Republic of Karelia: Wikis

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Republic of Karelia (English)
Республика Карелия (Russian)
-  Republic  -
Map of Russia - Republic of Karelia (2008-03).svg
Coat of Arms of Republic of Karelia.svg
Coat of arms of the Republic of Karelia
Flag of Karelia.svg
Flag of the Republic of Karelia
Anthem Anthem of the Republic of Karelia[citation needed]
Political status
Country Russia
Political status Republic
Federal district Northwestern[1]
Economic region Northern[2]
Capital Petrozavodsk[citation needed]
Official languages Russian[4]; [3]
Statistics
Population (2002 Census)[5] 716,281 inhabitants
- Rank within Russia 67th
- Urban[5] 75.0%
- Rural[5] 25.0%
- Density 4 /km2 (0/sq mi)[6]
Area (as of the 2002 Census)[7] 172,400 km2 (66,564.0 sq mi)
- Rank within Russia 20th
Established July 16, 1956[8]
License plates 10
ISO 3166-2:RU RU-KR
Time zone MSK/MSD (UTC+3/+4)
Government (as of October 2008)
Head[9] Sergey Katanandov[10]
Legislature Legislative Assembly[11]
Constitution Constitution of the Republic of Karelia
Official website
http://www.gov.karelia.ru/

The Republic of Karelia (Russian: Респу́блика Каре́лия, Respublika Kareliya; Karelian: Karjalan tazavalda; Finnish: Karjalan tasavalta; Veps: Karjalan Tazovaldkund) is a federal subject of Russia.

Contents

Geography

The Republic is located in the north-western part of the Russian Federation, taking intervening position between the basins of White and Baltic seas. The White Sea shore line is 630 kilometers (391 mi).

Rivers

There are about 27,000 rivers in Karelia. Major rivers include:

Lakes

There are 60,000 lakes in Karelia. Republic's lakes and swamps contain about 2,000 km³ of high-quality fresh water. Lake Ladoga (Finnish: Laatokka) and Lake Onega (Ääninen) are the largest lakes in Europe. Other lakes include:

The Regions of North and South Karelia lie in Finland and the Karelian Republic in Russia. The Karelian Isthmus is now part of Leningrad Oblast

National parks

Natural resources

The most part of the republic's territory (148,000 km², or 85%) is composed of state forest stock. The total growing stock of timber resources in the forests of all categories and ages is 807 million m³. The mature and over mature tree stock amounts to 411.8 million m³, of which 375.2 million m³ is coniferous.

Fifty useful minerals are found in Karelia, located in more than 400 deposits and ore bearing layers. Natural resources of the republic include iron ore, diamonds, vanadium, molybdenum, and others.

Climate

The Republic of Karelia is located in the Atlantic continental climate zone. Average temperature in January is -8.0°C, and +16.4°C in July. Average annual precipitation is 500-700 mm.[12]

Administrative divisions

Demographics

  • Population: 716,281 (2002)
    • Urban: 537.395 (75.0%)
    • Rural: 178,886 (25.0%)
      Early 20th-century photo of a bridge across the Shuya River
    • Male: 331,505 (46.3%)
    • Female: 384,776 (53.7%)
  • Females per 1000 males: 1,161
  • Average age: 37.1 years
    • Urban: 35.9 years
    • Rural: 40.6 years
    • Male: 33.9 years
    • Female: 39.9 years
  • Number of households: 279,915 (with 701,314 people)
    • Urban: 208,041 (with 525,964 people)
    • Rural: 71,874 (with 175,350 people)
  • Vital statistics
Source: Russian Federal State Statistics Service
Births Deaths Birth rate Death rate
1970 11,346 5,333 15.9 7.5
1975 12,748 6,086 17.6 8.4
1980 12,275 7,374 16.6 10.0
1985 13,201 8,205 17.1 10.7
1990 10,553 8,072 13.3 10.2
1991 8,982 8,305 11.4 10.5
1992 7,969 9,834 10.1 12.5
1993 7,003 11,817 9.0 15.1
1994 6,800 13,325 8.8 17.2
1995 6,729 12,845 8.8 16.7
1996 6,461 11,192 8.5 14.7
1997 6,230 10,306 8.3 13.7
1998 6,382 10,285 8.5 13.8
1999 6,054 11,612 8.2 15.7
2000 6,374 12,083 8.7 16.5
2001 6,833 12,597 9.4 17.4
2002 7,247 13,435 10.1 18.7
2003 7,290 14,141 10.2 19.9
2004 7,320 13,092 10.4 18.5
2005 6,952 12,649 9.9 18.1
2006 6,938 11,716 10.0 16.8
2007 7,319 11,007 10.6 15.9
2008 7,682 11,134 11.1 16.2
  • Ethnic groups

According to the 2002 Census, ethnic Russians make up 76.6% of the republic's population, while the ethnic Karelians are only 9.2%. Other groups include Belarusians (5.3%), Ukrainians (2.7%), Finns (2.0%), Veps (0.7%), and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total population. 4,886 people (0.7%) did not indicate their nationality during the Census.

census 1926 census 1939 census 1959 census 1970 census 1979 census 1989 census 2002
Russians 153,967 (57.2%) 296,529 (63.2%) 412,773 (62.7%) 486,198 (68.1%) 522,230 (71.3%) 581,571 (73.6%) 548,941 (76.6%)
Karelians 100,781 (37.4%) 108,571 (23.2%) 85,473 (13.0%) 84,180 (11.8%) 81,274 (11.1%) 78,928 (10.0%) 65,651 (9.2%)
Belarusians 555 (0.2%) 4,263 (0.9%) 71,900 (10.9%) 66,410 (9.3%) 59,394 (8.1%) 55,530 (7.0%) 37,681 (5.3%)
Ukrainians 708 (0.3%) 21,112 (4.5%) 23,569 (3.6%) 27,440 (3.8%) 23,765 (3.2%) 28,242 (3.6%) 19,248 (2.7%)
Finns 2,544 (0.9%) 8,322 (1.8%) 27,829 (4.2%) 22,174 (3.1%) 20,099 (2.7%) 18,420 (2.3%) 14,156 (2.0%)
Veps 8,587 (3.2%) 9,392 (2.0%) 7,179 (1.1%) 6,323 (0.9%) 5,864 (0.8%) 5,954 (0.8%) 4,870 (0.7%)
Others 2,194 (0.8%) 20,709 (4.4%) 29,869 (4.5%) 20,726 (2.9%) 19,565 (2.7%) 21,505 (2.7%) 25,734 (3.6%)

The Karelian language is close to Finnish, and in recent years, it has been considered by some authorities as a dialect of Finnish. Nevertheless, Eastern Karelian is not completely mutually intelligible with Finnish and could be considered a separate language. Russian is currently the only official language of the republic, but there is a motion in the republic's government to make Karelian official as well.

Economy

Karelia's Gross regional product in 2007 was 109.5 billion rubles.[13] This amounts to 151,210 rubles per capita, which is somewhat lower than the national average of 198,817 rubles.[14]

Industry

Industrial activity in Karelia is dominated by the forest and wood processing sector. Timber logging is carried out by a large number of small enterprises whereas pulp and paper production is concentrated in five large enterprises, which produce about a quarter of Russia's total output of paper.[15] Three largest companies in the pulp and paper sector in 2001 were: OAO Kondopoga (sales of $209.4 mln in 2001), Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill ($95.7 mln) and OAO Pitkjaranta Pulp Factory ($23.7 mln).[12]

In 2007, extractive industries (including extraction of metal ores) amounted to 30% of the republic's industrial output.[13] There are about 53 mining companies in Karelia, employing more than 10,000 people.[16] One of the most important companies in the sector is OAO Karelian Pellet, which is the 5h largest of Russia's 25 mining and ore dressing enterprises involved in ore extraction and iron ore concentrate production. Other large companies in the sector were OAO Karelnerud, Mosavtorod State Unitary Enterprise and Pitkjaranta Mining Directorate State Unitary Enterprise.[12]

Processing industries contributed 56,4% of the overal production in 2007. The latter figure includes pulp-and-paper (23.6%), metals and metal-working (7.9%), woodworking (7.1%), foodstuffs (5.8%) and machine-building (3.9%). Production and distribution of electicity, natural gas and water made up 13.6% of the region's output.[13]

Transport

Karelia has a relatively well developed network of transport infrastructure. Water communications connect Karelia with the Barents, Baltic, Black and Caspian Seas through the system of rivers, lakes and canals. Federal railway (see Murmansk Railway) and automobile highways cross Karelia and connect Murmansk Region and Murmansk sea port with St. Petersburg, Moscow, the center of Russia and with Finland. Regular airline service connects Petrozavodsk with Joensuu and Helsinki in Finland.[17] A fast fibre-optic cable link connecting Finnish Kuhmo and Karelian Kostomuksha was built in 2007, providing fast telecommunications.[13]

Foreign trade

The Republic's main export partners in 2001 were Finland (32% of total exports), Germany (7%), Netherlands (7%) and the United Kingdom (6%).[12] Main export products were lumber (over 50%), iron ore pellets (13-15%) paper and cardboard (6-9%) and sawn timber with (5-7%). Many of Karelia's companies have received investments from Finland.[12]

History

Historically, Karelia was a region to the northwest of Russia, east of present-day Finland, controlled by the Novgorod Republic. From the 13th century and onwards, various parts were conquered by Sweden, and incorporated into Swedish Karelia until they were lost to Russia by the Treaty of Nystad in 1721.

In 1920, the province became the Karelian Labour Сommune. In 1923, the province became the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Karelian ASSR). From 1940 it was made into the Karelo-Finnish SSR, incorporating the Finnish Democratic Republic created during the Winter War. Annexed territories were incorporated into Karelo-Finnish SSR after the Winter War but after the Continuation War the Karelian Isthmus was incorporated into the Leningrad Oblast. Its status was changed back to an ASSR in 1956. During the Continuation War in 1941 Finland occupied large parts of the area but was forced to withdraw in 1944. Though Finland is not currently pursuing any measures to reclaim Karelian lands ceded to Russia, the "Karelian Question" is still a topic present in Finnish politics.

The autonomous Republic of Karelia in its present form was formed on November 13, 1991.

Politics

The highest executive authority in the Republic of Karelia is the Head of the Republic. As of 2008, the Head of the Republic is Sergey Leonidovich Katanandov, who was elected in May 2002.

The parliament of the Republic of Karelia is the Legislative Assembly comprising fifty deputies elected for a four year term.

The Constitution of the Republic of Karelia was adopted on February 12, 2001.

Culture

View of the old town of Kem in 1911, photograph by S. Prokudin-Gorski

Karelia is sometimes called "the songlands" in the Finnish culture, as Karelian poems constitute most of the Karelo-Finnish epic Kalevala.

Religion

The Karelians have been traditionally Russian Orthodox, known in Finland for their small chapels called tsasouna (variant spelling of Russian "часовня" "chasovnya", chapel) associated with villages or graveyards. However, first Catholicism and then Lutheranism was brought to the area by the Finnish immigrants during Sweden's conquest of Karelia and some Lutheran parishes remain in Karelia.

See also

References

  1. ^ Президент Российской Федерации. Указ №849 от 13 мая 2000 г. «О полномочном представителе Президента Российской Федерации в федеральном округе». Вступил в силу 13 мая 2000 г. Опубликован: "Собрание законодательства РФ", №20, ст. 2112, 15 мая 2000 г. (President of the Russian Federation. Decree #849 of May 13, 2000 On the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in a Federal District. Effective as of May 13, 2000).
  2. ^ Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 2. Экономические районы», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 2. Economic Regions, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
  3. ^ According to Article 11.1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Karelia, Russian is the only official language of the Republic. Although the Karelian language does not have official status at present, a motion has been set in place to grant it a place alongside Russian in the republic's government.
  4. ^ According to Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia, Russian is the official language on the whole territory of the Russian Federation. Article 68.2 further stipulates that only the republics have the right to establish official languages other than Russian.
  5. ^ a b c Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек (Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. http://perepis2002.ru/ct/html/TOM_01_04_1.htm. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  6. ^ The value of density was calculated automatically by dividing the 2002 Census population by the area specified in the infobox. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox is not necessarily reported for the same year as the Census (2002).
  7. ^ Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Территория, число районов, населённых пунктов и сельских администраций по субъектам Российской Федерации (Territory, Number of Districts, Inhabited Localities, and Rural Administration by Federal Subjects of the Russian Federation)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. http://perepis2002.ru/ct/html/TOM_01_03.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  8. ^ "Карельский государственный архив новейшей истории. Путеводитель". Приложение "Административно-территориальное устройство Республики Карелия". 2003.
  9. ^ Constitution, Article 46.
  10. ^ Official website of the Republic of Karelia. Sergey Leonidovich Katanandov (English)
  11. ^ Constitution, Article 32
  12. ^ a b c d e "Republic of Karelia". Russia: All Regions Trade & Investment Guide. CTEC Publishing LLC. 2003. 
  13. ^ a b c d The Republic of Karelia in 2007 Helsinki School of Economics
  14. ^ Валовой региональный продукт на душу населения Федеральная служба государственной статистики
  15. ^ Regional characteristics. Republic of Karelia Helsinki School of Economics
  16. ^ "Mining industry of the republic has summed up its work in the first six months of the year". Republic of Karelia. http://www.gov.karelia.ru/gov/News/2009/07/0727_06_e.html. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  17. ^ The Republic of Karelia

Sources

  • Законодательное Собрание Республики Карелия. №473-ЗРК 12 февраля 2001 г. «Конституция Республики Карелия», в ред. Закона №1194-ЗРК от 23 мая 2008 г. (Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Karelia. #473-ZRK February 12, 2001 Constitution of the Republic of Karelia, as amended by the Law #1194-ZRK of May 23, 2008. ).

External links


Coordinates: 63°N 32°E / 63°N 32°E / 63; 32

File:Many
Parts of Karelia, as they are traditionally divided
File:Kizhi church
Many fine examples of wooden architecture survive in Karelia, here on Kizhi island.

Karelia (Karelian and Finnish Karjala; Russian: Карелия, Kareliya; Swedish: Karelen), the land of the Karelian peoples, is an area in Northern Europe of historical significance for Finland, Russia, and Sweden. It is currently divided between the Russian Republic of Karelia, the Russian Leningrad Oblast, and Finland (the regions of South Karelia and North Karelia).

Contents

Use of name

Various subdivisions may be called Karelia. Finnish Karelia was a historical province of Finland, now divided between Finland and Russia, often called just Karjala in Finnish. The eastern part of this chiefly Lutheran area was ceded to Russia after the Winter War of 1939-40. This area is the "Karelia" of the Karelian question in Finnish politics.

The Republic of Karelia is a Russian federal subject, including the so-called "East Karelia" with a chiefly Russian Orthodox population.

Within present-day Finland, Karjala refers to regions of South and North Karelia.

History

Karelia was bitterly fought over by Sweden and the Novgorod Republic since the 13th-century Swedish-Novgorodian Wars. The Treaty of Nöteborg (Finnish: Pähkinäsaaren rauha) in 1323 divided Karelia between the two. Viborg (Finnish: Viipuri) became the capital of the new Swedish province.

The Treaty of Nystad (Finnish: Uudenkaupungin rauha) in 1721 between Imperial Russia and Sweden ceded most of Karelia to Russia. After Finland had been occupied by Russia in the Finnish War, parts of the ceded provinces (Old Finland) were incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1917 Finland became independent and the border was confirmed by the Treaty of Tartu in 1920.

Finnish partisans were involved in attempts to overthrow the Bolshevists in Russian Karelia (East Karelia) in 1918–20, for instance in the failed Aunus expedition. These mainly private expeditions ended after the peace treaty of Tartu. After the end of the Russian Civil War, and the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922, the Russian part of Karelia became the Karelian Autonomous republic of the Soviet Union (ASSR) in 1923.

In 1939 the Soviet Union attacked Finland starting the Winter War. The Moscow Peace Treaty of 1940 handed most of Finnish Karelia to the Soviet Union. About 400,000 people, virtually the whole population, had to be relocated within Finland. In 1941 Karelia was re-conquered for three years during the Continuation War 1941–1944 when East Karelia was also occupied by the Finns. The Winter War and the resulting Soviet expansion caused considerable bitterness in Finland, which lost its second biggest city, Viipuri, its industrial heartland along the river Vuoksi, the Saimaa canal that connected central Finland to the Gulf of Finland, access to the fishing waters of Lake Ladoga (Finnish: Laatokka), and made an eighth of her citizens refugees without chance of return.

As a consequence of the peace treaty, the Karelian ASSR was incorporated with the Karelo-Finnish SSR 1941–1956, after which it became an ASSR again. Karelia was the only Soviet republic that was "demoted" from an SSR to an ASSR within the Russian SFSR. Unlike autonomous republics, Soviet republics (in theory) had the constitutional right to secede. The possible fear of secession, as well as the Russian ethnic majority in Karelia may have resulted in its "demotion." In 1991 the Republic of Karelia was created out of the ASSR.

The collapse of the Soviet Union brought an economic collapse. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the area has experienced massive urban decay. The hastily and poorly constructed buildings from the Soviet era, as well as older houses remaining from the Finnish era, are being abandoned.[1]

File:Karelia
Map showing the Republic of Karelia and the two Finnish regions.

Politics

Karelia is divided between Finland and Russia. The Republic of Karelia is a federal subject of Russia, which was formed in 1991 from the Karelian ASSR. The Karelian Isthmus belongs to the Leningrad Oblast. The Finnish side consist of parts of the regions (maakunta) of South Karelia and North Karelia.

There are some small but enthusiastic groups of Finns campaigning for closer ties between Finland and Karelia. The political expression of these irredentist hopes is called the Karelian question and is about Finland's re-acquisition of the ceded Finnish Karelia. These hopes live on, for instance, in the Karjalan Liitto and ProKarelia. These ambitions for closer ties with East Karelia do not include territorial demands. However, much of the original Finnish population of the Russian side of Karelia has been either resettled and integrated to inner Finland, Russified or dispersed into Russia as victims of Soviet internal population transfers.

Geography

Coats of Arms of Karelia

Karelia stretches from the White Sea coast to the Gulf of Finland. It contains the two largest lakes in Europe, Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega. The Karelian Isthmus is located between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga.

The border between Karelia and Ingria, the land of the closely related Ingrian people, has originally been the Neva river itself but later on it was moved northward into Karelian isthmus to follow the Sestra River/Rajajoki (Russian: Сестра/Раяйоки), today in the Saint Petersburg metropolitan area, but in 1812–1940 the Russo-Finnish border.

On the other side of Lake Ladoga, River Svir is usually thought of as the traditional southern border of Karelian territory, as Lake Saimaa marks the Western border while Lake Onega and the White Sea mark the Eastern border. In the North there were the nomadic Samis, but no natural border except for huge woods (taiga) and tundra.

In historical texts Karelia is sometimes divided into East Karelia and West Karelia, which are also called Russian Karelia and Finnish Karelia respectively. The area to the north of Lake Ladoga which belonged to Finland before World War II is called Ladoga Karelia, and the parishes on the old pre-war border are sometimes called Border Karelia. White Karelia is the northern part of East Karelia and Olonets Karelia is the southern part.

Tver Karelia denotes the villages in the Tver Oblast that are inhabited by Karelians.

File:Kem
View of the old town of Kem' in 1916
File:Kem
Kem' harbour of the White Sea

Inhabited localities

Demographics

The Karelian language is spoken in the Republic of Karelia and also in the Tver Karelian villages. The Veps language is spoken on both sides of the River Svir. The so called Karelian dialects spoken mainly in Finnish South Karelia form the southeastern dialect group of Finnish. Similar dialects are also spoken in Ingria, which is an area between the Estonian border and Lake Ladoga. They appeared there in the 17th century after the Swedish conquest of the area. The older inhabitants of the Ingria, the Ingrians, have their own language which is related to the Karelian language and the south-eastern dialects of Finnish. [1] The dialects in Finnish North Karelia belong to the large group of Savonian dialects in Eastern and Central Finland. [2] Karelians who evacuated from Finnish Karelia resettled all over Finland and today there are approximately one million people in Finland having their roots in the area ceded to the Soviet Union after the World War II. In Finland, about 5,000 people speak Karelian.

Culture

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ (Finnish) ROMAHTANUT YHTEISKUNTA ("Collapsed Society") on Free Karelia website

Bibliography

  • "They Took My Father," by Mayme Sevander and Laurie Hertzel, a history of American Finns who emigrated to Soviet Karelia during the Great Depression.

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Karelia article)

From Wikitravel

 This article is about Russian Karelia. See North Karelia and South Karelia for the Finnish regions on the other side of the border.
A view of Kizhi from Lake Onega
A view of Kizhi from Lake Onega

Karelia is a region in Northwestern Russia, which borders Finland to the west, Murmansk Oblast to the north, the White Sea to the northeast, Arkhangelsk Oblast to the east, Vologda Oblast to the southeast, and Leningrad Oblast to the south.

  • Petrozavodsk — the capital city, the biggest city of Karelia, with a fine collection of neoclassical architecture and a summer hydrofoil service to Kizhi
  • Kem — a small town on the coast not far from Solovki with a spectacular 18th century wooden cathedral
  • Kostomukhsa — a large town that functions as a dacha-style resort mostly for Finns every summer and hosts a yearly summer chamber music festival
  • Olenets — a small historic town near the Alexander-Svirsky Monastery; the only town of size in Karelia where ethnic Karelians constitute a majority
  • Sortavala — the marble canyon of nearby Ruskeala Park is beautiful, otherwise a fairly uninteresting town
  • Kivach waterfall
  • Lake Ladoga — the largest lake of Europe
    • Valaam Archipelago — famous for its monastery
  • Lake Onega — second-largest lake in Europe
    • Kizhi island — famous for beautiful wooden church and other buildings, the whole architectural ensemble of Kizhi island is a UNESCO Wold Heritage Site
    • Besov Nos Cape — famous for ancient drawings, hammered in the rocks
  • Martial waters spa
  • Vodlozersky National Park

Understand

Karelia is known as "the country of lakes." One quarter of Karelia's surface is covered by water including about sixty thousand lakes. The second-largest lake of Europe, Lake Onega, is located in Karelia. The largest lake of Europe, Lake Ladoga is partly located in Karelia (together with Leningrad Oblast). Wherever there is land, there are dense forests covering the ground.

Karelia has strong cultural connection with Finland and the Karelians, for whom the republic is named, are a Finno-Ugric group very closely related to the Finns. Karelia is a relatively recent Russian/Soviet conquest from Finland, and a bit of a sore spot for the Finns.

Talk

Everybody understands and speaks Russian, although many are bilingual in Karelian, Finnish, and, on smaller scale, Veps. A traveler could get by with only knowledge of Finnish, as many native ethnic Russians understand a good deal of the language.

Basic English is widely understood by young people. Swedish is relatively popular foreign language too.

Get in

There is a daily overnight train from Saint Petersburg, which leaves around 22:00 and arrives in Petrozavodsk around 07:00.

  • Valamo Monastery - the monastery of the Finnish Orthodox Church. Originally Valamo was placed on an island of lake Ladoga in Karelia but was evacuated whilst in war with the Russians in the 1940s. The monks came with their icons and rebuilt Valamo close to Heinävesi a bit west of Joensuu. The monastery is visited by many Finns, orthodox or not, and is featured in most tourist guides as well. Almost all buildings though are post war and one can't suppress the impression that there is a commercial streak somewhere. However most people come to see the ancient icons from the old Valamo monastery. Boats full of tourists leave during the summer months from Sortavala, Lakhdenpokhya, and Pitkyaranta, as well as big river cruise boats from Saint Petersburg and Moscow. It's also possible to travel here by helicopter from Petrozavodsk.

Get out

The Solovetsky Islands and Monastery on the White Sea are another nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site in Arkhangelsk Oblast and can be reached by boat from Karelia.

Trains head north from Petrozavodsk to Murmansk.

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