an ancient fortress town on Lake Ladoga, at the source of the Neva river.
In medieval days it changed hands many times between
Swedish and Russian domination, until Peter the Great finally retrieved
it from Sweden in 1702. He named it his "Key City" because
of its strategic importance as an eastern defense post for St. Petersburg
as well as an important trading port.
is a fortress island at the source of the Neva.
It served as a defensive fort and intermittently
as a prison from the fourteenth century until World War II. The
fort itself has been destroyed and rebuilt many times and is now a museum.
is the largest freshwater lake in Europe.
The Neva River is its only outlet, carrying
fresh water from the lake and its large drainage basin into the Baltic