Sights of Totma

Totma is a small city and so all of its sights are located within walking distance from each other.  Much of the centre is laid out in a grid system with Ulitsa Belousovskaya and Ulitsa Voroshilova being the principle vertical streets and Ulitsa Lenina and Ulitsa Sovetskaya being the principle horizontal streets.  The central square is Togovaya Ploschad (Trade Square).  All around the city are pretty wooden houses, including some two-storey wooden estate houses.

Just outside the city are two villages worth visiting. The Former Spaso-Sumorin Monastery is located in Lesotekhnikuma which can be reached by walking up Ulitsa Babushkina and the Resurrection Church in Varnitsy can be reached by walking up Ulitsa Voskresenskaya.  Both journeys take about 15 minutes on foot from the centre of Totma.

In Lesotekhnikuma

Former Spaso-Sumorin Monastery

  • Ulitsa Babushkina, Lesotekhnikuma

The Spaso-Sumorin Monastery was founded in 1554 by a monk called Feodosi Sumorin from Vologda's Spaso-Prilutsky Monastery who has since been canonised as St Theodosius (Feodosi) of Totma.  During Theodosius' time the monastery only had wooden churches but these were rebuilt in stone in the late 18th century and 19th century.  However after the revolution the monastery was closed and many of its buildings were knocked down or allowed to fall into disrepair.  Today, although the… Read more »

Open Fund Museum

  • Ulitsa Babushkina, Lesotekhnikuma
  • 09:00 - 17:00. Closed on Saturdays.

Part of the Former Spaso-Sumorin Monastery's 19th-century monks quarters were given over to the Totma Museum Association which used the premises to sort exhibits.  This fund is now open to the public as a museum in itself.  Here there are several rooms each filled with hundreds of antique examples of a specific item, including tiles, washing tools, farming equipment, and looms.  The museum is run as a branch of the Totma Museum Association. You can get to the village of… Read more »

In the Historical Centre

Black Fox Monument

  • Torgovaya Ploschad

On the north-west corner of Torgovaya Ploschad (Trade Square) is a small monument of a black fox on a rock.  The same black fox is also depicted on Totma's coat of arms. The animal was chosen in recognition of Totma's role in the establishment of Russian America - many expeditions were funded by Totma merchants and the explorer Ivan Kuskov was born in the city.   In America the black foxes were hunted and their furs were brought back to Russia. Read more »

Church Antiquities Museum (Dormition Church)

  • 7 Naberezhnaya Kuskovo
  • 10:00 - 17:00. Closed on Saturdays.

Located in what was once the Dormition Church is the Church Antiquities Museum.  The former church, which dates from the early 19th century, now displays various items from the many churches in Totma which were closed down after the revolution.  This predominantly includes icons, wooden carvings which once decorated iconostases and items which were used in services.  However the main reasons for visiting is to go up the bell tower from where you can enjoy great views of the city. … Read more »

Explorers Monument

  • Torgovaya Ploschad

Totma's central square is Torgovaya Ploschad (Trade Square) and to the south of this is Skver Morekhodov (Sea Explorer Gardens), which features a monument in the form of a ship and anchors which celebrates Totma's links with exploration.  Merchants from Totma had for centuries been taking advantage from the city's river links and so naturally also decided to fund expeditions further afield to America.   The monument was unveiled in 2005 Read more »

Ivan Kuskov House-Museum

  • 10 Chkalovsky Pereulok
  • 10:00 - 17:00. Closed on Saturdays.

Ivan Kuskov was born in Totma in 1765 and went on to become the leading Russian explorer of Alaska and California and the chief administrator of the Russian-American Company.  He led five expeditions to California and is famous for founding there the fortress known as Fort Ross.   He returned to Totma at the end of his life, dying there in 1823.  The house where he spent his last years has now been turned into the Ivan Kushkov House Museum. The museum has several small rooms with… Read more »

Nativity of Christ Church

  • Ulitsa Lenina

One of Totma's few working churches is the Nativity of Christ Church.  It was built in two stages, the lower part from between 1746 and 1748 and then the upper section and a bell tower were built on between 1786 and 1793.  It is an example of Totma baroque recognisable by its tall buildings.  In the 1930s the church was closed and its bell tower was destroyed.   In 1995 the building was returned to the Orthodox Church and fully restored by 1999.  The church now holds the relics of… Read more »

Nikolai Rubtsov Monument

  • Skver Rubtsova, Naberezhnaya Kuskovo

Standing in Skver Rubtsova (Rubtsov Gardens) which overlooks the River Sukhona is a statue of the Russian poet Nikolai Rubtsov.  This statue was erected in Totma as Rubtsov spent the early years of his life at a children's home in the Totma District from 1943 to 1950 and then went on to study in Totma itself from 1950 to 1952.  The statue depicts Rubtsov sat on a bench and is the work of the well-known sculptor Vyacheslav Klykov. Read more »

Sea Explorers Museum (Entry into Jerusalem Church)

  • 1 Ulitsa Lenina
  • 10:00 - 17:00. Closed on Saturdays.

Totma's most famous landmark is the Entry into Jerusalem Church which dates from 1794.  It is typical of the baroque style popular in Totma - a tall two-storey narrow building topped with five domes and attached to a bell tower.  The exterior is decorated with cartouches which is also a feature of the Totma baroque style. The church was closed in the Soviet era and even briefly used as a distillery.  Now it is used to hold a museum dedicated to Totma's connection with sea… Read more »

Totma Regional Museum

  • 44 Ulitsa Voroshipova
  • 10:00 - 17:00. Closed on Saturdays

For a small provincial city Totma has a very good regional museum which consists of archaeological, historical, art and nature departments.  It is located in what was once a religious school.  The museum is run as the main museum of the Totma Museum Association. Read more »

Trinity Church

  • Ulitsa Gertsena

Another of Totma's working churches is the Trinity Church which is located in the part of the city known as the Zelenskaya Rybachia Sloboda (Zelenskaya Fishing Settlement).  The church was built between 1768 and 1788 and is another example of Totma baroque, with its tall slender main structure topped with five domes. The best way to get to the church is via the wooden footbridge that starts next to the city banya on Banny Spusk and crosses the River Pesya-Dyenga and the… Read more »

Vladimir Lenin Monument

  • Park imena Lenina

Just to the south-east of Torgovaya Ploschad is Park imena Lenina (Lenin Park) and unsurprisingly it is here that you will find Totma's statue of Vladimir Lenin.  Here Lenin is carved out of stone and is depicted holding his cap in his hand. Read more »

War Memorial

  • Warriors for Freedom Central Park, Ulitsa Sovetskaya

The small park in between Ulitsa Sovetskaya and Ulitsa Lenina is known as the Warriors for Freedom Central Park as located in the centre of the park is Totma's memorial to its citizens who played a role in the Second World War.  The monument consists of a statue of a soldier and a mother in mourning.  Also in the park is a small Revolution Monument. Read more »

In Varnitsy

Resurrection Church in Varnitsy

  • Ulitsa Voskresenskaya, Varnitsy

Just to the north of Totma is the settlement (selo) of Varnitsy and it is worth taking the 15 minute walk up Ulitsa Voskresenskaya here just to see the beautiful ruins of the Resurrection Church here.  The church was built between 1743 and 1775 in the Totma baroque style and is reminiscent of Totma's Entry into Jerusalem Church.  After the Revolution the church was closed and inside the church is in ruins, but apart from the dome of the bell tower the exterior is in a relatively… Read more »