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KARELIA

 

 

 

Petrozavodsk (literally "Peter's factory"), capital of Karelia, stretching for about 20 km along the Onega Lake shore, was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great. Peter the Great personally supervised the construction of the city's wharf, four plants, and the spa at Martsialnye Vody, 60 km from Petrozavodsk. The city is famous for his stone architecture.

 

Here You have the opportunity to visit _ museums of folk art, to see architectural monuments, admire the beauties of the North with its wonderful nature. You may reach Petrozavodsk by train from St-Petersburg or by a motor boat along Lake Ladoga via Lodeinoe Pole where tsar Peter founded a ; wharf, and Olonets, one of the oldest and most picturesque settlements in Karelia. First mention of Olonets dates back to 1137.

 

Taking a hydrofoil on Lake Onega over to Kizhi Island, you will see a marvellous specimen of the Russian wooden architecture. As the hydrofoil gets nearer to the island the small spec on the horizon slowly swells into the 22 dome Church of the Transfiguration, made entirely of wood and without nails this awe-inspiring church towers 120 feet above the lake shore. The Island houses one of the best collection of wooden architecture, included into the world heritage list of UNESCO.

 

The Sortavala region in Karelia is one of the most beautiful. The city of Sortavala is located on a granite plateau. Its white buildings stand out against the dark greenery. It is a resort boasting a healthy climate and beautiful landscapes.

 

The rugged rocky chain of Valaam Archipellago adorns Northern Ladoga. Huge granite cliffs overgrown with moss, tall pines, their roots clutching at bare rocks like human fingers, pristine forest-local landscapes still retain their majestic primeval beauty. Back in the 14th century Novgorodians came here to found the Transfiguration (Spaso-Preobrajensky) Monastery.

 

It was a military outpost, which repeatedly repulsed Swedish attacks. Nowadays the strong beauty and calmness of the Valaam island on Ladoga lake with its Monastery, the Transfiguration Cathedral and numerous small hermitages always attire many pilgrims and tourists.

 

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