The Karelian Isthmus
The Karelian Isthmus is famous for its coniferous forests, blue lakes, seaside parks and golden beaches which extend along the entire northern coast of the Gulf of Finland. This part of the Saint Petersburg Region is also connected with the names of many outstanding Russian writers, artists and scientists.
In the first half of the nineteenth century the country house Priyutino (near Vsevolozhsk), owned by the first director of the Public Library in Petersburg, was often visited by A. Pushkin and V. Zhukovsky, the painters K. Briullov and O. Kiprensky.
The Penates. Repin's country house, played host to M. Gorky, V. Korolenko, S. Yesenin, V. Mayakovsky, the scientists D. Mendeleyev and V. Bekhterev. Today these mansions serve as history and art museums. The hamlet of Koltushi, where the great physiologist I. Pavlov worked from 1923 until his death, is well known throughout the world.
During the Great Patriotic War of 1941—45 the Karelian Isthmus was the scene of many heroic battles fought by the Soviet people against the Nazis. In memory of those who stood to the death by the walls of Leningrad a number of monuments have been erected: the Lembolovo Stronghold, the Sestra, the Rumbolovo Hill, the Katiusha (rocket-truck), and the Flower o f Life. These memorials are incorporated in a large complex called The Green Belt o f Glory.
After the war the northern coast of the Gulf of Finland was made a health resort zone. Dozens of sanatoria, boarding houses, rest-houses and kindergartens were built here amidst very picturesque natural scenery.
The Karelian Isthmus is also a vast sporting ground. The traditional Kavgolovo Games — ski jumping, ski racing and biathlone — take place here every winter. In summers competitions in academic rowing are held on Lake Hepo-Jarvi, and motor-cycle races in the very rugged area at Jukki. The Karelian Isthmus has a great many attractions for rock-climbers, yachtsmen and tourists.