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The 350th anniversary of Olonets


The town of Olonets

The town of Olonets is the administrative centre of Olonetsky district of the Republic of Karelia and one of the first and ancient cities of Karelia. It was founded in the middle of the XVIIthe century where the river of Megrega flows into the river of Olonka. As the prince Feodor Volkonsky and the clerk Stepan Elagin informed the tsar Alexey Mihailovich, the town construction was basically completed by September 29, 1649. On plans of imperial officials, Olonets should have become the advanced post of northwest borders of Russia exposed to often attacks of Swedes. During this period Olonets was a uniform trading, military and administrative centre of Karelia inhabited by peasants from country churchyards of Zaonezhie mostly engaged in trade and ironworks.

In 1708 Olonets became a part of the Ingermanland province, then was attached to the Novgorod province, in 1784 it became the district town of Olonetsky region ruled by governor-general, and since 1801 it was the district city of Olonetsky province.

Until the Great October Socialist Revolution Olonets remained a small provincial town of Karelia. In 1912 its population made 2058 citizens.

On January 18, 1918 the First district congress of country deputies, which has elected the Executive committee, gathered in Olonets.

Within the Civil and the Great Patriotic wars the town and the district were the arena for severe fights. The Soviet man-of-war's men landed near Tuloksa and Vidlitsa twice - in 1919 and 1944. During the Great Patriotic war brave underground workers operated in the district. On June 25, 1944 Karelian front units have liberated Olonets.

For many years the Olonets plain was our republic's granary. Olonets is the centre of agricultural district which supplies cities of the republic with milk, meat, potatos, and vegetables.

Numerous exhibits of the Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy located in the ancient building of the former cathedral tell about the history and modern development of the town.

Now Olonets is a usual regional town where multi-storey buildings adjoin with wooden houses where remarkable hardworking descendants of soldiers and grain-growers live, those who in the distant past came on the Olonka and Megrega coasts and founded a country churchyard there.

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Created: January 22, 1999. Last updated: November 22, 2004.
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