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Leningrad Oblast , Staraya Ladoga

Staraya Ladoga Historical, Architectural and Archaeological Reserve Museum

Староладожский историко-архитектурный и археологический музей-заповедник
Комитет Ленинградской области по туризму
Староладожский историко-архитектурный и археологический музей-заповедник
Комитет Ленинградской области по туризму

Founded not later than 753, Ladoga is the oldest city of Northern Rus. Ladoga is the first port city on the route to the riches of the Arab East and Byzantium, and was the first residence of Duke Rurik in 862. The panorama of Ladoga consists of pre-Christian burial hills, pre-Mongolian temples, monastic ensembles, and fortifications from the 12th-16th centuries.

On a cape formed by the Volkhov and Ladozhka rivers, a stone castle was built in the late 15th century and modernized in the 16th century. The fortifications were built in the era of firearms, which explains the seven-meter-thick walls and small firing ports.  During an expedition in 1972, it was discovered that the existing fortress had been built atop earlier structures from the late 11th and early 12th centuries. This helps explain its distinguishing features -- a curved fortification plan, and exterior sides in the form of earthen ramparts.

The idea to create a museum in Staraya Ladoga emerged in the early 20th century.  It was supposed to create a cultural and educational institution which would include a museum, a theater, and a library-reading room.  However, the events of the second decade of the 20th century stopped this process. On July 31, 1945, the fortress and churches of St. George and St. Dmitry of Solunsk (along with other monuments) were included in the museum and archaeological reserve, which was transferred to Leningrad State University. A decision was also made to create the Staraya Ladoga Local History Museum: On July 15, 1971, the first exhibitions opened in the Ladoga fortress.

The Staraya Ladoga Historical, Architectural and Archaeological Reserve Museum (also known as Staraya Ladoga Reserve Museum) incorporated the existing Staraya Ladoga Local History Museum as well as the historical and cultural monuments in Staraya Ladoga village in 1984, in order to preserve the complex of monuments, to protect the natural and historical environment, and to explore and promote this national heritage. One-hundred and ninety hectares of territory were put under special protection.

The reserve consists of 133 monuments (67 architectural  monuments, 57 archaeological monuments, and nine natural monuments). These include the Sopka and Pobedishche mountain areas, the Vasilievsky burial ground with the church of St. Basil of Caesarea, Zemlyanoy town by the southern fortress wall, and certainly the Staraya Ladoga fortress itself.  In the house of P.V. Kalyazin there is a permanent exhibit on the archaeology of Ladoga, and another permanent exhibit is in the fortress's Vorotnaya tower. Temporary exhibitions are also arranged.

In 2016, the Staraya Ladoga Museum celebrated its 45th anniversary. Over this period, the museum-reserve has accumulated a rich collection of exhibit items.  The museum collection also includes artifacts connected with the beginning of the formation of Russian statehood in the 13th-15th centuries.  Items from the collection have been displayed at museums in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

Committee for Culture of the Leningrad Region. Department for Tourism/

Site on the map

Phone number: +7 (81363) 4-90-70, 7-35-24
Address: Leningrad Oblast, Volkhov District, Staraya Ladoga village

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