The village of Syargilahta is 15 km far from Essoila on lake Syamozero picturesque coast.

The name of this village originates from two Karelian words – “syarga” – roach and “lahta” - a bay.

The first records of the village in archive documentation refer to XVI century. At that time there was a small settlement with seven houses on the shore. During Russian –Swedish war of XVI-XVII centuries the village of Syargilahta like many other villages of Olonetsky region (“kraj”) were subjected to enemy’s raids and attacks more than once.

The village remained small during several centuries – just few houses and half a hundred people. The reason was lack of agricultural lands in the village neighborhood. A chapel with a gallery-porch was put up in Syargilahta in the second half of XVII. An inner porch (“seni”) and a bell tower (“kolokolnya”) were built in XIX.

The number of houses increased up to thirteen in XX. Nevertheless, Syargilahta is still a small settlement. Nowadays only the elderly live there, and city-dwellers use the houses as summer cottages (“dacha”) in summer.

A peculiar feature of the landscape is numerous islands and bays, small forest lakes near Syamozero coast. Practically all the coast is covered by pine and spruce woods. The relief of the village neighborhood is hilly, with rocks and rubbles of glacial origin on the surface.

A horseshoe-shape of the settlement is determined by curved shoreline. House facades are mainly directed to the lake.

In the center of the village there is a cemetery with a chapel (“chyasovnya”) and a holy grove (“svyataya roscshitsa”).

There are bath-houses (“banya”) and barns (“ambar”) along the shore of the lake. Berths (“prychal”) for boats (“lodka”) are a feature of lake settlements.

Sloping fences made of perches is one of the features of traditional Karelian villages, preserved in Syargilahta. There are seven residential and utility buildings.

The value of the landscape and architectural sightseeing of the village is supported by the fact that this village became a place for making a popular Russian film “ A zori zdes tikhie” in 1970-s. In 1990-s Finnish film company made a documentary film “ The last Karelians” about old residents of Syargilahta. At the same years Finnish architects published a book about Syargilahta architecture.

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