Detecting in Karelia - Pirozersk: Brief History

City of Priozersk

Priozersk is one of the oldest towns on the Karelian Isthmus. It is situated 145 km (91 miles) north of St. Petersburg, on an island at the southwestern shore of Lake Ladoga, at the estuary of the northern armlet of River Vuoksi.

City's Central Square

Priozersk's Central Square

From the early Middle Ages, Priozersk was known as Korela to Russians (it was first mentioned in a Novgorodian chronicle of 1143) and Käkisalmi to Karelians and Finns.

City's Coat Of Arms

Kakisalmi Keksholm Priozersk Coat of Arms

According to Taxation book of 1500 from Novgorod, there were 1500-2000 residents in Korela. The Swedish forces captured Korela twice: in 1580 for 17 years and in 1611 for 100 years. The Swedes called the town Keksholm/Kexholm and the whole district became known as the Kexholm County.

Old Russian Church

Old Russian Church Silhouette

During the Great Northern War, the Russian army of Peter The Great finally regained control over the area for good. The town's Swedish name was retained as Keksgolm. But wars and frequent fires (the town was burnt down completely in 1300, 1580, 1634, and 1679) had taken its toll on civilian population. When the first court house was established in Käkisalmi in 1800, population was only 400. Only in 1917, the city's growth was boosted by construction of the Saint Petersburg-Hiitola railway.

Finnish Catholic Cathedral

Finnish Catholic Cathedral

Before the Winter War in 1939, the city's total population was 11 129 including only 946 Orthodox persons and about 100 habitants speaking native languages of Swedish, Russian or German. After hard fighting, Finland was forced to cede Finnish Karelia to the Soviet Union in 1940, and the entire Finnish population moved to Finland. During the Continuation War 1941 - 1944, Finland gained back 1940 Soviet ceded territories, the population returned to rebuild the town, but were again evacuated at the close of the WWII.

Early 20th Century Wooden House

Wooden House

Late 19th Century Wooden Building

Wooden Building

Käkisalmi was renamed to Priozersk in 1948. All cities and communities annexed from Finland to Russia were given names that had no ties to historic names except Vyborg. Now Priozersk was settled with a totally new population of people - mainly Russians, Belorussians and Ukrainians, from the Soviet Union, who remain the majority of the local population.

Late 19th Century Building

Old Bank

City Street

City Street

According to the 2002 Census, the population of Priozersk was 20,506.

Modern Apartment Buildings in Priozersk at White Night

Modern Apartment Buildings in Priozersk


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source: en.wikipedia.org