Articles / Onega Lake

Onega Lake

Subject / Topography/Reservoirs and waterways

LAKE ONEGA (Onezhskoye Ozero), located in the north of Russia’s European part within the Republic of Karelia, Vologda Oblast (southern and south-eastern part) and Leningrad Oblast (south-western part.) The L. O. boast belongs to the north-eastern edge of Podporozhye District. Since the ancient times, the lake has also been known as the Onego. The name presumably originates from the Baltic Finnish “ääni” meaning “sounding, noisy.” The land around the lake got the name of Obonezhye in the Middle Ages, giving its name to Obonezhskaya Row (later Obonezhskaya Pyatina.) L. O. is one of Europe’s largest freshwater body in area, second only to Lake Ladoga. It stretches from north-west to south-east. The water surface is 9682 sq. km (the area of its 1369 islands is 248 sq. km), length: 248 km, max. width: 83 km, water capacity: 292 cu. km. Average depth: 30 m, max. depth: 127 m. Abt. 50 rivers and a lot of brooks flow into L. O., with only one river (Svir) flowing out. The Svir originates in Leningrad Oblast and flows into Lake Ladoga. The lake’s northern shore is heavily indented with long bays, with many islands near; in the southern part, in Leningrad Oblast in particular, the shoreline is smooth, and there are no islands. In the southern part, the depths are lesser and the bottom relief is smoother. The L. O. coasts were settled by humans in the Neolithic Age. Petroglyphs of that epoch have survived on shore cliffs of the east coast. In the Middle Ages, L. O. was crossed by waterways that connected Novgorod to its northern lands. In the early 19th century, a portion of the Mariyinskaya Canal System extended in L. O. Due to frequent storms, the Onega bypass canal was dug along its southern and south-eastern shoreline in 1818-1820 and 1845-1852, which connected the Svir and Vytegra Rivers. In 1964, the canal was reconstructed to become a part of the Volga-Baltic System. Up to the mid-20th century, the Vepses lived in a few villages north of the Svir near the L. O. shore; later, they got Russified. There were Russian communities south of the Svir, in the current Leningrad Oblast. Today, the extreme inhabited place on the lake’s shore within Leningrad Oblast is Voznesenye urban settlement (pier at the source of the Svir River.) Near the L. O. shoreline, in Shustruchey Volost of Podporozhye District, some wooden architecture monuments have survived: the church St. Demetrius of Thessalonica, the Martyr with a belfry (1783) in Scheleiki village, the Church of St. George (1781) in Kiprushino village, and the Gimoretsky Pogost (Church) ensemble (17th c.)

Yegorov, Sergey Borisovich

Historical Toponyms/Gimoretsky Pogost
Neighbouring Territories/Karelian Republic
Leningrad Oblast, the/Podporozhye District/Kiprushino Village
Topographical landmarks/Mariyinskaya Canal System
Historical Toponyms/Obonezhsky Row (the second name is Obonezhskaya Pyatina)
Historical Toponyms/Obonezhye
Topographical landmarks/Onega Lake
Topographical landmarks/Onezhsky Encircling Canal, the
Leningrad Oblast, the/Podporozhye District
Leningrad Oblast, the/Podporozhye District/Shcheleyki Village
Topographical landmarks/Svir River, the
Leningrad Oblast, the/Podporozhye District/Voznesenye Urban Settlement
Topographical landmarks/Vytegra River, the

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Путешествие академика Н. Озерецковского по озерам Ладожскому, Онежскому и вокруг Ильменя. СПб., 1812
Смирнова Э.С. По берегам Онежского озера. Л.: Искусство, 1969.

Subject Index
The Church of St. Demetrius Thessalonica, Great Martyr (Shcheleiki Village, Podporozhsky District)
Volgo-Baltic Waterway, the