Region of the Russian Federation: Republic of Karelia

Site Status: inscribed in the Tentative List of the Russian Federation in 1996 as a mixed (cultural and natural) object

Status of Territories composing the Site:
“Valaamsky Archipelag” Nature Park (Direction of specially protected natural areas of regional importance in the Republic of Karelia: 185005 Republic of Karelia, Petrozavodsk, ul. Rigachina, 66)

Status: inscribed in the Tentative List of the Russian Federation in 2010 (extension of the “Central Sikhote-Alin”)

Area: 26,100 ha (including 22,500 ha of water area)

The “Valaamsky Archipelag” (“Valamo Archipelago”) Nature Park was created in 1999. It includes Valamo (Valaam) Island, several small adjoining islands as well as islands Baevye, Krestovye, Palinsari (Goly) Island and Mayachny (Maly) Island.

Archipelago represents the peculiar model of a mountain country which possesses its own summits, vertical breakages, original gorges and individual plateaus. All this speaks about big relief ruggedness although the absolute heights here are comparatively low.

There are ten inner lakes on Valamo Island. The largest one, Sisajarvi, is exceptionally picturesque. Its shores are indented by long narrow gulfs of fjord type and many places represent the vertical rocks with a height of 20 - 30 m braked up by cracks into separate large blocks. This lake is connected with Ladoga Lake by three short straights.

The islands flora is extremely rich for these latitudes. There exist more than 500 species of vascular plants. 64 species are inscribed in the Red Data Books of Russian Federation and Republic of Karelia. The natural characters of the archipelago made it possible to introduce many arboreal and dumetosous forms (54 species). Plantings of these species became the integral part of the landscape. Many of them are reproduced naturally and have the considerable areas of distribution. Among such species there are Siberian larch, Siberian fir and English oak.

The avifauna of the Valamo Archipelago presents the big interest. 220 bird species were recorded here. 75 bird species constantly nest on Valamo Islands. Bank and European water voles, squirrel and musk beaver, mountain hare, common shrew and European Elk could be met most frequently among mammals. Among predatory animals there are fox and stoat that constantly inhabit the Valamo Island. Summer relaxation herds of Ladoga seal (subspecies inscribed in the Red Data Book of Russia and Karelia) could be found on the archipelago islands during the whole period of open water.

Valamo is also well-known due to its numerous historical and architectural monuments connected with centuries-old existence of Our Savior and Transfiguration monastery on the islands. During its flourishing period (second half of the nineteenth century) the monastery provided the diversified economy. The monks here were occupied in arable farming, vegetable and orchard gardening, livestock farming and even in fish farming. They work in different workshops and even in “factories”. The monastic skits were constructed in several places of the island.