Places of Interest in Syamozerye
We invite people who know the value of wooden architecture to visit the Syamozerye area. As you walk the small streets lined with ancient houses, the villages of Syamozerye still resonate with the atmosphere of the 17 th century. Syamozerye is one of the Karelian regions inhabited by the Livvik Karelians. A relatively small area holds many artefacts pertaining to the spiritual and material culture of the indigenous people. The villages of Syamozerye are still inhabited by craftsmen who make fishing gear, boats, baskets, and various tools.
Several ancient villages are located on shores of Lake Syamozero. These villages hold historical and cultural value. The village of Syargilakhta is situated in a picturesque location. The name of the village is formed from two Karelian words: syarga — roach, and lakhta — bay. The existence of this village was mentioned in the cadastres of the 16 th century. Mostly hunters and fishermen live there. The places of interest in this village are the old household buildings. The village is located in one of the most beautiful places on the shore of Lake Syamozero. A famous Russian feature film, The Dawns Here Are Quiet, about the Eastern Front of World War II was shot here.
The village of Syamozero, sitting upon the shore of a lake of the same name, is the centre of the Syamozero area. There was a time when this township was a centre of the Syamozero Parish and consisted of three villages: Tyuvelitsa, Pogost, and Diekkal. As time went by, the villages grew and by the 20 th century became one. The old inhabitants confirm that the settlement’s location was not chosen accidentally. The legend says that it was «prayed in» by Orthodox monks. Houses in the village of Syamozero were built in rows, and their windows looked straight out onto the road. They never constructed buildings on the shore, except for saunas.Behind the cabins, gardens were laid out, and behind those, the fields and forests began.
The village is far from highways and railways. No one and nothing disturbs the peaceful flow of life here. The road to Syamozero leads through the forest and the new cemetery, behind which ancient fir trees grow. Earlier there was the old cemetery, at present destroyed; however, people still visit the unadorned graves. There is a local place of interest behind the village, a natural spring offering clean, cool water. People call it The Cold Brook. In olden times, a birch bark cup was kept near the spring, and a bit further there was a cross. When people returned from work in the fields, they stopped by the spring, quenched their thirst, and crossed themselves. A few years ago, the locals built a beautiful summer house next to it where everyone could rest and enjoy the amazing beauty of the surrounding scenery.
There is one more village on the shore of Lake Syamozero — Essoila. Local historians suggest that the name of the village is derived from the name of the village founder (Jessoi), who built the first house here. Other versions of the story can be heard. One of these says that Tsar Peter the Great was hunting in the area one day and came to the lake to rest. Two local Karelian fishermen were sitting on the shore. The servants asked them what this place was. The men did not understand Russian and replied «evle suola» («there’s no salt»). Thus these words eventually were formed into the name of the Essoila village.
One of the oldest settlements in south-western Karelia is the village of Korza.Its name can be found in old archives dated back to the 17 th century. The tiny village, consisting of three households at the beginning of the last century, grew to 32 houses. The historical appearance of the village has been preserved in its original form. The houses here are built either in one row or on both sides of the streets. The dwellings of the locals are one-storey or two-storey buildings, in which the living quarters have been combined with household additions. On the edge of the village, there is a cemetery grove and a small chapel.
Fragments of historical architecture can be found in the village of Rubchoila.It was established in the 18 th century, and soon it had five peasant houses.By 1905 the village consisted of more than ten houses with 86 inhabitants. The local people were considered to be rather well-to-do, since each household in Rubchoila owned approximately 14 cows — nearly two times more than those owned by the households in nearby villages.
Between the villages of Syamozero and Kyargyala near the road, Kiimienkivel can be found.It is a huge stone, bigger than a man, and was brought and placed there by the local historian and writer Miron Smirnov in honour of emancipation. The date given on the stone is 25.05.1868.