Terijoki-Seura ry

Karjalan Liitto
 

TERIJOKI - A PART OF FINLAND UNTIL 1947

When it still formed a part of Finland the town of Terijoki, now Zelenogorsk, was located in the very south-eastern corner of the country, on the Karelian Isthmus facing the Gulf of Finland. Just across the Rajajoki river to the east was the former Soviet Union, now Russia. In 1939, at the start of World War II, Terijoki was about 122 km² in size and its population was approximately 6 700. Before World War II Terijoki was renowned for its magnificent long sandy beaches and its beautifully carved wooden villas. Owing to its favorable climate Terijoki contained numerous spas and during the summer seasons tens of thousands of tourists flocked to the area.

 

Terijoki had a Lutheran, an Orthodox and a Roman Catholic church. It also had 11 primary schools, a secondary school, an open college and a commercial college. Small-scale industry was prominent, as were market gardens, fishing and agriculture. Owing to its strategic location Terijoki also accommodated a garrison and the Headquarters of the Frontier Guards of the Karelian Isthmus.

 

As early as the 16th century Terijoki was mentioned in official documents, but a new era dawned on the area after the Riihimäki - St. Petersburg railway was opened in 1870. The town's location on the coast near St. Petersburg attracted a wealthy and international crowd of summer visitors and towards the end of the 19th century a brief but glorious "villa era" began. The Russian revolution and Finnish Independence in 1917 put an end to this era. The border towards Soviet Union was closed. After Finnish Independence Terijoki again became a popular resort, known as the "Riviera of the North". This time it was Finnish visitors who frequented the beaches.

 

Before the Soviet attack on Finland in 1939 the inhabitants of Terijoki were evacuated to other parts of Finland. When Finnish troops reoccupied Terijoki in 1941 about 150 inhabitants were able to return. Another evacuation ensued before the massive Soviet attack in 1944. Following World War II the inhabitants of Terijoki were mainly resettled in southern Finland. At this point the town received its Russian name, Zelenogorsk, and it was populated by Soviet citizens from other parts of the Union.

 

The Terijoki Trust (Teri-Säätiö) was founded after World War II after the county of Viipuri had been handed over to the Soviet Union according to the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty, and the Finnish town of Terijoki had de facto ceased to exist. The Trust preserves the heritage of Terijoki and also supports the economic and cultural interests of former inhabitants and their families.

 

The Terijoki Club (Terijoki-Seura) acts as a forum for former inhabitants of Terijoki and their families. The Club collects historical and cultural records of Terijoki and aims to preserve its heritage. The Club also records various types of historical material relating to Terijoki.

 


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