Objects of Military History of Karelian Ladoga Lakeside in the New Social Cultural Project

The network social and cultural project "The Border. Mutual relations of Russia, Sweden and Finland in Ladoga Lakeside" was started in Pitkarantsky district.

The State Center for Protection and Use of Monuments of History and Culture of the Ministry of Culture of the RK and Administration of local self-government of the town of Pitkaranta and Pitkarantsky district are initiators of the given project.

The basic purpose of the project is inclusion of military and historical objects of Karelian Ladoga Lakeside in cultural and tourist activity.

Introduction actions of the project are: the international scientific practical conference held on August 17 of this year in the town of Pitkaranta and military historical festival "Karelian boundaries" held the next day on August 18 in the village of Pogrankondushi of Pitkarantsky district.

In the conference on "The History of frontier relations of Russia, Sweden, and Finland in XVII-XX" about 100 persons have taken part – the Russian scientists from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, researchers of the given theme from Finland and Sweden, regional specialists, teachers, museum workers, writers and journalists, and representatives of mass-media.

At the conference 15 reports on actual problems of history of frontier relations of Russia, Sweden, and Finland in XVII-XX were presented. All reports are based on rich, documents earlier unknown, both domestic, and foreign. Statements of the Doctor of History E.S.Seniavskaya, the leading research officer of the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Science and the expert in the field of military psychology, and of PhD in History A.N.Chistikov and PhD in History A.I.Rupasov for many years studying themes related to Soviet-Finnish relations in the first half of XX century have caused special interest of the participants of the conference. The new scientific researches on subjects of the conference were presented by the Karelian historians A.Yu.Zhukov, E.Yu.Dubrovskaya, T.V.Nikulina, O.A.Kiseleva, L.N.Yusupova, and V.G.Makurov. The curator of the department of monuments of military history of National Council of Ancient History of Finland Ulla-Rita Kauppi (Helsinki) has delivered his report on military historical complex "Salpa-Line" (Finland) and prospects of cooperation of the Karelian and Finnish experts in the field of military history. Lars Bjernerbak (Umea) has told about the activity of the Swedish reservist organization.

Unfortunately, statements of all prticipants wishing to take part in discussion of the reports could not fit in the time framework of the conference.

During the conference presentation of the exhibition prepared by museum of local lore, history and economyof the towns of Pitkaranta, Olonets, and Sortavala and presentation of museums of Joensuu (Finland) were held, where Karelian experts have received information on funds, exposition and exhibition activity, and innovational forms of work of the Finnish colleagues.

More than thousand people have gathered on August 18 in the historical village of Pogrankondushi, which is located on the perspective international route "The Blue Road" and has the rich military and historical heritage in relations of Russia, Sweden and Finland in different periods. These are the boundary stones designating border between Sweden and Russia in 1618 and the border between the USSR and Finland in 1917-1940, concrete defensive installations dates back to the late 1930s, the memorial to the Soviet soldiers lost within the World War II.

Spectators have become witnesses of reconstruction of two battles: Karelian and Novgorod soldiers against the Swedish vikings (XIII century), and units of Workers'-and-Peasants' Red Army against the Finnish army (1941), that were performed by the members of clubs of military history fans from Petrozavodsk and Saint Petersburg. Magnificent knightly armour, original uniform and weapons, pyrotechnic effects and impressing battle stages have closely approached historical interpretations to the reality.

Visitors of the festival could take part in the excursion on "Pogrankondushi. Historical marks" organized by employees of the museum of the town of Pitkaranta for visiting famous Varashev stone, the monument of XVIIth century, at the coast of Ladoga lake.

The actions held have evidently shown scientific, cultural and tourist potential of this territory of Karelian Ladoga Lakeside, new opportunities of use of objects of military and historical heritage and prospects of development of the project.

The Official Web Portal
of the Republic of Karelia
, August 29, 2002

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