Articles / Staraya Ladoga, Village

Staraya Ladoga, Village

Subject / Topography/Villages

STARAYA LADOGA (Ladoga before 1704), a village in Volkhov District. Population: 2200. Located on the left bank of the Volkhov River where the Ladozhka (Yelena) River flows into it. The toponym is of a Baltic Finnish origin, from Alodejogi (lower river), or Aldeigja/Aldeigjuborg in the Scandinavian tradition. On the basis of dendrological analysis data, archeologists date the foundation of Ladoga as 753. In the early Middle Ages, it was a large trade settlement on the “trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks” where Slavs, Baltic Finnish tribes, and Scandinavians (Varangians/Vikings) maintained contacts. It was first mentioned in the chronicle under 862 in relation to invitation of Rurik as Prince (in 862-64, Ladoga was his residence, which allows considering S. L. the first capital of Russia.) There are many burial mounds in the environs of S. L., the most known of which is the mound named Oleg’s Grave. The fortress of Staraya Ladoga is extant, on the basis of which, the Staraya Ladoga historical, architectural, and archeological reserve museum was established. In the 12th c., stone construction started in S. L., and the area of the downtown reached 14-15 hectares. In the 18th c., due to the foundation of Novaya Ladoga in 1704 where all the adm. institutions were relocated, and the construction of the Ladoga Canals, S. L. lost its economic importance, and became a rural settlement. S. L. has numerous extant cult buildings, such as the complexes of the Staraya Ladoga John the Baptist’s monastery, Staraya Ladoga St. Nicholas’s monastery, and Staraya Ladoga Assumption Monastery; also, the churches of St. George the Martyr and St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki the Martyr located within the fortress. In the 15th-17th cc., S. L. also had the Goritsi Nativity of Christ monastery (last mentioned in 1624), and Staraya Ladoga St. Simon monastery (devastated in the Time of Trouble.) There was the Uspenskoye estate in the S. L. territory near the Assumption monastery in the 18th and early 20th cc. S. L. was visited by artists O. A. Kiprensky, I. K. Aivazovsky, N. K. Roerich, B. M. Kustodiev. Since the 19th c., there have been archeological diggings in S. L. (see Z. Dolengo-Khodakovsky, N. E. Brandenburg.) The village has a culture center and library. In 2003 there were ceremonial events dedicated to celebration of the 1250th anniversary of S. L. In the recent years, the flow of tourists visiting S. L. has increased, which has influenced the infrastructure development (cafes and hotels are opened.) Since 2005, the “Staraya Ladoga” international military historical festival on the early Middle Ages has been held in S. L. The village is situated within the Staroladozhsky regional integrated natural monument (established in 1976, area: 220 ha), including geological Ordovician outcrops on the Volkhov River, and Staroladozhskaya and Tanichkina Caves that were formed during the extraction of quartz sand for glass production. The length of the Tanichkina Cave’s passages exceeds 7.5 km; it contains Leningrad Oblast’s largest hibernating place of bats.

A. Y. Chistyakov

Chistyakov, Anton Yuryevich

Aivazovsky, Ivan Konstantinovich
Brandenburg, Nikolay Yefimovich
Dolengo-Khodakovsky, Zorian (Adam Charnotsky)
Kiprensky, Orest Adamovich
Kustodiyev, Boris Mikhaylovich
Roerich, Nikolay Konstantinovich

Topographical landmarks/Ladozhka River, the
Leningrad Oblast, the/Volkhov District/Novaya Ladoga Town
Leningrad Oblast, the/Volkhov District
Topographical landmarks/Volkhov River, the

Ладога и ее соседи в эпоху средневековья. СПб., 2002
Кирпичников А. Н., Сарабьянов В. Д. Старая Ладога. Древняя столица Руси. СПб. 2003
Селин А.А. Ладога при московских царях. СПб., 2003
Ладога – первая столица Руси. 1250 лет непрерывной жизни. СПб., 2003
Сайт «Старая Ладога». URL:
Старая Ладога: Исследователи Старой Ладоги. URL:

Subject Index
Ladoga Canals, the
"Old Ladoga", Information- Leisure Centre
"Old Ladoga", International military-historical festival
Oleg's grave, a tumulus
Staraya Ladoga Dormition Convent, the
Staraya Ladoga Fortress
Staraya Ladoga Historical and Architectural and Archaeological Museum-reserve, the
Staraya Ladoga Monastery of St. John the Precurser
Staraya Ladoga Monastery of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
Staraya Ladoga Rural Library, the
"Staroladozhsky", a natural monument
The Church of St. Demetrius Thessalonica, Great Martyr (Staraya Ladoga Village, Volkhov District)
The Church of St. George the Victorius, Great Martyr (Staraya Ladoga Village, Volkhov District)
The Goritsky Monastery of the Nativity of Christ
The Staraya Ladoga Monastery of St. Simeon
Trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks
Uspenskoye, a country estate

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Ladoga, town*, v. Staraya Ladoga, village