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Russian Suomeksi

Appeal to the Readers

The land, though not native,
But memorable forever.

(Anna A. Akhmatova)

It's me!

There are lots of books about St.-Petersburg suburbs. It is not surprising: in all huge Russia it is difficult to find a place, that had been a witness of so many significant (and not so significant) events of our stormy history. The numerous guidebooks, atlases, albums and monographies will willingly tell you about palaces and parks of Tsarskoje Selo, Peterhof and Gatchina, fortresses of Schlisselburg, Koporje and Ladoga, manors of Rozdestveno and Gostilitsy. Karelian isthmus also doesn't stay without attention. There are no Tsar palaces, parks and fountains here, but everyone knows about Repin's "Penates", Lenin's hut in Razliv, the "Mannerheim line" and the fortresses of Korela and Vyborg.

However, until recently our knowledge about the Karelian land was limited basically by these objects. Because of political factors, dramatical and in many respects tragical history of this wonderful land was ignored in Russia. We did not suspect that present Zelenogorsk and its vicinities (Komarovo, Repino, Ushkovo etc.) - are not only the place, where we can swim in the gulf, go fishing and gather mushrooms. Only in course of recent years we began to learn that these places have their own history, connected with the history not only of St.-Petersburg and Russia, but also of our northern neighbour - Finland.

Though it used to be a God forgotten Finnish village at one time, today Terijoki is a resort and "bedroom" suburb of St. Petersburg. Between these two states there were incomplete seven decades, in course of which the settlement lived through the two totally different periods of prosperity, so unlike one to other.

1870 - construction of the Finland railway. Beginning of the the first prosperity period.

70s of XIX-th century - 10s of XX-th. A fashionable dacha place. Very quickly the population grows from several tens up to several thousand. An artistic "oasis" of Russian intelligency, free from the police supervision.

1914 - 1920 - troubled time. The First world war beginning, Russian dacha seasons ending. Revolution in Russia, civil war in Finland. Aquisition of independence.

20s - autumn 1939 - the second period of prosperity. Terijoki is the administrative centre of the newly formed district, the "capital" of Karelian isthmus, the centre of its economic and cultural life.

Autumn 1939 - the beginning of winter war. Evacuation. The end.

Seven decades - two epochs. The settlement was not a official city, but almost metropolitan life seethed here. It is difficult to imagine today, that here, as in a city, historical areas (Keskikylä - the centre, Käkösenpää - the western part, Ollinpää - the eastern part, Koivikko - the northern part) and historical toponyms ("Seppänen's corner", "Karjalainen's hill", "Saharoff's hill" etc.) could be found; the representatives of not less than 10 ethnic groups lived at the settlement, there were temples or praying houses of 4 confessions.

Certainly, from the point of view of the world history all this can seem insignificant ant bustle. However, we are ordinary people and we don–Ęt decide the destiny of the world. We cherish the history of the small town on the Coast. The people, who lived here, had shown a perfect example of love to their motherland, hard work and the unity in front of the powerful enemy - all this we Russians don't have enough today.

In course of recent years Zelenogorsk has been gradually turning in an ordinary "settlement of urban type". The ideology, human ignorance, neglecting, and just the time inevitably make their destructive work. Nevertheless, some features, sometimes hardly perceptible, of the former shape, do appear somewhere. The old layout of streets is kept. Some dachas of pre-revolutionary times and houses of Finnish construction are still standing. The brooks, though they have lost names, in which Finnish children were catching salmons by hands, are still running into the sea. And the view of the Finnish gulf with pine-trees on the coast is still wonderful.

Not all the historical and cultural events, that happened here, have left some material traces after themselves, even as fragments overgrown by grass. However, the fact that all that took place here, gives the area a special "energetics". Somewhere I met such aphorism: "St. Petersburg is not the city, but the amosphere". I believe, that the same can be said about Terijoki. I have tried to place here the materials, which, in my opinion, will help the reader to feel this "atmosphere". Read, look - may be now you will perceive our "city-satellite" by a different way.

Guide of the historical section of Vladimir S. Kotlyar

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