Cities and Rivers I
St. Petersburg
Города и реки
About Us NevaProject Cities and Rivers II
New Orleans

Return to Neva map

Lake Ladoga is the largest lake on the European continent and one of the fifteen largest bodies of fresh water in the world. Its watershed comprises much of NW Russia and eastern Finland. The Neva River, which formed between 2000 and 4000 years ago, is its only outlet.

The people who originally settled the shores of Lake Ladoga were mainly Finno-Ugrian tribes, who called the lake Korela. Most place names around the lake are still of Finnish origin. Slavic peoples came into the region around the ninth century A.D. The southern end of Lake Ladoga was part of the major trade route "from the Vikings to the Greeks" and was subject to territorial struggles among the Vikings, Swedes, and Slavs. Peter the Great finally secured the territory for Russia in the early 18th century. In World War II it once again became a site of struggle, when the German army besieged Leningrad and controlled much of the territory south of the lake. Russians maintained control of enough shoreline to establish the "Road of Life" across the lake, by which they were able to bring supplies into and evacuees out of Leningrad.


View of Konevets Monastery,
on an island on Lake Ladoga.
There are many such retreats on
Russia's northern lakes.

Resources on Lake Ladoga

World Wildlife Fund: Ladoga

Wikipedia: Lake Ladoga

Map of Lake Ladoga

On Karelia