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From Vitegra to Schlisselburg

Area of water of Vitegra reservoir stretches about for 10 km at width, reaching up to 2 km in some places. The Tagazhma river flows into Vitegra reservoir from the south. In 1-1.5 km up the mouth it admits the Patrov brook, having a narrow and deep valley of canyon form, which acquired a status of geological monument of the nature in 1938, as its left confluent.

The town Vitegra is the centre of Vitegra district of Vologda region, placed on the west bank of the river Vitegra. It is the main port on the Volga Baltic water way. Commercial and industrial settling on the place of modern town, formed in 7 versts from Vitgra graveyard by confluence of Vyang stream into the the Vitegra river, which was famous since 1710 year and called Vyanginskaya landing stage. Forest preparing and woodworking are the main work of this region.

Moving down the river Vitegra, in 14 km from the town we notice a space of Lake Onega. Small size vessels are not recommended to come into Lake Onega, they must use Onega free channel, formed in 1845-52 years and connected the mouth of the Vitegra and source of the Svir.

Lake Onega

Lake Onega is one of the largest fresh reservoir of Europe. Its area is about 10,000 km2 with length 248 km and width 80 km. Average depth of the lake is 30 m, the largest one is 120 m. The lake is popularly called Onego-father. On the shores of the lake there are many wonderful historical monuments. Here there are Neolithic petroglyphs devils track at cape Besov nos, and twenty-dome Kizhsky cathedral a miracle of Old Russian wooden architecture. Wonderful wooden houses and chapels of the riverside villages are decorated with magnificent fretwork.


Kizhi archipelago is interested as a monument of nature, history and architecture. The islands are formed complex and tangled labyrinth. Here on the small territory one can meet with many various landscapes. There are rocks and low lying shores, high grass meadow and brushwoods of water plants.

Visit card of the archipelago is sea-gulls and terns. Animals are found mostly on the large islands, especially in Bolshoi Klimetskiy island where elk, bear, wolf, fox, raccoon dog, common marten, stoat, weasel, American mink, badger, mountain hare, squirrel, perhaps polecat and glutton, sometimes lynx are found.

Petrozavodsk is not only a large city of the republic, but also its general transport net. The city is situated on the western shore of Onega lake. Modern Petrozavodsk is a large and beautiful city. By the end of 20 century its population reached more than 280,000 people. The modern city has a net of streets, mostly parallel and perpendicular to the shore of the Onega. The Onega quay, dressed in granite, stretches along the lake shore. The quay opens a view of the bay and Solomennoe. In the center of the old part of the town, surrounded with parks, a fragment of building up by plan of 1774 has been kept.

Petrozavodsk is not only the large city of the Karelia Republic, but also its main transport point. This city is placed on the west shore of the Onega. Modern Petrozavodsk is a big beautiful town, to the end of XX century its population was more than 280 thousands people. This moder city has a net street, in generally, parallel and perpendicular to the Onega shore. Along this shore is sretched the Onega quay. From this quay is opened a view of a bay and Solomennoe (A district of Petrozavodsk). In the centre of the old city's part, surrounded by parks , are kept one fragment building by plan of 1774 year.

Along the Svir river

From the wide expanses of Onega lake the motor ship enters the mouth of the Svir river. Here along the shores of the river there is a settlement Voznesenje. Its population is about 3,000 people. Its name is originated from Voznesensky monastery, which existed on the right bank of the Svir since 16 century to 1764. Here people transferred cargo from lake vessels into river one, loaded local goods.

For the space of 90 km from Voznesenje to Podporyazhje there is no settlement. There is a navigable northern channel around this island; here the river dodges in the high rocky banks. After small widening the Svir is divided by Vyazistrov island into two arms and converges again forming a neck where it flows between its banks. Later the river strongly overflows forming Ivensky flood. This basin was formed in the glacial period and former was filled up with a lake. After the lake plot ways of the shores draw together. Then the river flows almost in straight lines, passes a forest boom of Plotitchno village from the left.

Ladoga lake

Ladoga lake is the largest in Europe. A basin of the lake has glacial origin. About 12 thousand years ago it fully got rid of ice. And now seals, which liked its natural conditions, still continue to live there. Such large rivers as the Svir, the Vuoksa and the Volkhov, several tens of medium rivers and more than a hundred of small ones carry their waters into the Ladoga. Only the Neva flows out of the lake.

In Ladoga lake there is an abundance of islands number of which exceeds 650. They are arranged evenly, the most part is concentrated at the northern shore. In the middle part of the lake there are two archipelagos of the islands Balaam group (over 50) and Mantsisari (about 40).

The Ladoga is notable for boisterous temper but not always it is enveloped in gale-strength wind. Intensification of the wind in one part of the lake often combines with almost the calm weather in the other one. Calms are observed here more often in June but during a short period of time. In July and August in the calm weather there are mirages.

Peering at the distance, you suddenly find islands in the places where they have never been. Sometimes instead of an island outlines of a vessel appear on the horizon or a real island rises before ones eyes and soars above the water.


The main sight of the Southern Ladoga is a group of rocky islands, formed of solid granites and diabases, which ramifies in the North-west part of the lake. The name of Balaam island originates from Finno-Ugric Balamo a high, mountain land. This name seemed to monks accordant to the name of the Bible prophet and they called it Balaam. During centuries when the only owner was the monastery the island turned into landscape-architectural complex. Churches, chapels, cells and household outbuildings were erected; roads were built, islands were connected by bridges, channels and drainage system were dig; unusual trees were planted, gardens and vegetable gardens were laid.

Position among waters of the Ladoga tells on the climate in such a way that all seasons begin in the island in 2-3 weeks later. Beginning of spring falls on the end of March but only at the beginning of May latter snow thaws. In summer in Balaam there are 30-35 sunny days more that in the continent. It is impossible to express the beauty and fascination of white nights, the shortest of which lasts here for 3 hours 45 minutes, by words. The average temperature of July is 17 C but in some cases it rises up to 30 C.

In September the island is painted in flaming colors. A period of storms, when the wind, strength of which is 20-25 m/ñ, raises waves at height of 6 m in the lake and tears trees by their roots, begins in October. Winter begins at the beginning of December. By the middle of February when firm ice cover is formed, highway service with Sortavala goes right. In winter one can get the island by helicopter or plan. In winter 70-85 cm of snow fall, temperature of February is 8 C, but thaws are not rare. In the island there is a ensemble of Balaam monastery, which was founded in 14 century. The monastery was famous for its strict regulations because it was used as a prison. Till our days Spaso-Preobrazhensky cathedral, a belfry, gate church of Peter and Paul, Uspenskaya church, a hotel, horsy and water-supply houses, constructions of White and Red cells have been kept.


A motor ship come to Schlisselburg by Koshkinsky channel with a length of 8 km. Schlisselburg is a town in Leningrad region, at a distance of 64 km by east from St. Petersburg. There is a landing stage on the left bank of the Neva, near its sources from the Ladoga lake. The town was developing at the first part of XVIII cent. on Nikolsky island. At the end of XVIII cent. A large port town appeared on the way of St. Petersburg. In 1780 year Schlisselburg got a status of uyezd town of St. Petersburg province.

Now our short voyage comes to an end. Green florid shores, slowly swimming by, covered with little houses and churches, the pink sunset, lights of vessels, sailing by, lapping of waves under the head of the motor ship and pleasant music on the deck, the wind, bringing aroma of field grasses all these make days, spent on the deck unforgettable.

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