(Locator); (Russia Tourist Map)
The Republic of Karelia is located in the north-western part of Russian Federation, between the basins of Barents and Baltic seas. The total territory of Karelia is 172 400 sq.km. with a population of 800 000 people. The regional center of the Republic is the city of Petrozavodsk city situated on the shore of Lake Onega Lake. There are 27 000 rivers and over 60 000 lakes in Karelia. Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega are the largest lakes in Europe. Lakes and swamps contain about 2 000 cubic kilometres of high-quality fresh water. Virgin woods, clean lakes and rivers, historical and cultural monuments attract hundreds of thousand of travelers. The main feature that determines the historical and cultural peculiarity of Karelia is its border position. Karelia, as a culturally original region of Northern Europe, appeared as a result of the interaction of the Baltic-Finnish and the Eastern Slavic cultures in the North. It was on the territory of the Karelian ethnocultural border that the top examples of the art of the peoples of different origins were preserved and recorded in the 19th century, such as the epic Karelian-Finnish runes which were compiled in the famous "Kalevala" and the Russian epic songs. Starting from the Middle Ages, Karelia was a territory on the border of the Swedish Kingdom and the Novgorod Republic, and later the Moscow Kingdom.