Sights of Priozersk, Leningrad region – what to see in 1 day

Pleasant in all respects the picturesque town of Priozersk is located 145 km from St. Petersburg. It has been known since 1295, when the Swedes attacked and ravaged the settlement of Korela. Novgorodians defended this frontier fiefdom and in 1310 built a fortress here. But the town and nomadic from one ruler to another. For all the time of its existence, it was part of the Novgorod principality, Muscovy, the Swedish Kingdom. The Russian Empire, the independent Republic of Finland, the Soviet Union. Together with the authorities, the name of the city changed every time. Priozersk it became only in 1948. Such is the fate of any frontier settlement.

The layering of different cultures has played a good role in the organization of tourist infrastructure. There is something to see, where to relax, and comfortably spend the night. The best hotels in Priozersk offer guests excellent conditions for living. It is worth paying attention to the hotel “Kexholm”, the design hotel “Point on the map priozersk”, the central hotel “Korela”. They have a high rating among travelers. In 2021, the city celebrated its 727th anniversary. By the date, it especially blossomed, and also prepared for a new wave of tourists in the autumn-winter period.

The city’s restaurants offer a variety of cuisine – from exquisite European to authentic Caucasian and Karelian-Finnish. There are many farms in the area that are engaged in fishing, so fresh delicious products are always served to the table. In the center there are two cafes that are in demand among visitors and residents of the city. These are “Point and Line on the Plane” and “Picnic”.

All the sights of the city can be bypassed in 5-6 hours. But this does not mean that this will be enough for an inquisitive traveler. After exploring the remarkable places of Priozersk, it is worth staying and driving around its surroundings. There are several car rental points in the city, hotel administrators will assist in finding a profitable option. You can go by public transport or use the services of tourist clubs. In Ladoga, there are a large number of agencies for organizing water trips along Lake Ladoga, to the Valaam archipelago and the Ladoga skerries. In the clubs, water equipment, kayak or kayak are issued, the group is headed by an experienced instructor.

Fortress “Korela”

Acquaintance with the history of the city is best to start with its center. Here is its main historical landmark – the frontier fortress “Korela”. Why frontier? Because from the very beginning of the land of Novgorod, it was the western outpost of the principality, and then the whole of Russia. The territory was constantly conquered by the Finns, the Lithuanians, the Swedes, the Russians. By the way, Korela was created by the Novgorodians to protect against the Swedes, but not always its fortress walls saved from attacks and looting.

There are many legends about the fortress. One of them tells how the Karelian pagans erected it on the instructions of the supreme gods, who sent a cuckoo in order to indicate the place where to start construction. By the way, the Finnish name of the fortress Kyakisalmi and swedish – Kexholm are translated as kukushkin strait or island. The second legend says that it was here in 879 that the great Rurik died – the founder of the first royal dynasty of Russia. Whether this is really so, no one knows, but in 2004 a memorial stone was installed near Korela.

Today on the territory of the fortress there is a historical museum. It consists of several buildings built in the 14th-16th centuries. The total entrance ticket costs 30 rubles. Entrance to historical expositions is paid. Free access to the Round Tower, souvenir shops and exhibition halls. In summer, the fortress is open daily from 10.00 to 18.00, in winter and in the off-season there are weekends – Monday and Tuesday. Even a simple walk through the territory of the fortress will bring a lot of pleasure to lovers of historical places. The fortress consists of two parts – New and Old, between them flows the river Ouoksa, and behind the stone walls tourists are waiting for ancient bastions, secret dungeons of the Round Tower, Shlos, mill gates, the old arsenal and other interesting buildings.

Address: Priozersk, Leningradskoe shosse, 3

Site: http://korelafortess.ru

 

 

Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Not far from the fortress, on the central square, is the main cathedral of the city, consecrated in honor of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. It was built from 1838 to 1847. The author of the project was the St. Petersburg architect David Ivanovich Visconti. He combined Russian classicism with the European Empire, resulting in a majestic building, which today is the spiritual center of the city. For all the time of its existence, the temple was closed only once – in the 40s of the twentieth century. The rest of the time he was active.

The church regularly holds divine services, meetings with interesting people – writers, artists, clergy, Sunday School works. Every year, traditional competitions are held: “Bright holiday Christmas”, “Russia is our sacred power”, “Lessons of faith and piety”. The cathedral is part of the tourist infrastructure of the city, so it receives several buses with excursion groups every day. But there is never pandemonium. Groups are bred on different routes, and they meet only at the exit from the temple.

Address: Kalinin str., 5

Site: priozersk.cerkov.ru

Lutheran Church

After the revolution of 1917 and the civil war in 1920, a peace treaty was concluded between the young Soviet republic and independent Finland. According to him, the border between the states passed a few kilometers south of Priozersk, and the town itself belonged to Finland. In 1930, a Lutheran church was erected in the center. The cathedral was designed by architect Armas Lindgren. It was the last project of the famous Finn. A year before the completion of construction, he died, and the temple was put into operation and illuminated without him.

After 10 years, Soviet troops entered the territory. The temple was abolished and closed. The building suffered a lot from the new government. In 1940, during an airstrike, a bomb broke through the roof of the church, then the NKVD department was based in it. In 1945, instead of the altar, a stage for performances of artists was installed, and the church was converted into a city club. After the collapse of the USSR, the Finnish diaspora, consisting of natives of the city, began work on the return of the temple to believers. They erected a monument next to it on the mass grave of Finnish soldiers who died during the war.

The administration of Priozersk was in no hurry to liquidate the club. In 2001, the premises were renovated and a youth disco was launched. A year later, the building was seriously damaged by fire. The authorities found the premises not suitable for holding mass events. Today, the church is closed to the public, restoration work is underway in it. The territory is not fenced, so you can walk around and explore this beautiful architectural structure. It combines national Finnish motifs and the northern variety of Art Nouveau.

Address: Leningradskaya, 12

The farmstead of the Valaam Monastery and the Church of All Saints

The journey to the holy places of Priozersk should be continued on the Farmstead of the Valaam Spas-Preobrazhensky Monastery. It was founded by the Moscow Patriarchate in 1872 on the territory of the old cemetery. In 1892, the local merchant Avdotya Andreeva donated funds for the construction of a new church. So there was the Church of All Saints, which today is a pearl among all the city attractions.

The church was designed by Finnish architect Jakob Arenberg. The eclectic red Valaam brick building is a “collection” of many styles that were used in the architecture of the late 19th century. Of the elements used carved cornices, characteristic of ancient Russian architecture, semi-columns, characteristic of Baroque and classicism, high windows that were used in Gothic temples. Under the dome is a belfry of seven bells. Their chime gathers parishioners for worship.

In Soviet times, there was a warehouse in the church. In 1988, she was returned to believers. After reconstruction and restoration work, the temple reopened. In it you can visit Sunday and festive services, put a candle in memory of the dead. In 2001, the Church of the Nativity of Christ was laid on the territory of the compound. It was built according to the project of the local architect Zyukin. It is made in Greek traditions and has excellent acoustics. A little away from the main churches is buried in greenery a small chapel of St. Alexis. It was created in memory of Patriarch Alexy II, who made a lot of efforts to revive the Valaam Monastery and Orthodox churches in northern Russia.

Address: Pushkin str., 17

Site: http://pvalaam.ru

 

 

Wooden pedestrian bridge over Zuoksa

On the outskirts of Priozersk there is a pedestrian bridge over the Cuoksa River. Just a kilometer from this place is its mouth, where the river flows into Lake Ladoga. In 1916, the bridge was built exclusively for pedestrians. It connects Cape Komariny with the island of Stony. For the passage of river vessels, a mechanically sliding sash is provided. On the banks on one side and the other grow beautiful forests. Locals like to come here with fishing rods or baskets to collect mushrooms and berries.

The authorities annually allocate funds for the repair of the bridge. According to a recent examination, it was found that he had already served three terms correctly. The issue of its dismantling and construction of a new crossing is being resolved. Therefore, while the bridge is standing, you need to walk along it. It offers different views: nature and forests, the river and yachts, the Waldhof plant, built in 1931. In any case, the photo shoot will be a pleasant pastime during the walk.

Address: Priozersk, Leningrad region, Russia

 

 

Recreation Park on the island of Stony

On the island of Stony there is an interesting landscape park. People come here to take a walk. Breathe fresh air, and in summer you can sunbathe on a very clean beach and swim in Ouoksa. The park is a 10-minute walk from the train station. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the island served as a defensive fort for the city. Military fortifications were built here, but they have not survived to this day.

Rest on the island can be a small respite in a sightseeing tour of the city. On the shore of Ouoksa there is a rental of boats, boats and yachts. The beach area is covered with soft golden sand. For children fenced a special area for swimming. Here you can have a snack with pizza or sushi, and it is not necessary to return to your hotels. The park is beautiful at any time of the year. After a hot green summer, autumn colors begin. In winter, paths and a ski track are laid, spring meets people with a ringing drop and birdsong. The park completely conveys the atmosphere of the magical Karelian forests with their stones, centuries-old trees, clean river water. This can end the first excursion day in Priozersk.

Address: Priozersk, Leningrad region, Russia

Valaam Island. Valaam Monastery

Being in Karelia, be sure to find a couple of days to get acquainted with its natural and holy places. Every day from the pier priozersk depart speedboats on Ladoga. The main direction is the archipelago of the Valaam Islands and the stavropegial monastery – the legend of the Orthodox North. The group of islands is located 22 km from the mainland. Many of them are connected by bridges. On the largest island of Valaam is the village of the same name and a men’s monastery. According to legend, the apostle Andrew the First-Called appeared first appeared here. He went to the North, spreading Orthodoxy throughout the world. Here, on the Valaam Heights, he installed a stone cross. A little later, 900 years later, the monks Sergius and Herman arrived here from Greece, who formed the monastic brotherhood. The chronicle history of the monastery began in the 15th century. The manuscripts indicate the date of foundation of the monastery – 1407.

A trip to the Valaam Islands will take a whole day. This is not a typical tourist place, although there are also enough excursion groups here. The archipelago is visited by a motley audience – from pilgrims to representatives of the highest echelon of power. On one of the islands built a skete for the President of Russia. Ministers, deputies and oligarchs are frequent guests of the monastery.

A typical tour of the monastery lasts 5 hours. Many objects are located at a distance of several kilometers from each other. For the convenience of movement, it is better to rent a golf cart. In this case, you can visit more places. A hydrofoil meteor disembarks passengers in the island’s main bay. Nearby is the Transfiguration Cathedral and many monastic buildings. From the pier begin excursion routes with guides. For self-acquaintance, cars with drivers and electric bicycles are offered.

The central estate of the Valaam Monastery is located nearby. With it usually begin acquaintance with the life of the monastery. Then the groups go to the islands to the skees. They are built in different periods and have different architecture. Beautiful views open from the observation decks located on the Mount of Olives. In the singing pavilion in the summer, the monastery choir often performs. Concerts start at 15.00. On the territory of the estate there are three unique gardens. One of them – Apothecary – is located just behind the fence. It grows 21 species of apple trees. The monks collect them, dry them and make health teas, which are then sold in a souvenir shop.

The main temple of the monastery – the Transfiguration Cathedral was built in the 19th century. The decoration of its upper part impresses with Orthodox luxury and magnificence. The bottom part is not so chic, but there is also something to see. Nearby is the chapel of Xenia of St. Petersburg, which was built in 2012. Near it there is a café “Monastic meal”, where you can have lunch. In order to visit all the islands of the Valaam archipelago, including distant, it will take more than one day. At the monastery there are hotels “Igumenskaya” and “Admiral Kuznetsov”. Applications for free places in hotels are accepted by the Pilgrimage Service.

Address: Valaam Island, Russia

Monastery website: https://valaam.ru/

 

 

Konevets Island. Konevsky Monastery

In the western part of Lake Ladoga is the island of Konevets. On it there is a double of the Valaam monastery – Konevsky Nativity-Mother of Town Monastery. It was founded in 1393 by Arseny Konevsky. The monk moved to a small island five km from the mainland. This place has long been used by pagans for rituals. Archaeologists have found the remains of a pagan sanctuary of the ancient Finns. Konevsky was a monk of the Novgorod land and wanted to convert the Karelians-pagans to Christianity. This determined the missionary direction of the monastery’s development.

By the 19th century, the monastery had become one of the most influential in the Territory of the Russian Empire. He was put on a par with Sergiev Posad and Valaam. Alexander II with his family and entourage visited the island and helped in the construction of new religious sites. After the revolution, until 1940, the monastery was located on the territory of Finland. After the Soviet-Finnish war, all the clergy emigrated to Finland, and the monastery was partially destroyed and stolen. Some valuable relics were transferred to the National Library and entered the expositions of historical museums. The cell, the office premises of the monastery and the temples were occupied by the military unit.

In 2016, a large-scale restoration of the monastery began. In 2019, it was visited by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko. Vladimir Vladimirovich took personal control of the process of restoration of the monastery. A huge number of tourists and pilgrims have always come here. Now all conditions for prayer, communication, acquaintance with historical and religious values have been created for them. The organization of excursions is carried out by the pilgrimage service of the monastery. Independently you can get by boat from Priozersk.

Address: Konevets, Priozersky District, Russia

Pilgrimage Service Website: https://konevskiy.ru/

 

 

Church of St. Andrew the First-Called on Ouoksa

This Orthodox church is listed in the Guinness Book of Records, as the only one located in the middle of the water surface. It was built in 2000 by a professor at the University. Herzen Andrey Nikolaevich Rotinov and his neighbor in the country Andrei Lyamkin. The author of the project chose a tiny island in the middle of Ouoksa, on which he placed his creation. Wooden steps lead to the entrance to the temple. At the water itself there is a small pier. The church was built in the tradition of Russian architecture. It is assigned to the Konev Church, so after visiting the Konevsky Monastery, you can go here.

Boats and a ferry regularly go to the temple. On weekends and holidays, divine services are held. With the priest, you can agree on the sacrament of marriage and baptism. This church is not intended for noisy celebrations and large crowds of people. It is built for people seeking solitude to communicate with God and themselves. In winter, a path on the ice is laid to the church. The place is surprisingly picturesque, calm and conducive to meditative rest.

Address: Priozersky district, Vasilyevo

 

 

Lutheran Church and Church of the Trinity of the Life-Giving in Melnikov

36 km from Priozersk, but not far from the Church of St. Andrew the First-Called on Cuoks, is the village of Melnikovo. There are several interesting buildings of the Finnish period. One of them is the Lutheran Church, built in 1912. it was the fourth Lutheran church being built on the site. Three previous structures burned in fires and only this one has survived to this day. Architect Josef Stenbeck built the church from local stone in the tradition of Finnish national architecture. The outer walls are lined with red granite, the internal ones are decorated with brick.

The church was not only a cult, but also a cultural center of the town. In 1913, an organ was installed in the hall. Melnikovo, which was then called Räysälya, was considered a very prosperous region. About 8 thousand people lived here, several schools and a trade school operated in the community. After the Soviet-Finnish conflict, the entire population emigrated to Finland, taking with them all church values. During the Second World War, the building was damaged by bombing. During the years of Soviet power, a state farm was formed on this territory, and the church was rebuilt as a granary.

Today, the situation has not changed. The premises are also home to a warehouse, as well as a shop and club. The building is periodically renovated. A few years ago, the roof was changed, double-glazed windows were inserted into the windows, and cosmetic repairs were made inside. Opposite the church is a Finnish cemetery. He is followed by the descendants of the Finnish inhabitants of Räisälä, who in our time have united in a community and occasionally hold Lutheran services in their former church. Guests from Finland often come here.

Local Orthodox Christians are doing much better. In 1998, the Church of the Trinity of life was laid in the village. It is made in the tradition of Russian wooden architecture. The construction was carried out for 4 years according to the project of architect D.Yu. Kozhina. A wooden church with a small belfry became another attraction of Melnikov. In the village you can stay overnight. There are decent hotels.

Address: Priozersk district, pos. Melnikovo, Kalinina str., 5

Putsari Island

20 km north-west of Valaam is one of the most picturesque and largest islands of Ladoga – Putsaari. Valaam monks used it to extract facing stone. At the same time, sketes and temples were built here. The first skete was built in the 16th century. But the main construction began in 1866. On the territory there were many quarries, granite from which went to the construction of the temples of the Valaam Monastery, went to St. Petersburg, where the stone was used to decorate many architectural objects and made pedestals for monuments.

On the island you can visit the current skete of St. Sergius, Finnish fortifications, pedestals for lighthouses. Except for the monks, no one lives on the island. Nature here is not touched by civilization. Fishermen, nature lovers and groups of friends like to come here. They chose the calm bay of Laurinlahti, which reliably protects vacationers from the wind. The distance to the mainland coast is just under a kilometer. Excursion trips to the island are organized.

Address: Putsari, Priozersky District, Leningrad Region, Russia

Zayachy Island

The Ladoga skerries also include the uninhabited island of Zayachy. Its shores are high from the water, so it is best to moor to the pebble beach on the west side of the island. A walk through it does not take much time. During the war, the Finns built a small observation post on the eastern side. This is a concrete square beam with a height of human growth. At the highest point of the coast is a small lighthouse. This is an iron structure with a lantern, which once served as an object of navigation for passing ships. The surface of the island is covered with vegetation. Trees grow here, very beautiful lichens, flowers bloom in summer. Lovers of a relaxing holiday in nature get a lot of fun and impressions from visiting this island.

Bear Island

Another uninhabited forest corner is Bear Island. It also belongs to the Ladoga skerries. Its area is larger than Hare. It has an elongated shape and stretches for 1.2 km. The island is extraordinarily beautiful. Along the coast there are cozy bays, the entire surface of the earth is covered with dense forest. Tourists with tents like to come here. The calm atmosphere and surprisingly clean air guarantees a good rest in nature. Because of the magnificent views, the island is very popular with photographers.

Ridge Island

You can finish your trip to the islands of The Gulf of Lehmalahti on the picturesque island of Gryadovoe. It has an attractive landscape – from a lowland overgrown with vegetation to rocks more than 30 meters high. Proximity to the mainland made it a favorite vacation spot for citizens tired of exhaust fumes, noise and bustle. Every weekend companies come here with tents, guitars and fishing rods. Here they are guaranteed the opportunity to be alone with the forest, the sea, rocks and birds.

Rest in Priozersk will bring a lot of pleasant impressions. Depending on the time of year, interesting events are held here. For example, the sports and tourist festival “Ladoga-Fest”, the military-historical reconstruction “Kexholm garrison”, the annual ethno-cultural festival “Russia – consonance of cultures”. The most popular hotels in the city receive guests. In addition, residents of Priozersk are always ready to show hospitality, offering private apartments for a comfortable stay.