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The Ancient Land of Karelians of Syamozero

Syamozerie (the lakeside of Syamozero) is rather small area, however unique on riches of monuments of history, material and spiritual culture of its indigenous population, Karelians of Syamozero".

Its inexpressibly beautiful nature has kept the charm even under conditions of intensive economic use of the woods, construction of roads, transmission and communication lines, land improvements and construction of summer cottage settlements.

It is the area of compact residing of Livvik Karelians, who kept here their language, architecture of the log hut decorated with original traditional woodcarving. To date one can meet masters of various crafts here keeping up with the traditions of their grandfathers in wood processing, manufacturing of various products without which one would never imagine the life of local population - boats, fishing tackles, purses and baskets made of birch bark, instruments for haymaking, farming, and hunting.

More and more often Syamozerie is visited by fishermen, and home and foreign tourists. The have a lot to look at here and lots of places to take a rest.

Those who visit this land get acquainted to its hospitable, generous people, surprising history, material and spiritual culture of Karelians of Syamozero, admire unique beauty of sunsets and dawns of Syamozero, one of the largest and picturesque lakes of southern Karelia.

The lake of Syamozero is the basis for regional ecological sysytem and the complex of historical, architectural, ethnographic and natural monuments located there. This is one of the largest lakes of southern Karelia, located in Shuya river basin. The lake is rich in fish, salmons, pike perches, white-fish, breams, perches (the well-known fish of Syamozero), pikes live there, the whitefish is very famous, though unfortunately, it is pressed by smelts brought here from other large reservoirs with nets and stationary net of fishing brigades. The is huge amount of other breeds of fish is found there: roaches, daces, the uniquitous ruffs and so forth. The greatest depth of the lake is 24.6 m (average is from 6 to 7 m.), the greatest length is 24.6 kms, the greatest width is 15.1 kms.

The fans of fishing catch a lot of fish in the summer on ludas, and in the winter while ice fishing by fishing tackles. Vocation by the water is pleasant. Numerous tourists and holiday-makers are attracted with fine sandy beaches, and also with the advanced network of recreation departments for the townspeople. Many city dwellers have chosen places for building their summer cottages there. The advanced network of roads contribute to spending holydays in Syamozero. People of different age and occupation, however not indifferent to the beauty of nature are drawn by blue distance of the lake, fantastic sunsets and dawns above its wide open space from flat sandy beaches under the canopy of coastal pine woods. Everyone can find here a cosy place for rest to his liking. Poets and artists, musicians and actors will receive a good charge for creativity, will find peace for mind.

Every visitor can satisfy his need for knowledge of history, culture and life of local population, to get acquainted with various monuments of Samozerie, having visited ancient Karelian villages, having felt special aroma of the Karelian olden time.

The village of Samozero is located on the southern coast of the lake. Along with the villages of Kargila and Ahpojla it is mentioned first in XVI - XVII centuries. In the village of Kargila there is a worship cross set on the day of Exaltation of the Cross, and in the village of Ahpojla there's the chapel built in XVI. These settlements are located in picturesque surroundings, descendants of well-known fishermen and smiths ptreserving the traditions Karelians of Syamozero live here, they will willingly share with you legends about the Swedish island and visiting of Peter I, will treat you to fresh-baked pies.

Two villages of Essoila and Ugmoila from time immemorial are settled on the southern coast of Syamozero. After the Great Patriotic War one house remained of two villages, the others have been burned down. Now it is the big settlement stretched on the coast for more than 5 kms. In the school of the settlement there is a museum "Syamozerie is our land", in the centre of settlement there is the Obelisk of Memory in honour of the fellow countrymen who died in fights for their native Land, in the village of Essoila there's a monument to victims of reprisals of 1937.

Villages of Korza, Metchelitsa, Rubcheila are located to the south from Essoila on the way to Pryazha. These are ancient Karelian villages where inhabitants keep old crafts of wood processings, birch bark and splinter weaving, and weaving. Here it is possible to get acquainted to monuments:

  • G.I.Loginov's house, the historical building in Korza;
  • A.F.Makarova's house in Ahpoimaki;
  • Yermolayev's house, the manor of the peasant of XIX;
  • the chapel in Rubcheila, here the tourists are served with pies in the Karelian room with folklore group.

The village of Sargilahta is known since XVth century. This is the village of fishermen and hunters, situated on the picturesque place on the coast of Syamozero lake, is protected from northern winds. Historical monuments are:

  • V.P.Tupitsin's, E.V.Chesnakov's, I.A.Mikhailov's - historical houses;
  • chapel;
  • threshing barn and sauna;
  • common grave of the soldier who died defending the village in August of 1941;
  • site of the ancient people "Sargilahta -III".

On the northern coast of Syamozero lake there is the ancient Karelian village of Ruga.

On the southwest coast of Syamozero there is the ancient Karelian village of Kurmoila. Vicinities of the village are picturesque: Summer mountains and Kurmoilsky cove. Here are the monuments:

  • the Gusevs' house (wood carving);
  • J.F.Lokkin's house; the tomb of P.K.Trofimov, the chairman of the Committee of the poor shooted by Finns in 1919;
  • site of the newly-stone century Kurmoila-I.

The ancient Karelian village of Lahta is known from time immemorial. It is located on the picturesque coast of the cove of Lahta. In the village the historical houses with wood carving, ancient levelling, and conveyance remained. E.I.Fedosova's house is the richest ethnographic museum. Here are houses of M.I.Fedotova, the Tergoevs, Yefimova, Agafia Fedotova.

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Created: June 3, 1999. Last updated: January 15, 2003.
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