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Coordinates: 67°41′18″N 35°56′38″E / 67.68833°N 35.94389°E / 67.68833; 35.94389

Kola Peninsula
Map of the Kola Peninsula and adjacent seas. From the Dutch "Novus Atlas" (1635). Cartographer: Willem Janszoon Blaeu.

The Kola Peninsula (from Sami Guoladat; Russian: Кольский полуостров, Kolsky poluostrov) is a peninsula in the far north of Russia, part of Murmansk Oblast. It borders upon the Barents Sea in the north and the White Sea in the east and south. The western border of the Kola Peninsula stretches along the meridian from the Kola Gulf through the Imandra Lake, Kola Lake, and the to the Kandalaksha Gulf.

The peninsula covers an area of about 100,000 square kilometres (38,610 sq mi). The north coast is steep and high, the southern is flat. In the west part of the peninsula there are two mountain ranges: the Khibiny Mountains, and the Lovozero Tundra, the latter with points up to 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) in height. In the central part of the peninsula lies the Keyvy watershed.

Because the last ice age removed the top sediment layer of the soil, the Kola Peninsula is on the surface extremely rich in various ores and minerals, including apatites, alumina sources, iron ore, mica, ceramic raw, titanium ore, phlogopite, and vermiculite, as well as ores of less-common and colored metals. MMC Norilsk Nickel conducts mining operations on the peninsula. The Kola Superdeep Borehole which is the deepest borehole in the world, is located here also, near the Norwegian border.

Despite its northern location, the Kola Peninsula has a relatively mild climate, because of the influence of warm Atlantic currents. The average temperature in January is about −10 °C (14 °F) and about 10 °C (50 °F) in July. The peninsula is covered by taiga in the south and tundra in the north.

The Kola Peninsula has many fast-moving rivers with rapids. The most important of them are the Ponoy River, Varzuga River, Teriberka River, Voronya River, and the Iokanga River. The major lakes are: Imandra Lake, Umbozero Lake, Lovozero Lake. The rivers of the peninsula are an important habitat for the Atlantic Salmon Salmo salar, which return from Greenland and the Faroe Islands to spawn in fresh water. As a result of this a recreational fishery has been developed, with a number of remote lodges and camps hosting sport-fishermen throughout the summer months. Kola rivers become icebound during the winter.

Apart from the Russian Pomors, the peninsula is also home to the Sami peoples, who were forced to settle in the town of Lovozero during the Communist years, and who now herd reindeer across much of the region.

After the decline of Kola, an ancient settlement which gives its name to the peninsula, the major port of the region has been Murmansk, which is also the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast. During the Soviet period, Murmansk was a significant submarine production center, and remains home to the Russian Northern Fleet.[1]

The Kola Peninsula as a whole suffered major ecological damage, mostly as a result of pollution from the military (particularly naval) production, as well as from industrial mining of apatite. About 250 decommissioned naval nuclear reactors, produced by the Soviet military, remain on the peninsula.

Contents

History

At the end of the 1st millennium C.E., the peninsula was settled only by the Sami people, who did not have their own state and lived in clans ruled by elders.[2] In the 12th century, Russian Pomors living on the shores of Onega Bay and in the lower reaches of the Northern Dvina River started to visit the peninsula.[2]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Northern Fleet: Naval Facilities near Murmansk, Murmansk Oblast. Nuclear Threat Initiative.
  2. ^ a b Архивный отдел Администрации Мурманской области. Государственный Архив Мурманской области. (1995). Административно-территориальное деление Мурманской области (1920–1993 гг.). Справочник. Мурманск: Мурманское издательско-полиграфическое предприятие "Север". p. 16. 

External links

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Coordinates: 67°41′18″N 35°56′38″E / 67.68833°N 35.94389°E / 67.68833; 35.94389

File:Kuolan
Kola Peninsula

[[File:|thumb|Map of the Kola Peninsula and adjacent seas. From the Dutch "Novus Atlas" (1635). Cartographer: Willem Janszoon Blaeu.]]

The Kola Peninsula (from Northern Sami: Guoládat; Russian: Кольский полуостров, Kolsky poluostrov) is a peninsula in the far north of Russia, a part of Murmansk Oblast.

Contents

Geography

The peninsula borders upon the Barents Sea in the north and the White Sea in the east and southeast.[1] The western border of the Kola Peninsula stretches along the meridian from the Kola Gulf through Lake Imandra, Kola Lake, and the to the Kandalaksha Gulf.

The peninsula covers an area of about 100,000 square kilometres (38,610 sq mi). The north coast is steep and high, the southern is flat. In the west part of the peninsula there are two mountain ranges: the Khibiny Massif, and the Lovozero Massif; the latter with points up to 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) in height. In the central part of the peninsula lies the Keyvy watershed.

The mountainous reliefs of the Murmansk and Kandalaksha coasts of the peninsula stretch from southeast to northwest.[1]

Because the last ice age removed the top sediment layer of the soil, the Kola Peninsula is on the surface extremely rich in various ores and minerals, including apatites, alumina sources, iron ore, mica, ceramic raw, titanium ore, phlogopite, and vermiculite, as well as ores of less-common and colored metals. MMC Norilsk Nickel conducts mining operations on the peninsula. The Kola Superdeep Borehole which is the deepest borehole in the world, is located here also, near the Norwegian border.

Despite its northern location, the Kola Peninsula has a relatively mild climate, because of the influence of warm Atlantic currents. The average temperature in January is about Template:Convert/°C and about Template:Convert/°C in July. The peninsula is covered by taiga in the south and tundra in the north.

The Kola Peninsula has many fast-moving rivers with rapids. The most important of them are the Ponoy River, Varzuga River, Teriberka River, Voronya River, and the Iokanga River. The major lakes are: Lake Imandra, Umbozero Lake, Lovozero Lake. The rivers of the peninsula are an important habitat for the Atlantic Salmon Salmo salar, which return from Greenland and the Faroe Islands to spawn in fresh water. As a result of this a recreational fishery has been developed, with a number of remote lodges and camps hosting sport-fishermen throughout the summer months. Kola rivers become icebound during the winter.

The Kola Peninsula as a whole suffered major ecological damage, mostly as a result of pollution from the military (particularly naval) production, as well as from industrial mining of apatite. About 250 decommissioned naval nuclear reactors, produced by the Soviet military, remain on the peninsula.

History

At the end of the 1st millennium C.E., the peninsula was settled only by the Sami people, who did not have their own state and lived in clans ruled by elders.[2] In the 12th century, Russian Pomors from the shores of Onega Bay and in the lower reaches of the Northern Dvina River discovered the peninsula and its game and fish riches.[2] The Pomors organized regular hunting and fishing visits and started barter trade with the Sami.[2] They also named the White Sea coast of the peninsula Tersky Coast (Те́рский бе́рег), or Terskaya Land (Те́рская земля́).[2]

By the end of the 12th century, the Pomors explored all northern coast of the peninsula and reached Finnmark (area in the north of Norway), necessitating the Norwegians to support a naval guard in that area.[2] The name Pomors gave to the northern coast was "Murmansky"—a distorted form of "Norman".[2]

Pomors were soon followed by the tribute collectors from the Novgorod Republic, and the Kola Peninsula gradually became a part of the Novgorodian lands.[2] A 1265 treaty of Yaroslav Yaroslavich with Novgorod mentions Tre Volost (волость Тре), which is later also mentioned in other documents dated as late as 1471.[2]

In addition to Tre, the Novgorodian documents of the 13th–15th centuries also mention Kolo Volost, which bordered Tre approximately along the line between Kildin Island and Turiy Headland of the Turiy Peninsula.[2] Kolo Volost laid to the west of that line, while Tre was situated to the east of it.[2]

By the 13th century, the need for a formal border between the Novgorod Republic and the Scandinavian countries became evident.[3] The Novgorodians, along with the Karelians who came from the south, reached the coast of what is now Pechengsky District and the portion of the coast of Varangerfjord near the Voryema River, which is now a part of Norway.[3] The Sami population was forced to pay tribute.[3] The Norwegians, however, were also attempting to take control of these lands, which often resulted in armed conflicts.[3] In 1251, a conflict between the Karelians, Novgorodians, and the servants of the king of Norway lead to the establishment of a Novgorodian mission in Norway.[3] Also in 1251, the first treaty with Norway was signed in Novgorod regarding the Sami lands and the system of tribute collections, making the Sami people pay tribute to both Novgorod and Norway.[3] By the terms of the treaty, the Novgorodians could collect tribute from the Sami as far as Lyngenfjord in the west, while Norwegians could collect tribute on the territory of the whole Kola Peninsula except for the eastern part of Tersky Coast.[3] No state borders were established by the 1251 treaty.[3]

The treaty lead to a short period of peace, but the armed conflicts resumed soon thereafter.[3] Chronicles document attacks by the Russians and the Karelians on Finnmark and northern Norway as early as 1271, and continuing well into the 14th century.[3]

The official border between the Novgorod lands and the lands of Sweden and Norway was established by the Treaty of Nöteborg on August 12, 1323.[3] The treaty primarily focused on the Karelian Isthmus border and the border north of Lake Ladoga.[3]

Another treaty dealing the matters of the northern borders was the Treaty of Novgorod signed with Norway in 1326, which ended the decades of the Norwegian-Novgorodian border skirmishes in Finnmark.[4] Per the terms of the treaty, Norway relinquished all claims to the Kola Peninsula.[4] However, the treaty did not address the situation with the Sami people paying tribute to both Norway and Novgorod, and the practice continued until 1602.[4]

While the 1326 treaty did not define the border in detail, it confirmed the 1323 border demarcation, which remained more or less unchanged for the next six hundred years, until 1920.[4]

In the 15th century, Novgorodians started to establish permanent settlements on the peninsula.[4] Umba and Varzuga, the first documented permanent settlements of the Novgorodians, date back to 1466.[4] Over time, all coastal areas to the west of the Pyalitsa River had been settled, creating a territory where the population was mostly Novgorodian.[4] Administratively, this territory was divided into Varzuzhskaya and Umbskaya Volosts, which were governed by a posadnik from the area of the Northern Dvina.[4]

The Novgorod Republic lost control of both of these volosts to the Grand Duchy of Moscow after the Battle of Shelon in 1471,[4] and the republic itself ceased to exist in 1478 when Ivan III took the city of Novgorod. All Novgorod territories, including those on the Kola Peninsula, became a part of the Grand Duchy of Moscow.[4]

The Russian migration to the peninsula continued in the 16th century, when new settlements such as Kandalaksha, Kovda, Knyazhya Guba, and Porya-Guba were established.[4] Kola was first mentioned in 1565.[4]

In the second half of the 16th century, King Frederick II of Denmark–Norway demanded the Tsardom of Russia to cede the peninsula.[4] Russia declined, and in order to organize adequate defenses established the position of a voyevoda.[5] The voyevoda sat in Kola, which became an administrative center of the region.[5] Prior to that, the administrative duties were performed by the tax collectors from Kandalaksha.[5] The new Kolsky Uyezd covered most of the territory of the peninsula (with the exception of Varzuzhskaya and Umbskaya Volosts, which were a part of Dvinsky Uyezd), as well as the northern part of Karelia all the way to Lendery.[5]

20th century

File:Ozero
Yokyavr

Apart from the Russian Pomors, the peninsula is also home to the Sami peoples, who were forced to settle in the village of Lovozero during the Soviet years, and who now herd reindeer across much of the region.

After the decline of Kola, an ancient settlement which gives its name to the peninsula, the major port of the region has been Murmansk, which is also the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast. During the Soviet period, Murmansk was a significant submarine production center, and remains home to the Russian Northern Fleet.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Atlas of Murmansk Oblast, p. 1
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Administrative-Territorial Divisions of Murmansk Oblast, p. 16
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Administrative-Territorial Divisions of Murmansk Oblast, p. 17
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Administrative-Territorial Divisions of Murmansk Oblast, p. 18
  5. ^ a b c d Administrative-Territorial Divisions of Murmansk Oblast, p. 19
  6. ^ Northern Fleet: Naval Facilities near Murmansk, Murmansk Oblast. Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Sources

  • Архивный отдел Администрации Мурманской области. Государственный Архив Мурманской области. (1995). Административно-территориальное деление Мурманской области (1920–1993 гг.). Справочник. Мурманск: Мурманское издательско-полиграфическое предприятие "Север". 
  • Главное управление геодезии и картографии при Совете Министров СССР. Научно-исследовательский географо-экономический институт Ленинградского государственного университета имени А. А. Жданова (1971). Атлас Мурманской области. Москва. 

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

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Proper noun

Singular
Kola Peninsula

Plural
-

Kola Peninsula

  1. A peninsula in the far north of Russia, part of the Murmansk Oblast. It borders upon the Barents Sea on the North and the White Sea on the East and South.

Translations


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