as visitors from other regions of the
country, are presently the primary clients of the recreation
institutions. The total potential number of visitors is 40 to 60
thousand people at a time.
Tourism, as a
business, is being developed. Currently, 180 tour companies function in
Primorye; 120 of these are in Vladivostok. Generally they are aimed to
organize exit tourism for the local population (in 2005, 728,100 Russian
tourists exited Primorye). However, today entry tourism is actively
being developed, and 115,500 foreign tourists came to Primorye in 2005.
Foreigners coming to Vladivostok are mostly Chinese, Japanese, and South
Tourism as a sector of the economy represents the specific intersection
of hospitality services, restaurants, transportation, entertainment
enterprises, the various firms that organize different tourist
activities, excursion services, and the services of guides and
translators. The modern tourist industry is one of the most profitable
(up to 10% of the Gross National Product) and quickly-developing
branches of the world economy. It holds second place in the world’s
incomes, yielding only to information technology. Primorskiy Krai is one
of the Russian regions where the tourist sector is a priority and can
become a specialization of the regional economy. Simultaneously, this
branch of the economy directly influences the general social climate,
creating a basis for recreation.
turnover of profits to the branch is approximately 3-5 million dollars.
Experts estimate that tourist business makes up 3% of the Gross Regional
Product. This is above the average across Russia, but it is considerably
below the world index.
key impediments to the development of increased tourism are:
A low level of capitalization for the
Absence of a united strategy of
development, which results in the irrational duplication of tourist
programs, investment projects, and dissipation of the limited
financial resources. Essentially, as a consequence, there is a
general decrease in efficiency of activity in the sphere of tourism.
Absence of a coordinated national policy
for the development of marine and ecological kinds of tourism, in
spite of the unique tourist resources (sea and river water areas,
taiga routes) available. Such kinds of tourism as cruise packages
are practically not developed at all.
A low level of marketing and advertising
of the tourist and recreational services of region.
The need to revise taxation and the
tourist legislative base.
A high level of illegal activity.
A low level of investment accumulation.
Currently, the industry cannot develop intensively by leaning on its
own accumulation. At the present moment, the total amount of
investment in current projects is $438 million.
The lack of co-ordination between the
interests of municipal authorities, travel agencies, the users of
recreational lands, and local residents.
Only 10% of the recreational potential
of Primorskiy Krai’s land is used.
A low level of service and accommodation
for guests and tourists. The orientation of the majority of the
hotel enterprises is to budget tourists.
The need to revise the economic
mechanisms of hotel business development.
Absence of hotel segmentation on various values and tastes.
quality and a low level of differentiation of tourist services.
Poor dining options; 15-25% of tourist
costs comes from dining.
Tasks and Objectives
average expenditure of each foreign tourist is $700-900. Improving the
tourism opportunities supplies a growing demand from consumers (both
Russian and foreign) for quality, and it also contributes to the social
and economic development of the region with an increase in profit,
increases in the number of workplaces, improvements in the health of the
population, and the preservation and rational use of heritage.
The following tasks must be
accomplished to pursue tourism development. First, the
infrastructure must be improved to allow for 1.2-1.5 million tourists.
This will guarantee 100,000 jobs an inflow of 1-1.3 billion dollars.
Secondly, the duration of tourists’ stays must increase. For this task
it is necessary to:
create the conditions for the
development of multipurpose vacation spots, and to
diversify the tourist programs in terms
of the frequency of offerings and the quality of services.
third task is to speed the improvements of culture and social objects.
For this task it is necessary to:
finish renovation of the historical
urban environment in the territories focused on the service of
solve the problem with allotting and
reserving territories for ecological tourism;
provide federal status for the
historical museum of the military fortress, lead restorative
reconstruction, and clear territory from casual buildings;
place special tourist equipment, allowing one to see a
panorama of city at any time; and
create a national mini-park on the
island Russkiy about Russian history.
European culture in the region must also be given attention. Tourists
from the Asian Pacific region come to see the European culture, art, and
architecture. Primorye is an outstanding place of historical
inter-penetration of European and Asian cultures. Europeans who visit
are similarly interested in the Eastern culture of the indigenous people
who populated this territory of Russia in the past. This is why more and
more tourists visit Primorskiy Krai.
Seventeen foreign consulates
and representatives of many foreign companies work in Primorskiy Krai.
Extreme tourism attracts additional tourists to the region: deep-water
diving, speleotourism, rafting, hikes deep into the taiga (thick forest)
to unique natural objects, and paraplane flights.
Informative excursions (by bus, horse, and walking) to the fortress also
attracts tourism. Regularly held at the fortress are various theatrical
shows and games for children and students. The natural setting of the
monuments makes the tourist potential of these territories especially
high (Fig.5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5).
Today the full potential of the fortress complex is not exploited. The
challenges for tourism are as follows: the complex is scattered on a
vast territory, with many installations located far away from downtown;
the fortress dirt roads, which are over 100 years old, need remodeling,
making it that much more difficult to reach the monuments; the buildings
lack electricity, a water supply, and sewerage. Additional rooms for
administration and service personnel are required.
make matters more difficult, these needs sometimes contradict the
requirements for preserving the historical environment of monuments.
Yet, the use of the fortress for tourism is of great importance not only
for Primorskiy Krai but also for the entire Russian Far East.
far as the Vladivostok historical downtown is concerned, city guests are
primarily interested in the architectural monuments and historical
quarters of the city. Among them there are several quarters, including
Chinese ones, called Millionka. This is the area bordered by the
beginning of Svetlanskaya Street (Fig. 3.4, 3.5, 7.1, 7.2, 7.4),
Semyonovskaya, Admiral Fokin, and Pogranichnaya Street. Interesting
architectural and spatial environments have made these quarters the most
favored places of the city. To fully utilize this area for tourism, we
need a complex reconstruction of the quarters with renewed engineering
support. Remodeling and partial reconstruction of inter-quarter spaces,
to use them for tourism, will increase the influx of visitors and bring
examples of the use of cultural heritage for tourism include the
Excursions on the history of the city and
the fortress should use the work done by the Information and
Methodological Tour and Excursion Center with the V.K. Arsenyev
Primorskiy Regional Museum. To date the Center has developed 70 thematic
tours about Primorskiy Krai. These are in great demand. Forty of the
tours are related to the history and architecture of the city and
fortress of Vladivostok. To improve and renew tours and to better their
quality, the Center holds competitions among the tour guides. The
authors of the best excursions are rewarded.
Six monuments of architecture are used for
public interest as state museums and a library. Ten more are used as
public buildings: a post office, the station, two theaters, two houses
of culture, the steamship company, trading houses, etc.
The monument “Fort # 7” is an excursion and
museum recreational object, located in the outskirts of Vladivostok. It
has two-hour walks about the underground installations, so that tourists
come out in the ditch and then climb to the mountain top. The view and
the experience leaves an unforgettable impression with all visitors.
The Primorskiy Krai branch of the All-Russia
Society for Protecting Historical and Cultural Monuments has created a
museum of Vladivostok Fortress history based on the coastal battery
Bezymiannaya, located in the historical center of the city.
The Naval History Museum of the RF Pacific
Fleet, based out of the battery Voroshilovskaya constructed on
Russkiy Island in 1932, conducts historical research and tour work.
Informative, educational, and excursion work
for the children from riding-school Hypparion is offered at the
monument “Stronghold Lettered Z (З)” near Fort # 7.
An ecological post that has been functioning
on Elena Island for several years combines tourist (mostly children and
teenager) coastal beach recreation with excursions to the nearest
constructions, coastal batteries Southern Larionovskaya and
Larionovskaya-at-the-Peak (Fig. 5.2), and Anti-Assault Semi-Caponier
Myalk is Director of the Federal Agency for the Protection of
Monuments, Vladivostok, Russia.
is Chairman, International Association for Joint Programs of United
Nations Human Settlement Programs – UN-Habitat and UNESCO, Vladivostok,
Russia, and Executive Chairman, Best Practices Magazine
Victor Korskov is Director, UNESCO Programs, Vladivostok,
Ministry of Culture, 2004, information book.
Trofimov V.P., Ilyin
A.A (1998) To Meet the Sun, pp. 10-13
Myalk A.V., Kalinin
V.I. (ed.) (2005) Vladivostok. Pamyatniki Arkhitektury (Architectural
Monuments), pp. 5-8
Vladivostok historical plans were provided by the Central State
Historical Archive of the Russian Far East.
Myalk, A.V., Kalinin
V.I, (2005), Vladivostok. Pamyatniki Arkhitektury (Architectural
Monuments), pp 8-11.
Ayushin N.B. (1996). Morskaya krepost Vladivostok (Marine Fortress of
Vladivostok). In: Vestnik DVO RAN, # 5, pp. 96-106
Kalinin V.I., Vorobyev S.A., Gavrilkin V.N. (2001). St. Petersburg.
Krepost Vladivostok (Fortress of Vladivostok), p. 151.
Myalk A.V., Kalinin
V.I. (2005), Vladivostok, Pamyatniki Arkhitektury (Architectural
Monuments), pp. 149-152.
(2005), statistic yearbook Primorskiy Krai.
Pacific Center for
Strategic Development (2004). Strategy of the Social and Economic
Development of Primorskiy Krai, pp. 117-124, 167-172.
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