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The Military-Historical Festival "Karelian Borders. Kollasjärvi"

On the 23 March 2003 on the territory of the Military-historical Complex "Kollasjärvi" (the Suojärvi district) the third Military-historical Festival "Karelian Borders. Kollasjärvi", devoted to the anniversary of the Soviet-Finnish War 1939 - 1940, took place. This event, organized by the local administration of the Suojärvi region, the State Centre for Protection and Management of the Historical and Cultural Monuments of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Karelia and the Military-history Amateur Club "Styag", was held in the frame of a net social and cultural project "On Both Sides of Kolla". The main goal of the project is to realize the military-historical potential of the "Kollasjärvi" Complex for research and popularizaton of the events, connected with the World War II. The territory of the Complex is very rich in war events and objects of the war history. Three times this area has been the theatre of severe military battles between the Soviet and Finnish troops, which stood to death, that is during the Winter War (1939 - 1940) and the Great Patriotic War (1941 and 1944). The common and single graves of the fallen Soviet, Finnish and German soldiers as well as remnants of preserved fortifications (trenches, dugouts, antitank obstacles, pillboxes) all bear witness to the bloody battles.

March 23, 2003. Kollasjärvi. Festival, the 2003
Kollasjärvi. Festival, the 2003
© Timo Louhikari

More than 500 spectators, including students of both Petrozavodsk Universities, schoolchildren from Petrozavodsk, Suojärvi, the villages of Loimola and Piitsijoki, visitors from Finland, watched the fight reconstruction of the period of the Winter War, presented by the Military-history Amateurs Clubs from Petrozavodsk and St.Petersburg. Original military uniform, armament, impressive battle scenes made the historical interpretation look real.

In 2003 the local administration of the Suojärvi district made a decision to create a Military-historical museum-park on the base of the "Kollasjärvi" Complex. Scientific, research, cultural and educational, war-patriotic, tourist and excursional branches will be included in its activity. It will be the first experience of multiprofile using of the military-historical heritage objects in the North-Western region of Russia.

March 23, 2003. Kollasjärvi. Festival, the 2003
Kollasjärvi. Festival, the 2003
© Timo Louhikari

The goal of the past festival was also to demonstrate the tourist potential of the "Kollasjärvi" Complex, situated along the perspective Blue Hihgway tourist route.

15 leading tourist firms and organizations of Petrozavodsk took part in the advertising tour, organized by the State Centre for Protection and Managing of Monuments of History and Culture of the Ministry of Culture, the Republic of Karelia. Most of them remarked on including this annual event into their programmes for tourists, visiting Karelia.

Press-office of the State Centre for Protection and Managing
of Monuments of History and Culture of the Ministry of Culture,
the Republic of Karelia


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