, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 107–113 | Cite as

Ingria: The broken landbridge between Estonia and Finland

  • Kurs Ott 


Ingria, or Ingermanland, is the historical province between Estonia and Finland, in the vicinity of the present St. Petersburg. Ingria is the ancient homeland of the Baltic Finns — the Votians, Ingrians and Ingrian Finns. The oldest inhabitants of Ingria were the Votians and Ingrians who were christianized by the orthodex popes. By language and culture, the Votians are close to the Estonians; and the Ingrians to the Karelians and the easternmost Finnish people. In the 17th century in Ingria, one part of the Votians and the Ingrians together with the Finnish-speaking ethnic groups who had immigrated from East Finland, began to evolve into a group of Finns who professed the Lutheran faith and came to call themselves Ingrian Finns. They succeeded in surviving as a viable ethnic group until the end of the 1920s. After that the Soviet Union pursued genocidal policy towards them. Before and after World War II the indigenous people of Ingria were deported to different parts of the Soviet Union. Now the Union of Ingrian Finns is working for the right of the Ingrian Finns to return to their homes in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast (Region). Nowadays the remaining Ingrian Finns live in different parts of the world. In 1989 16,622 Finns were recorded as living in Estonia, where they are organized into 12 societies.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurs Ott 
    • 1
  1. 1.Geograafia InstituutTartu ÜlikoolTARTUEesti/Estonia

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