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Olonets

Olonets is a town and the administrative center of Olonetsky District of the Republic of Karelia, Russia, located on the Olonka River to the east from Lake Ladoga. Population:HistoryOlonets is the oldest documented settlement in Karelia, mentioned by Novgorodian sources as early as 1137. Its history is obscure until 1649, when a fortress was built there to protect the Grand Duchy of Moscow against the Swedes. The same year it was granted town privileges. Until the Great Northern War, Olonets developed as a principal market for Russian trade with Sweden. To the south from the town, there sprawled a belt of fortified abbeys, of which the Alexander-Svirsky Monastery was the most important.In the 18th century, Olonets' importance shifted from trade to ironworking industries. In 1773, it was made the seat of Olonets Governorate. Eleven years later, however, the seat was moved to Petrozavodsk and Olonets started to decline.Modern Olonets is classified as a historical town of the Republic of Karelia and is the only town in the republic where Karelians are in majority (over 60% as of 2004).
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