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Sortavala (Serdobol until 1918) is a Russian town, the administrative center of the Sortavala District, in the Republic of Karelia. It is included in the list of historical cities of Russia.

Sortavala has the population of 18 857 people (as of 2014).

The town is situated on the northern coast of Lake Ladoga, 270 km away from St. Petersburg and 240 km away from Petrozavodsk. The town relief is connected with geological processes of the Baltic fundamental crystalline formations: it is ruggedness, numerous rocky bassets of granite and mica slates. The central part of the town stands as an amphitheater on a huge stone range. Within the town precincts there are rocky hills. One of them Kuhavuori opens a beautiful view of Sortavala and islands of Lake Ladoga.


Sortavala is equated to the regions of the Far North. However, thanks to the influence of Lake Ladoga the climate of Sortavala is quite soft: summer is moderately warm (with average temperature of +15 degrees C), and winter is moderately soft (average temperature of −8,6 degrees C),


After Petrozavodsk, Sortavala is the second biggest tourist center of Karelia. It is one of the departure points of water tourist routes to Valaam Island: motor ships start off to the archipelago from the towns major pier.

Sortavala is a part of the international tourist route Blue Road that stretches from the coast of Norway via Sweden and Finland to the Karelian town of Puudoži.

Sortavala has 11 hotels.

Places of Interest

Wood Carving Exhibition Centre of Kronid Gogolev;

Regional Museum and Tourist Center of Northern Ladoga;

Old Sortavala buildings designed by the most famous Finnish architects in the late 19th early 20th century.

The central part of the town mainly consists of 3 or 4-storeyed stone buildings of the early 20th century. Most of them belong to the style of Northern Art Nouveau (national Romanticism), Neoclassicism, and Functionalism. Besides, there are lots of wooden buildings of the mid 19th century; most of them are in the Empire style.

Tags: Sortavala Karelia    



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  (Republic of Karelia)

Cities of the region

    Kizhi Island

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