Pitkyaranta, Russia

According to Petwithsupplies, 50 km from Sortavala on the northeastern shore of Lake Ladoga is the city of Pitkyaranta. Its name is translated from Finnish as “long coast”. A settlement on this site was first mentioned at the turn of the 15th-16th centuries, as part of the Novgorod principality. It gained fame in the early 19th century, when copper and tin deposits were discovered in the vicinity. Already in the middle of the 19th century, several metallurgical plants were operating here. The development of deposits was carried out until the middle of the 20th century. The city was badly damaged during the Winter War with Finland. and the Great Patriotic War. Fierce battles were fought here, during which many Soviet soldiers died. Today, Pitkyaranta is a modern city with a well-developed infrastructure, which attracts many tourists. In addition, from Pitkyaranta you can go to the island of Valaam . The local history museum named after V.F. Sebin. The museum was opened in 1969 as the Museum of Military Glory. He became a local historian in 1991. It tells about the life of the Karelians, about the events of the Winter War on the territory of the region, about the history of the discovery and development of ore deposits and about the fauna of the Northern Ladoga region. The expositions of the museum are located in the Wallden house of the early 20th century. They include collections of minerals, colored glass, weapons, badges, paintings and stuffed animals.

19 km from Pitkyaranta is the military-historical complex “Valley of Heroes” (“Valley of Death”), which was erected on the site where the most fierce battles took place during the Winter War. For three months, about 100 thousand Soviet soldiers died here. In 2000, a 5-meter “Cross of Sorrow” monument was erected on the territory of the complex, moreover, it is dedicated not only to Russian, but also to Finnish soldiers who fell on the battlefield.

South of Pitkyaranta along the coast of Lake Ladoga is the village of Salmi. In the center of the village on a high hill stands the dilapidated stone church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of 1826 with a three-tiered bell tower. The church is made in the style of late classicism.

South of the village of Salmi, the village of Pogrankondushi is interesting, which for many centuries was on the border of Russia, Finland and Sweden and was a kind of “stumbling block” for these countries. In 1617, Russia and Swedenconcluded the Treaty of Stolbovsky, as a result of which these lands were ceded to Sweden. In 1618, a boundary sign was installed on the border between Russia and Sweden – Varashev stone which has survived to this day. It marked the location of the frontier between 1618 and 1721. Varashev stone stands on Cape Varetsky, 35 km southwest of the village of Pogrankondushi. It is made of pink granite. In its upper part, a cross and the date of its installation in Old Church Slavonic are engraved. A little closer to the village of Pogrankondushi there is another boundary stone, but already in 1934. This stone, made of roughly hewn red granite, marked the border between the USSR and Finland. On the east side it has the inscription “USSR”, on the west – “SUOMI”. The military operations in the vicinity of the village during the Winter War are also reminded by the nearby reinforced concrete defensive structures of 1939-1940, which were aimed at defending Russian lands from Finnish attacks.

Of the natural attractions of the Pitkyaranta region, the White Bridges waterfall stands out. It got its name from the bridges built by the Finns across the river, of which only fragments have survived today. The height of the waterfall reaches 20 m, it is one of the highest waterfalls in Karelia.

In the very south of the Republic of Karelia is one of the oldest cities in Northern Russia – Olonets. This is the ancient capital of Karelia, which is evidenced by the fact that two-thirds of the population of the Olonets region are Karelians, and most of them are Livvik Karelians, who differ significantly from Karelians in language and culture. According to one version, Olonets grew out of the medieval city of Alaborg, mentioned in the Scandinavian sagas. In ancient Russian chronicles, he was first mentioned in 1137. In the 7-8 centuries, an outpost of the Slavs was founded here, which became part of the Novgorod lands. In the late 16th and early 17th century, the area was often attacked by the Swedes. In 1649, to protect the Russian lands from the Swedes, at the confluence of the Olonka and Megrega rivers, by decree of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, the wooden fortress Olonets was built. In 1721, when the Swedish border was again pushed to the north, the significance of the fortress was lost. In the middle of the 18th century, it was completely dismantled. Having lost its defensive significance, Olonets became a major trading center, supplying goods Saint Petersburg.

At the end of the 18th century, Petrozavodsk became the center of the formed Olonets province, and Olonets turned into a small provincial town. The city merchants are gradually beginning to move to St. Petersburg. Today, Olonets is one of the few cities in Karelia where historical buildings of the 19th century have been preserved. Here you can see the stone church of the Smolensk Mother of God of 1828, former merchant houses, public and administrative buildings, as well as many wooden bridges. In the center of the city there is the Olonets National Museum of Karelians-Livviks named after N.T. Prilukin. It was opened in 1959. The museum is unique in that it reveals the culture and history of the Karelians to the fullest extent. Its expositions contain ethnographic collections, the rarest objects of Christian and pagan worship, a collection of Olonets embroidery, documentary materials about the Livvik Karelians in the period from the 19th to the 20th centuries, as well as personal archives of the city’s residents. Thanks to the museum, Olonets annually hosts such festivals as “Moroz-Festival” and “Olonets Games of Santa Clauses”, where Santa Clauses come from all over the country, and “Olonia – Goose Capital”. In 2001, a unique museum of an old New Year’s toy was created at the museum.

In terms of tourism, the central part of the Olonets region, which is located just north of Olonets, is interesting. Here is the historical and cultural area “. Many historical settlements with religious groves and chapels, as well as archeological monuments, have been preserved on the territory of the region. In the eastern part of the Olonets region there is another historical region “Mikhailovskie Karely” with villages, where historical buildings have also been preserved.

50 km north of Olonets on the shore of Lake Vazhe stands the ancient Vazheozersky Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery. At the beginning of the 16th century, the monks Gennady and Nikifor retired here for solitude. In 1530, the first wooden church in the name of the Transfiguration of the Lord and ten cells for the brethren were erected on this site. By the 16th century, the fame of the monastery and its miracle workers spread throughout the state, and he was given a royal charter to own the lands. In the 17th century the monastery was ravaged by the Swedes and Poles, and at the end of the 18th century the hermitage was abolished. The monastery was revived in the 19th century, but under the Soviet regime it was again destroyed. A new revival of the monastery began in 1992, the buildings of the late 19th century were recreated – the Church of the Transfiguration, the gate church and the chapel on the site of the destroyed fraternal cemetery.

Pitkyaranta, Russia