Sortavala (English)
Сортавала (Russian)
Sortavala (Karelian)
-  Town[1]  -

Location of the Republic of Karelia in Russia
Location of Sortavala in the Republic of Karelia
Coordinates: 61°42′N 30°40′E / 61.700°N 30.667°E / 61.700; 30.667Coordinates: 61°42′N 30°40′E / 61.700°N 30.667°E / 61.700; 30.667
Coat of arms
Administrative status (as of June 2008)
Country Russia
Federal subject Republic of Karelia[1]
Administratively subordinated to town of republic significance of Sortavala[1]
Administrative center of town of republic significance of Sortavala[1]
Municipal status (as of November 2011)
Municipal district Sortavalsky Municipal District[2]
Urban settlement Sortavalskoye Urban Settlement[2]
Administrative center of Sortavalsky Municipal District,[2] Sortavalskoye Urban Settlement
Population (2010 Census) 19,235 inhabitants[3]
Time zone MSK (UTC+03:00)[4]
First mentioned 1582
Official website
Sortavala on Wikimedia Commons

Sortavala (till 1918 Serdobol; Russian: Со́ртавала; Finnish and Karelian: Sortavala; Swedish: Sordavala) is a town in the Republic of Karelia, Russia, located at the northern tip of Lake Ladoga. Population: 19,235(2010 Census);[3] 21,131(2002 Census);[5] 22,579(1989 Census).[6]


The district of Sortavala was first recorded in Swedish documents dating to 1468. Russian documents first mention it as Serdovol or Serdobol in 1500. It was ceded to Sweden after the Ingrian War.

With the 1721 Treaty of Nystad, the settlement was joined to Russia along with the rest of Old Finland and was given the Russian name Serdobol. It became known for its marble and granite quarries which provided materials necessary for construction of imperial palaces in St. Petersburg and its neighborhood. In 1812, along with the rest of Viipuri Province, it was joined to the newly formed Grand Duchy of Finland.

In 1917, the town remained a part of independent Finland. It suffered extensively from mass Soviet bombardment during the Winter War,[7] and through the Moscow Peace Treaty Finland was forced to cede the town to the Soviet Union. All of the population of the town was evacuated for the first time. Like the rest of Finnish Karelia, Sortavala was retaken by Finland during 1941–1944 (the period of the Continuation War) and most evacuees returned to rebuild their homes. However, after the armistice of 1944, the Finns were evacuated again and the town was ceded back empty of population. After the war, the town was resettled by the Slavic population.

Until 1940, the Ladoga shore southwest of Sortavala had been one of the very few relatively densely populated areas north of the Karelian Isthmus populated by Karelians.

Administrative and municipal status

Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is, together with two urban-type settlements and forty-seven rural localities, incorporated as the town of republic significance of Sortavala—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts.[1] As a municipal division, the town of republic significance of Sortavala is incorporated as Sortavalsky Municipal District; the town of Sortavala and ten rural localities are incorporated within it as Sortavalskoye Urban Settlement.[2] The remaining urban-type settlements and rural localities are incorporated within the municipal district into two urban settlements and two rural settlements.[8]


Sortavala is a railway station on the Khiytola-Matkaselkä railway.


Urban development enterprise - Karelian Industrial Complex.

Twin towns and sister cities



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Law #871-ZRK
  2. 1 2 3 4 Law #825-ZRK
  3. 1 2 Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
  4. Правительство Российской Федерации. Федеральный закон №107-ФЗ от 3 июня 2011 г. «Об исчислении времени», в ред. Федерального закона №271-ФЗ от 03 июля 2016 г. «О внесении изменений в Федеральный закон "Об исчислении времени"». Вступил в силу по истечении шестидесяти дней после дня официального опубликования (6 августа 2011 г.). Опубликован: "Российская газета", №120, 6 июня 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Federal Law #107-FZ of June 31, 2011 On Calculating Time, as amended by the Federal Law #271-FZ of July 03, 2016 On Amending Federal Law "On Calculating Time". Effective as of after sixty days following the day of the official publication.).
  5. Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, Its Federal Districts, Federal Subjects, Districts, Urban Localities, Rural Localities—Administrative Centers, and Rural Localities with Population of Over 3,000] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian). Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  6. Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров" [All Union Population Census of 1989: Present Population of Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous Oblasts and Okrugs, Krais, Oblasts, Districts, Urban Settlements, and Villages Serving as District Administrative Centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года [All-Union Population Census of 1989] (in Russian). Институт демографии Национального исследовательского университета: Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics]. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
  7. The Soviet bombing of Sortavala in pictures
  8. Law #813-ZRK


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