Vologda Governorate

Coordinates: 60°N 40°E / 60°N 40°E / 60; 40

Vologda Governorate
Вологодская губерния
Governorate of the Russian Empire, Russian Republic, Soviet Russia


Coat of arms

Capital Vologda
  Established 1796
  Disestablished January 14, 1929
  (1897) 402,112 km2 (155,256 sq mi)
  (1897) 1,341,785 
Density 3.3 /km2  (8.6 /sq mi)
Political subdivisions uyezds: 10 (1918)

Vologda Governorate (Russian: Вологодская губерния, Vologodskaya guberniya, Government of Vologda) was an administrative division (a guberniya) of the Russian Empire, which existed from 1796 until 1929. Its administrative center was in the city of Vologda. The governorate was located in the north of Russian Empire.

The area of the governorate is currently split between Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Kirov, and Kostroma Oblasts, and the Komi Republic.

Vologda Governorate was officially created in 1796 from the disbanded Vologda Viceroyalty (namestnichestvo) which was split between Arkhangelsk Viceroyalty and Vologda Viceroyalty just before the new administrative reform.

Administrative division

The European part of the Russian Republic in 1917. Vologda Governorate is shown as the pink area in the top right part of the map.

It was administered by 10 uyezds (the administrative centers, which all had the town status, are given in parentheses),

Three towns had a special status: Krasnoborsk, Lalsk, and Verkhovazhskiy Posad.

The Vologda Governorate covered a total area of 402,112 square kilometres (155,256 sq mi), and had a population of 1,341,785 according to the 1897 Russian Empire census. The governorate bordered Arkhangelsk Governorate in the north, Tobolsk Governorate in the northeast, Perm and Vyatka Governorates in the southeast, Kostroma and Yaroslavl Governorates in the south, Novgorod Governorate in the west, and Olonets Governorate in the northwest. The two eastern uyezds, Ust-Sysolsky Uyezd (92%) and Yarensky Uyezd, were predominantly populated by the Komi peoples (Zyrian), while in the whole governorate the Komi accounted for less than 10%.


Historically the region belonged to what is known as the Great Perm later being incorporated into the Novgorod Republic after the disintegration of the Kievan Rus. With the annexation of Novgorod, Vologda also became part of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Among the first monks who permanently established Christianity in the region was Saint Stephen of Perm, born in the city of Ustyug sometime in 1340/45. In 1383 he became the first bishop of the newly established Perm Eparchy. In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708 by Peter the Great, the area was included into Archangelgorod Governorate. In 1780, Archangelgorod Governorate, with the center in Arkhangelsk, was abolished and transformed to Vologda Viceroyalty. The viceroyalty was subdivided into three oblasts: Vologda, Veliky Ustyug, and Arkhangelsk. March 26, 1784 Arkhangelsk Oblast was split off and established as Arkhangelsk Viceroyalty.[1] In 1796, Vologda Viceroyalty was transformed into Vologda Governorate with the seat in the city of Vologda.

From 1872 to 1906 the construction of railroads connected the governorate with the rest of the Russian Empire.

On July 24, 1918 the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic established Northern Dvina Governorate. The area of the governorate included five uyezds of Vologda Governorate: Nikolsky, Solvychegodsky, Ust-Sysolsky,Velikoustyuzhsky, and Yarensky Uyezds.[2]

In 1918, Petrograd, Novgorod, Pskov, Olonets, Arkhangelsk, Cherepovets, and Northern Dvina Governorates decided to merge into the Union of Northern Oblast Communes. The union was, however, short-lived and was abolished in 1919.

On April 30, 1919 Kargopolsky Uyezd, formerly of Olonets Governorate, was transferred to Vologda Governorate.[2] In November 1923, several volosts of Vologodsky Uyezd were merged into Sverdlovsky District which in 1924 was augmented with several volosts of neighboring Kadnikovsky Uyezd. On August 7, 1924 Gryazovetsky Uyezd was disestablished and merged into Vologodsky Uyezd. In 1928, Sverdlovsky District was reorganized into volosts and incorporated into Kadnikovsky Uyezd. Thus, in 1928 Vologda Governorate consisted of five uyezds: Kadnikovsky, Kargopolsky, Totemsky, Velsky, and Vologodsky.

On January 14, 1929 by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee three governorates (Arkhangelsk, Vologda, and Northern Dvina) and the Komi-Zyryan Autonomous Oblast were merged into Northern Krai with the administrative center located in Arkhangelsk.


Principal towns

Russian Census of 1897 gave the following localities with population above 1,000 people (In bold, towns with population above 10,000 are indicated),


According to the Imperial census of 1897, the following languages were spoken in Vologda Governorate,.[3]

Language Number percentage (%) males females
Russian 1,224,138 91.23
Komi 114,966 8.57
that did not identified
their native language
Other[4] 2 681 0.20


According to the Imperial census of 1897,[5] almost all the population were Eastern Orthodox with a small minority of Old Believers. Other religions in the governorate were much less common (not exceeding 500).

Religion Number percentage (%) males females
Eastern Orthodox 1,332,277 99.29
Other[6] (Old Believers) 9 508 0.71


The administration of the governorate was performed by a governor. The governors of Vologda Governorate were[7][8]


  1. "Административно-территориальное деление Архангельской губернии в XVIII-XX вв." (in Russian). Архивы России. 2000. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  2. 1 2 Справка об изменениях административно-территориального устройства и сети партийных и комсомольских органов на территории Вологодской области (1917–1991) (in Russian). Архивы России. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  3. Language Statistics of 1897 (Russian)
  4. Languages, number of speakers which in all gubernia were less than 10000
  5. Religion Statistics of 1897 (Russian)
  6. Religions, number of believers which in all gubernia were less than 10000
  7. Государственное управление в 18–19 веках (in Russian). Правительство Вологодской области. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
  8. Вологодская область (in Russian). narod.ru. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
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