Vologda vô´ləgdə [key], city (1989 pop. 283,000), capital of Vologda region, N central European Russia, on the Vologda River. It is a major river and rail junction in a dairying region. There are railroad repair yards, machine factories, lumber mills, and flax-processing plants. Vologda is famed for its lace. Founded in 1147 by merchants from Novgorod, it passed to Moscow in the 15th cent. and was from the 15th to 17th cent. a major trade center and transit point to NE Russia, Siberia, and W Europe. It declined in the 18th cent. but revived in the late 19th cent. with the development of the lumber industry and the coming of the railroad. In Vologda's old kremlin are the 18th-century bishop's palace and the Cathedral of St. Sophia, built (1568–70) by Ivan IV. The Spasso-Priluki monastery (founded 1371) is nearby.
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