The first record of Olonets is in the Charter Deed of Novgorod Duke Svjatoslav Olgovitch (1327), but several researchers of Scandinavian sagas still connect Olonets with Alaborg city first mentioned in "Saga of Halvdan, the Eistein’s son". Archaeological data witnesses that one of the primitive’s sites found at the lowers of the Olonka river (the place the city is located nowadays) has a date of 3-2 thousand years B.C.

In 1649 on a place named Tolmatchjov Navolok at the junction of the Olonka and the Megrega rivers Olonets border fortress was laid with the efforts of Duke F. Volkonsky and voevode S. Elagin. Since that time Olonets became an official center of the Olonets District. The bounds of the district at that time included the whole territory of the Southern Karelia. The fortress and the surrounding settlement with more than a thousand inhabitants (1707) became a large Russian northern trade center where merchants from Moscow Russia as well as from Sweden run their businesses.

In the beginning of the 18th century the city was repeatedly visited by Peter the First on his way to Martsyalnye Vody. The Olonets fortress lost its importance in 1721 when the border with Sweden was moved to the North. The fortress existed till the middle of the 18th century, and then it was deconstructed because of falling into decay, besides by that time it had lost its significance as Russian border advanced post.

After the victorious end of Sweden wars the strategic importance of the city came to naught, its commercial and cultural significance also diminished. Olonets became one of the ordinary towns.

The merchant class began to play a determinant role in the development of the city. During the 17th – 18th centuries Olonets remained a large trade center, by the end of the 18th century the trade weight of the city had even risen due to serving of a fast-growing Saint-Petersburg. Olonets merchants supplied the capital with timber, firewood, hay, production of mines and agriculture. In order to improve this trade shipbuilding was developing in the district. Many Olonets merchants moved to St Petersburg and joined its merchant class.

At the end of the 18th century Olonets Province was formed. At this time the center of the administrative life of the region moved to Petrozavodsk and the emblem of Olonets district became the emblem of the province. The drowsy life of a provincial city had been running evenly until revolutionary shocks of the 20th century.

In 1919 Olonets went through the short period of Finnish occupation. Later the city became a regional center. Agricultural complex was quickly developing on tillages and pastures of the Olonets plain. That was the place where the first Karelian MTS was built in 1930.

During the Second World War the city underwent a 3-year occupation and was set free by the forces of the Karelian front in the summer of 1944.

Nowadays the population of the city is 11 000 people mainly employed in producing and processing of the production of farming and cattle breeding.

Olonets National Prilukin Museum possesses a large collection of authentic items, which can surely be interesting for people keen on traditional way of life and national art. During the last years Olonets receives more and more popularity as a place of celebration of the "Moroz" Festival and "Olonia, the geese capital" holiday.

The city is situated near the federal "Kola" route, 140 km away from Petrozavodsk and 310 km away from St.Petersburg. The main branch line to the Northern Priladozhje (direct connection between Petrozavodsk and Saint-Petersburg) passes through Olonets. Through Olonets one can drive out to the eastern and the northern Ladoga coasts for their splendid sandy beaches, picturesque landscapes, historical monuments and settlements.

Statistic data:
City of regional submission (Olonetsky District, the Republic of Karelia)
Center: Olonetsky District, the Republic of Karelia
Date of foundation: 1137
Phone code: (814-36)
Deflection from Moscow time: 0

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