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Viipuri

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Viipuri

This article is about the Russian town. For other uses, see Vyborg (disambiguation).

Vyborg (/ˈvbɔrɡ/;[9] Russian: Выборг, IPA: [ˈvɨbərk];[9] Finnish: Viipuri [ˈʋiːpuri]; Swedish: Viborg; German: Wiborg; Estonian: Viiburi) is a town in Leningrad Oblast, Russia, situated on the Karelian Isthmus near the head of the Bay of Vyborg, 130 kilometers (81 mi) to the northwest of St. Petersburg and 38 kilometers (24 mi) south from Russia's border with Finland, where the Saimaa Canal enters the Gulf of Finland. Vyborg serves as the administrative center of Vyborgsky District. Population: Template:Ru-census2010 79,224 (2002 Census);[10] 80,924 (1989 Census).[11]

The Hanseatic city lies in the boundary zone between the East Slavic/Russian and Finnish/Scandinavian worlds and has changed hands several times in history, most recently in 1944 when it was taken by the Soviet Union from Finland during World War II.

History

Main article: Fief of Viborg

The area where Vyborg is located used to be a trading center on the Vuoksi River's western branch, which has dried up. The area was inhabited by the Karelians, a Balto-Finnic tribe which gradually came under the domination of Novgorod and Sweden.

The first castle of Vyborg was founded during the so-called "Third Swedish Crusade" in 1293 by marshal Torkel Knutsson. The castle was fought over for decades between Sweden and the Novgorod Republic. By the Treaty of Nöteborg in 1323, Vyborg was finally recognized as a part of Sweden. It withstood a prolonged siege by Daniil Shchenya during the Russo–Swedish War of 1496–1499.

The town's trade privileges were chartered by the Pan-Scandinavian King Eric of Pomerania in 1403.

Under Swedish rule, Vyborg was closely associated with the noble family of Bååt, originally from Småland. The late-medieval commanders and fief holders of Vyborg were (almost always) descended from or married to the Bååt Family; in practice they functioned as Margraves (though not having this as their formal title), having feudal privileges and keeping all the crown's incomes from the fief to use for the defense of the realm's eastern border.

Vyborg remained in Swedish hands until its capture after the Siege of Vyborg by Emperor Peter the Great in the Great Northern War (1710). The Treaty of Nystad (1721), which concluded the war, assigned the town and a part of Old Finland to Russia. In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708 by Peter the Great, Vyborg became a part of Ingermanland Governorate (known since 1710 as Saint Petersburg Governorate). In 1719, it became the administrative center of Vyborg Province, and in 1744, of Vyborg Governorate. In 1783, the governorate was transformed into Vyborg Viceroyalty, then in 1801 back into Vyborg Governorate. In 1801, Vyborg Governorate was renamed Finland Governorate.[12]

One of the largest naval battles in history, the Battle of Vyborg Bay in 1790, was fought off shore in the Vyborg Bay on July 4, 1790.

After the rest of Finland was ceded to Russia in 1809, Emperor Alexander I of Russia incorporated the town and its governorate into the newly created Grand Duchy of Finland in 1812.[12]

In the course of the 19th century, the town developed as the center of administration and trade for the eastern part of Finland. The inauguration of the Saimaa Canal in 1856 benefited the local economy as it opened the vast waterways of Eastern Finland to the sea. Vyborg was never a major industrial center, and lacked large production facilities, but due to its location it served as a focal point of transports of all industries on the Karelian Isthmus, Ladoga Karelia and South-Eastern Finland.

Following the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the fall of the Russian Empire, Finland declared itself independent. During the Finnish Civil War Vyborg was in the hands of the Finnish Red Guards until it was captured by the White Guard on 29 April 1918.

In the inter-war decades, the town, then officially known as Viipuri, was the second biggest city in Finland and the center of Viipuri province. In 1939 Vyborg had some 80,000 inhabitants, including sizable minorities of Swedes, Germans, Russians, Gypsies, Tatars and Jews. During this time, Alvar Aalto built a masterpiece of modernist architecture — the Vyborg Library.

During the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland (1939–1940), more than 70,000 people were evacuated from Vyborg to western Finland. The Winter War was concluded by the Peace of Moscow, which stipulated the transfer of Vyborg and the whole Karelian Isthmus – emptied of their residents – to Soviet control, where it was incorporated into the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic on March 31, 1940. As the town was still held by the Finns, the remaining Finnish population, some 10,000 people, had to be evacuated in haste before the handover. Thus, practically the whole population of Finnish Vyborg was resettled elsewhere in Finland. The town became the administrative center of Vyborgsky District.

The evacuees from Finnish Karelia came to be a vociferous political force and their wish to return to their homes was an important motive when Finland sought support from Nazi Germany against the Soviet threat. As a result, Finland and Nazi Germany fought on the same side in the Continuation War.

On August 29, 1941, Vyborg was recaptured by Finnish troops and, soon after, the Government of Finland formally annexed it along with the other areas lost in the Moscow Peace Treaty. At first the Finnish Army did not allow civilians into the town. Of the 6,287 buildings, 3,807 had been destroyed. The first civilians started to arrive at the end of September and by the end of the year Vyborg had a population of about 9,700. By 1942, it had risen to 16,000. About 70% of the evacuees from Finnish Karelia returned after the re-conquest to rebuild their looted homes, but were again evacuated after the Red Army's Fourth strategic offensive, timed to coincide with the Battle of Normandy. By the time of the Soviet offensive, the town had a population of nearly 28,000. The town was evacuated by June 19 and the defence of Vyborg was entrusted to the 20th Brigade. The town fell to the Red Army on 20 June 1944, but the Finns managed to halt the Soviet offensive at the Battle of Tali-Ihantala, the largest battle fought by any of the Nordic countries, in Viipuri rural municipality which surrounded the city. The city was seriously damaged, with many historic buildings, including the Vyborg Cathedral, destroyed.

In the subsequent Moscow Armistice of September 19, 1944, Finland returned to the borders set by the Moscow Peace treaty and ceded more land than the treaty originally demanded. In the 1947 Paris Peace treaties, Finland relinquished all claims to Viipuri.

After the Winter War, Leningrad had wanted to incorporate the area of Vyborg, but it took until September 1944 for it to be finally transferred from the Karelo-Finnish SSR to Leningrad Oblast.[13] During the Soviet era, the town was settled by people from all over the Soviet Union. The naval air bases of Pribilovo and Veshchevo were built nearby.

Administrative and municipal status

Vyborg serves as the administrative center of Vyborgsky District.[1] Municipally, Vyborg is incorporated within Vyborgsky Municipal District as Vyborgskoye Urban Settlement.[2]

Climate

Climate data for Vyborg
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 6.5
(43.7)
10.0
(50)
13.8
(56.8)
22.1
(71.8)
29.0
(84.2)
32.9
(91.2)
34.6
(94.3)
33.4
(92.1)
27.2
(81)
19.0
(66.2)
11.1
(52)
8.4
(47.1)
34.6
(94.3)
Average high °C (°F) −4.0
(24.8)
−4.1
(24.6)
0.5
(32.9)
7.2
(45)
14.7
(58.5)
19.2
(66.6)
22.3
(72.1)
20.2
(68.4)
14.3
(57.7)
7.9
(46.2)
1.7
(35.1)
−2.1
(28.2)
8.2
(46.8)
Daily mean °C (°F) −6.7
(19.9)
−7.3
(18.9)
−3.0
(26.6)
3.0
(37.4)
10.2
(50.4)
15.0
(59)
18.2
(64.8)
16.3
(61.3)
10.9
(51.6)
5.5
(41.9)
−0.4
(31.3)
−4.5
(23.9)
4.8
(40.6)
Average low °C (°F) −9.5
(14.9)
−10.5
(13.1)
−6.4
(20.5)
−0.5
(31.1)
5.9
(42.6)
11.1
(52)
14.3
(57.7)
12.7
(54.9)
7.9
(46.2)
3.2
(37.8)
−2.3
(27.9)
−7.1
(19.2)
1.6
(34.9)
Record low °C (°F) −36.8
(−34.2)
−34.0
(−29.2)
−29.0
(−20.2)
−20.0
(−4)
−5.0
(23)
0.0
(32)
5.8
(42.4)
0.0
(32)
−4.0
(24.8)
−11.4
(11.5)
−19.8
(−3.6)
−34.0
(−29.2)
−36.8
(−34.2)
Precipitation mm (inches) 48
(1.89)
36
(1.42)
40
(1.57)
31
(1.22)
40
(1.57)
63
(2.48)
65
(2.56)
82
(3.23)
68
(2.68)
76
(2.99)
67
(2.64)
61
(2.4)
677
(26.65)
Avg. rainy days 6 5 7 10 14 15 15 15 17 17 13 9 143
Source: Pogoda.ru.net[14]

Economy


Vyborg continues to be an important industrial producer of paper. Tourism is increasingly important, and the Russian film festival Window to Europe takes place in the town each year.

An HVDC back-to-back facility for the exchange of electricity between the Russian and Finnish power grid was completed near Vyborg in 1982. It consists of three bipolar HVDC back-to-back schemes with an operating voltage of 85 kV and a maximum transmission rate of 355 megawatts, so that the entire maximum transmission rate amounts to 1420 megawatts.

Sights


Vyborg's most prominent landmark is the Swedish built castle, started in the 13th century and extensively reconstructed in 1891–1894. The Round Tower and the Rathaus Tower date from the mid-16th century. The Viipuri Library by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto is a reference point in the history of modern architecture.

There are also Russian fortifications, completed by 1740, as well as the monuments to Peter I (1910) and Torkel Knutsson. Tourists can also visit the house where the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin prepared the Bolshevik revolution during his stay in Viipuri from 24th of September to 7th October 1917.

Sprawling along the heights adjacent to the Gulf of Finland is Mon Repos, one of the most spacious English parks in Eastern Europe. The park was laid out on behest of its owner, Baron Ludwig Heinrich von Nikolay, at the turn of the 19th century. Most of the garden structures were designed by the architect Giuseppe Antonio Martinelli. Previously, the estate belonged to the future king Frederick I of Württemberg (Maria Fyodorovna's brother), who called it Charlottendahl in honor of his second wife.

International relations



Twin towns and sister cities

Vyborg is twinned with:

Notable people

Bolshevik revolutionary Vladimir Lenin lived in the city for a period following the failure of the February Revolution of 1917. Cyclist Viatcheslav Ekimov and Formula One driver Vitaly Petrov were born in the city. Soldier Lauri Törni was born here, and later served in the Finnish, German, and United States armies.

References

Notes

Sources

  • Законодательное собрание Ленинградской области. Областной закон №32-оз от 15 июня 2010 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Ленинградской области и порядке его изменения», в ред. Областного закона №43-оз от 27 июня 2013 г. «О присоединении деревни Большая Загвоздка к городу Гатчина и о внесении изменений в некоторые Областные законы в сфере административно-территориального устройства Ленинградской области». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Вести", №112, 23 июня 2010 г. (Legislative Assembly of Leningrad Oblast. Oblast Law #32-oz of June 15, 2010 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Leningrad Oblast and on the Procedures for Its Change, as amended by the Oblast Law #43-oz of June 27, 2013 On Merging the Village of Bolshaya Zagvozdka into the Town of Gatchina and on Amending Various Oblast Laws on the Subject of the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Leningrad Oblast. Effective as of the day of the official publication.).
  • Template:RussiaAdmMunRef/len/munlist/vyborgsky

External links

  • History and attractions of Vyborg

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