Fort Ross (California, USA) – history, excursions, expositions. Exact address, phone number, cost of entrance tickets. Local legends and ghosts.
A corner of Tsarist Russia in sunny California, Fort Ross is a former Russian colony 80 km north of San Francisco, founded in the early 19th century during the Fur Fever. Today it is a national historical monument of the United States, and more than one hundred thousand tourists come to see it every year. Among the attractions of Fort Ross are the house of the last commandant of the fortress, preserved from 1836, the Holy Trinity Chapel, the house-residence of the heads of the colony and the administrative building. And here you can admire the fortress walls made of sequoia, admire the restored wooden mill and spend a day in nature in the picturesque area of the national park of the same name, stretching as much as 1,300 hectares. Among other things, various cultural events are regularly held in Fort Ross.
A bit of history
Fort Ross founded the Russian-American Trading Company in 1812. There was an office for the extraction and sale of furs, which later took over the agricultural and small-scale commercial function. Thirty years later, the colony was sold at a loss to a Californian landowner, who, in turn, divided the property into parts and sold it to different owners. In 1873, George Call buys out all the areas of Fort Ross and turns it into a private estate, while opening it up to tourists.
The house of the Governor of Fort Ross, Alexander Rotchev, is the only original structure of the fortress.
What to watch
Despite the former glory of Fort Ross at the dawn of the 19th century, little remains of the original buildings today. First of all, the monumental log walls of the fortress, built from solid sequoia trunks, invariably attract attention. On both sides of the walls there are octagonal watchtowers, also cut from wood, equipped with cannons, and in the courtyard you can see a well.
The house of the Governor of Fort Ross, Alexander Rotchev, is the only original structure of the fortress. This is a traditional North Russian house with a row of windows decorated with white frames and unpainted wooden walls, as well as a high attic. The restored house of the founder of Fort Ross, Ivan Kuskov, is the residence of the other governors of the fortress (there were five of them). In addition to living quarters, there was once an armory here.
In the restored Church of the Holy Trinity, divine services are held on Orthodox holidays, the original bell sounds. In the barracks of Fort Ross, you can see how the first settlers of the fortress lived, the atmosphere here has been restored, but as close as possible to the original. It is also worth paying attention to the magnificent mill, which appeared here as a gift for the 200th anniversary of the settlement in 2012. The Fort Ross Museum displays ship models, architectural plans, blueprints and documents from the early 19th century.
Address: Fort Ross State Historic Park, Sonoma County Coast, California.
Opening Hours: The National Park is open from dawn to dusk. The historical part receives visitors daily from 10:00 to 16:30.
Entrance – 8 USD per car. Chat with the tour guides is free at the main entrance to Fort Ross at 12:00 and 14:00 daily.
Prices on the page are for July 2020.
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