This is the first inhabited locality in the Arctic that has joined the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of Russia, according to Svetlana Kornitskaya, head of the Arkhangelsk region’s tourism information centre. Kimzha has even already installed the official plaque.
Kornitskaya explained that it’s no easy task to join the association, as an aspiring village must satisfy several criteria. First, as the name suggests, the place needs to be in a beautiful locale with impressive architecture and surrounded by a picturesque environment. Its cultural and historic value is also an important requirement, she noted.
Founded in the early 16th century, Kimzha still has several traditional houses built in the 19th century and an 18th-century wooden church.
The first village that was awarded membership in the association is Vyatskoye in the Yaroslavl region, which joined in 2015. In 2016, three more villages joined: Oshevensky Pogost in the Arkhangelsk Region, Kinnerma in Karelia and Desyatnikovo in Buryatia. In January, Alexey Lesonen, minister of culture of the Republic of Karelia, stated that Kinnerma residents were complaining about an unbearable influx of tourists and had asked for protection against unwelcome guests.