Inhabited by talented craftsmen, Mandrogui is a reconstructed village, built on the bank of the Svir River to illustrate the traditions and lifestyle of Russia’s past. Experience provincial Russian lifestyle, watch the artisans and craftsmen making matryoshkas (Russian nesting dolls), carving wood, sewing, and visit the Vodka Museum, which boasts 2651 varieties of the national drink.
A small village of Mandrogui is a romantic vision from the past. The village has been recently created by men of enterprise and artistic taste as tourist attractions. Their cozy log cabins designed in old Russian style attract visitors who can enjoy here the fanciful wood-carving, visit a museum of samovars, buy some souvenirs made by local craftsmen and have a good meal with Russian vodka or tea.
The history of the place is not so romantic. There used to be a settlement of Veps (Karelian people). In the days of the last war it was occupied by the Germans, the population was interned never to return and the place became desolate. Today the population is small, yet industrious and enterprising. The head of the community says there are some Veps (descendants of the natives) among them. Mandrogui means “pine-trees on the bog” in the Veps language. The local people are not cast down, they are working hard and feel hopeful about the future.
Another attraction is the Museum of Vodka. This traditional alcoholic drink is made of grain. Many dishes of Russian cuisine can be washed down with vodka, like pan cakes and caviar. The museum exhibitions show the history of the drink and the process of its productions. There is a tasting bar where the visitors can taste best sorts of Russian vodka.