General information
Natural and climatic peculiarities
Historical and cultural peculiarities
Places of interest
Tourist potential


General information

Kondopozhsky region (area - 5,9 thousand square km, population - 47,8 thousand people) occupies the central part of southern Karelia and sides with the north-western part of Onego lake. The coastline here is very intended and the lake forms three huge bays: Kondopozhsky, Lizhemsky and Unitsky. These are perfect places for yachting and fishing.

There are 70 built-up area in the region.

The center of the region (a self-governing territory) is Kondopoga city, which got the status of a city on June 5 1938. The history of Kondopoga dates back to 1496.

There are 419 registered enterprises and 716 entrepreneurs on the territory of the region. All of them pay taxes both to the federal and local budgets.

The region is easy of access. Federal highway "Kola" and lots of roads of the republican and local significance cross the territory of the region. Kondopoga is a port and has a sea entrance throuth the Onego lake.

There are good hotels and cafes in the city Petrozavodsk is 55 km away from Kondopoga. All this forms a high tourist potential of the region, which is unfortunately low used.


Nature and climatic peculiarities

Lots of various lakes and rivers are located in the mainland of the region. From the north-west to the south-east the territory of the region is crossed by a large Suna river, which is called "mother of Karelian waterfalls". There were three of them: Por Porog (16,8 meters high), Girvas (14,8 m) and Kivach (10,7 m). The two of the waterfalls one can now watch in a "dry model", Kivach waterfall is twice as small as before.

Nevertheless, it still attracts thousands tourists, which want to get acquainted with the nature of the reserve of the same name. The reserve practices ecological education and there are lots of ecological routes there. On the farmland of the reserve one can see elite samples of Karelian birch and many foreign plants.

Among other nature objects worth of tourist attention, we can mention the reserve of Karelian birch near the south end of Munozero lake , Girvas breaking with the traces of volcanic activity and Sundozero paleontology breaking.

The landscape of the region is mainly made of pines and fir-trees with a few birches and aspens growing among numerous lakes and bogs.

In the eastern part of Kondopozhsky region there are the unique soils, the quality of which is defined by their geological structure. Their main characteristics are: a) unique schungite soils together with dolomite constituent, which is developed in the southeast part of Onego lake ; b) maximum heat provision of the soils, which is typical for South Karelia, but is filled up with active emanations; c) lots of microelements (copper, manganese, molybdenum and selenium) in the soils.

The region is rich with game bird, animals (squirrel, musk-rat, mink, fox, elk, wild boar) and fish (pike, perch, bream, whitefish, smelt).

The climate is rather severe with the winter lasting from November till May and a rather warm summer with an average temperature of +20C.


Historical peculiarities

The settlement of the region

The territory of the region was settled in two main flows. Karelian pressed by permanent Swedish attacks moved here from Priladozhje. Slovenians came here from Novgorod. They settled on the shore of the Onego lake while Karelians inhabited the inner part of the region.

In the XV century lands were bought into private property. Both Karelian and Novgorodian nobility bought the lands. This influenced the names of the villages. So, the largest village in the region of Kondopoga till XVII century was called Glukhovskaja, though it didn’t belong to the Gluhovs anymore. The ancestor of Fedor Glukhov had about a hundred of villages in Zaonezhje. Thus, the researcher of Kondopoga N. Kutkov concluded that one of the owners of Kondopoga lands was Novgorodian boyar Glukhov.

The administrative division

In XVI century Kondopozhskiy region was not a single whole administratively. Lopskii and Zaonezhskiy pogosts were situated here, Kondopoga belonged to Kizhi pogost, but in the beginning of XVIII century the pogost was divided. Three separate parts of the pogost appeared: Kizhi, Velikaja Guba and Karelian part. Kondopoga was at the border of Kizhi and Shuja pogosts. Kizhi pogost owned the northern part of the village, and the other lands were considered to be common for both pogosts.

In XVIII-XIX centuries the three parts started to divide into volosts. The Karelian part came apart for Kondopoga, Lizhema and Tivdija volosts. Kondopoga was included into Petropavlovskaja estate. By the beginning of XX century Kondopoga volost was in structure of Petrozavodsk district of Olonets province.

XVI - XVII centuries

In the records it is also mentioned that the local population mainly practiced farming and cattle breeding. The region was low settled so the lands were marginal. Tributes made the people to practice fishing, blacksmith’s work and so on. Trade was not developed. This time was the most tragic in the history of the land – Livonian war (1558-1583), Swedish attacks (1591), distemper that led to ravage and hunger. In 1649 when Olonets city was founded made the citizens work more for they had to bring timber to Olonets.

Construction of ironworks

Since the end of XVII century two ironworks have been built in the region: the first one was Lizhemsky (blast-furnace production), and then Kedrozersky. The first one was built in 1689 , the second probably in 1694. The production of iron and copper was practiced in the region long ago because there was lots of mineral ore there. The construction of the ironworks is connected with the name of Dutch resident Butenant from Hamburg. He was the first to understand the lack of prospects of developing copper ore in Zaonezhje and so the works were remade into ironworks.

The opening of the first resort is connected with the name of Ivan Reboev. The rich with iron water of the found spring was named in the honor of Mars, so the first Russian resort Marcial waters appeared. Peter the First visited the resort 4 times, in 1719 and 1724 he came here with the family. In the commemoration of the Peter’s visits to the resort the church of St. Peter (1721) was built.

After the death of Peter the Great the resort was closed (its rebirth was only in 1964).

1725 - 1800 years

At this time the economics of the region continues to develop. In the end of XVIII century the territory of Karelia was surveyed: all the lands fixed boundaries to pogosts or villages. The lands still belonged to old owners, but it was prohibited for peasants to sell and pawn them.

The industry if also developing. In 1769 Lizhemsky cannon works was reconstructed. The war with Turkey was going on, so Russian army needed shells.

In 1780 the works was closed because of the construction of Alexander’s cannon works in Petrozavodsk. Lizhema production became unprofitable. Konchezero works stopped producing copper in 1753 and then produced cast iron for the works in Petrozavodsk. Private enterprises are developing very quickly. In the 60-70ies Kivoretskiy blast-furnace production was built on the Kivach river. It workd till the 70ies of XVIII century and then couldn’t compete with Alexander’s cannon works.

Mining started to develop in the region.

Merchant Martjanov opened Tivdiysky marble.

As large country as Russia needed not only wars, but also building. For this purpose good building stone was extracted. That was marble of Tivdija. In 1783 Konchezrro works stopped functioning, but in 1787 a new director K. Gaskoin gave it the second birth. In 1793 Konchezero works burnt down, but was reconstructed in 1794.

1800 - 1861 years

In the beginning of XIX century the economics of the region changes. The authorities restrict slash-and-burn, but it is impossible to manage without it. Peasants continue to burn the forests. Metallurgy industry falls into decay. In 1804-1809 Konchezero works didn’t function, but the reasons of it were unknown. Still Tivdija marble breaking are developing and in 1807 marble works were built in Tivdija.

1861 - 1917 years

Abolishing of serfage in 1861 influenced the population of the region. The workers of works got freedom, but for three years they had to make additional works. The largest industrial enterprise was Konchezero iron foundry. It stopped functioning in 1905.

In 1875-1876 private entrepreneurs built iron works in the village of Svjatnavolok. In 1901 the works stopped functioning.

Tivdija mardle breaking were in a deep crisis. In 1861 the expedition of Tivdija was canceled and the mining of marble stopped.

After 20 years of inertness in January 1887 marble breaking were rented by V. Saveljev for 24 years.

In 1889-1890 engineer from St. Petersburg Timofeev defined the energetic power of the waterfalls of Kivach, Girvas and Por Porog. He thought of making a dam in the village of Sopokha and a canal on the Nigozero isthmus. The idea was realized by another engineer M. Tokarskiy (his name is in a famous in Kondopoga Tokarskaja pier).

1923 - 2000 years

The building of a paper-mill and hydroelectric power station started in summer 1923. In January 1929 the first stage of construction of the power station was put in commission. By 1940 the paper-mill turned into an enterprise with a complete production cycle: with a pulp mill, log storage, and additional workshops.

During the WWII the entire Kondopozhsky region was occupied by Finnish troops. In 1944 Kondopoga city was set free fully destroyed. Just a few brick buildings were safe. The reconstruction of the pulp-mill in 1947 gave a new impulse to the development of the economics and culture of the region.

By the end of XX century Kondopoga was one of the largest industrial centers of the Republic of Karelia.


Places of interest

There are 93 monuments of history and culture in the region, including 30 architectural monuments, 24 historical monuments and 39 archeological monuments. Three of the monuments – The church of Assumption (1774 ) in Kondopoga , the Chapel of Ascension in the village of Kolgostrov (XVII century), the church of St. Peter and Paul in the village of Lychnyi island (XVIII century) – are of the federal significance. All of them are masterpieces of the northern wooden architecture.

The monuments of industrial culture are also interesting: Konchezero brass works and marble breaking in Belaja Gora , which supplies marble blocks to St. Petersburg.

On the territory of the region the first Russian resort, which was founded by the decree of Peter the First in 1719, is functioning. The mineral waters of the local sources have high concentration of active iron. Curing mud of the resort are located not far from the lake of Gabozero. In total they cure lots of diseases, which attracts patients from all over Russia. The resort of marcial waters, Konchezero brass works, Kivach waterfall and the church of Assumption in Kondopoga city are included in a famous bus route "Around the outskirts of Petrozavodsk".

Girvas breaking and Sundozero paleontology breaking are also used for tourist shows.


Key lines of the development of tourism

  • working out and adopting of the program of tourism development in Kondopozhsky region;
  • reconstruction of the museum in the village of Marcial waters;
  • perfection of organizing of tourism in the museum of "Kivach", on the first Russian resort "Marcial waters", on the objects of industrial culture and on the monuments of national architecture.


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