FACTFILE: An island in the middle of the Gulf of Finland
Suursaari ( Gogland in Russian) lies in the middle of the Gulf of Finland at its widest point.
The island is 11 kilometres long, and it has a surface area of 21 square kilometres.
Finland lost the island to the Soviet Union already in the Winter War, but took it back in 1942.
When the Continuation War ended in 1944 the island was ceded to the Soviet Union, which turned it into a fortified military base.
Before the wars, the population of the island concentrated on two villages on the eastern shore - Suurkylä and Kiiskinkylä. In 1939 there were a total of 793 inhabitants. They fled the war, mainly to Kotka.
Nature on the island is varied. There are plenty of coniferous trees, and between the rocks, there are swamps, meadows, and four lakes. Along the slopes of the hills, birch and other leafy trees can be found.
The highest elevation on the island is Lountakorkia, which reaches to an altitude of 176 metres. Haukkavuori is 142 metres above sea level. Mäkiinpällys is 126 metres high, and Pohjoiskorkia is 106 metres high.
Helsingin Sanomat / First published in print 22.5.2006
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