City of Petrozavodsk, a capital of the Republic of Karelia, was founded in 1703. It is a large industrial, tourist, scientific and cultural center of the Northwest region of Russia. Territory of Petrozavodsk in modern borders makes 121.8 square kilometres, population of the city and settlements under its jurisdiction makes 282,7 thousand people.
Petrozavodsk has a favourable geographical and geopolitic position. Having stretched on the coast of Onego lake, through the system of channels the city has an outlet to the Baltic Sea, the White Sea, the Barents Sea, the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. Petrozavodsk is located close to Moscow (1091 km), St.-Petersburg (412 km) and to the border with EU, distance to Finland on the itinerary of the Blue Road international motorway does not exceed 350 km. The capital of Karelia is connected with the Russian regions with highways, railways, air communication and water communication. Through the city there passes the highway from Murmansk to St.-Petersburg and Moscow.
Petrozavodsk is a large centre of science. In the city there are Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences, three higher educational institutions - Petrozavodsk State University, Karelian State Pedagogical University and Conservatory, as well as 16 secondary educational institutions and 49 comprehensive schools.
In Petrozavodsk there are Russian Drama and Music Theatres, National Theatre of Karelia, Trade Master Youth Theater, Puppet Theatre, Philarmonic Society, various museums and showrooms.
Petrozavodsk supports dynamically developing sister-cities' relations with Warkaus (Finland), Umeâ (Sweden), La Rochelle (France), Duluth (USA), Neubrandenburg and Tübingen (Germany), Мо I Rana (Norway). There agreements on cooperation and sister-cities' relations concluded between Petrozavodsk and eleven cities of the world.
Petrozavodsk is the tourist center of Karelia, it is one of participants of the Blue Road international tourist project. The world famous Kizhi island is located sixty kilometers from the city. Thousands of tourists visit this ancient monument of architecture and history annually. Fifty kilometers from the city there is the first Russian spa resort Marcial Waters founded in 1719 by Peter the Great, sixty kilometers from Petrozaodsk there are the Kivach children's convalescence complex, and a little further there are Kivach waterfalls and Kivach reserve where relic trees grow among which there is famous Karelian birch. In 2003 Petrozavodsk celebrated its 300th anniversary.