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Ingermanland and the Lutheran congregations in the St. Petersburg Governorate around 1900.
Flag of Ingermanland

Ingermanland ( Swedish and German , Finnish Inkeri , Russian Ижора or Ингерманландия , Estonian Ingeri or Ingerimaa , Latin Ingria ) is a historical province in northwestern Russia around today's Saint Petersburg . It is bounded in the west by the Narva River and in the southwest by Lake Peipus . The historical border with Karelia was formed by the Sestra (Finnish Rajajoki , “border river”; Swedish Systerbäck , “sister brook ”).


The Lutheran Finns in Ingermanland are called "Ingermanlanders" or "Ingermanland fins ". Since they are sometimes also called "Ingrier", there is always confusion with the Ischoren , who also live in the region , whose alternative name is also "Ingrier". In Finnish the Ischoren are called inkerikot , the Ingermanlandfinnen inkeriläiset or inkerinsuomalaiset . Two other Finno-Ugric ethnic groups in the region are the Woten and Wepsen . Ischoren, Woten and Wepsen are mostly of the Orthodox faith. The Ischoric and Wotic languages are threatened with extinction. The Wepsi language is still spoken by around 1,600 people.

The original population of Ingermanland are the Voten and the Ischoren, who immigrated from Karelia in the 10th century. Swedes and Finns also settled in the 17th century. Up until the 1930s, the Ingrian Finns made up the majority of the population in many areas of Ingermanland. In 1917 there were around 140,000. Soon after Saint Petersburg was founded, the Russians made up the majority of the population in this swampy and previously sparsely populated area.


The land was the dowry of the Swedish king's daughter Ingegärd, who married Yaroslav the Wise , ruler of Novgorod , in 1019 . Legend has it that the country was named after her. Since then it has represented a part of Novgorod and later Russia. In 1703 Peter I began building the Peter and Paul Fortress in the swampy Neva delta , downstream of the old Swedish fortification of Nyenschanz . From it evolved Saint Petersburg , the new capital of the Russian Empire . In the time before that, the most important castles (and thus also settlements) were the fortresses Schluesselburg (Swedish Nöteborg at the exit of Lake Ladoga ) and Koporje . As a result of the Ingermanland War it belonged to Sweden from 1617 to 1721 as the Swedish-Ingermanland province . After the end of the Great Northern War in 1721, Ingermanland again fell to Russia with the Peace of Nystad .

After the October Revolution of 1917 there was a short-lived independence movement that operated from Finland and was even able to conquer part of North Germanland in 1919–1920 . The provisional government had its own stamps printed, which are now very popular among collectors.

With the Peace of Dorpat in 1920, the area fell to Soviet Russia and the later Soviet Union .

During the Second World War , most of the Ingrians , Woten and Finns fled to Finland, but had to return at Stalin's orders . They were then deported to Siberia . The National Socialist leadership planned to colonize Ingermanland. According to the National Socialist Germanization policy, the General Plan Ost provided for Germans to be settled in Ingermanland in so-called "Reichsmarken" (50% colonized) and "settlement bases" (25% colonized). Large parts of the population should be resettled.

Today the culture and language of the Woten and Ischoren are on the verge of extinction.


The Ingrianland Finns were or are mostly Evangelical Lutheran . The Ingermanland Lutheran Church was part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Russian Empire (ELK). Until the late 19th century, German was the language of the leadership of the Ingermanland Lutheran Church. The bishopric was at the Marienkirche in Saint Petersburg . In 1937 Stalin had the Protestant churches in Ingermanland closed. Today the Ingermanland Lutheran Church belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia (ELKRAS).

The Russian-speaking inhabitants mostly belong to the Russian Orthodox Church .


  • A. Soom: Den Ingermanländska stietena och freden i Stolbova 1617. In: Svio-Estonica. Årsbok utgiven av Svensk-Estniska Samfundet vid Tartu Universitet. Akadeemilise Rootsi-Eesti Seltsi aastaraamat. Tartu 1936, pp. 34-45.
  • A. Soom: Ivangorod as an independent city 1617–1649. In: Meeting reports of the Estonian Scholarly Society (= Õpetatud Eesti Seltsi aastaraamat), 1935. Tartu 1937, pp. 215–315.
  • Antti Karppinen: Ingermanland - a historical region at the intersection of the West and Orthodoxy . In: Florian Anton, Leonid Luks (eds.): Germany, Russia and the Baltic States: Contributions to a history of changeful relationships. Festschrift for the 85th birthday of Peter Krupnikow ( publications of the Central Institute for Central and Eastern European Studies  7). Böhlau Verlag, Cologne / Weimar 2005, ISBN 3412126055 , pp. 55–66.
  • Eino Karhu: Nation building in Finland and Ingermanland. Essay and autobiography. ( Studies on the history of Eastern and Eastern Central Europe  5) Schäfer, Herne 2007, ISBN 978-3-933337-49-8 .
  • А.Л. Рогачевский: Юридические памятники Ингерманландии XVII - начала XVIII в. в Историческом архиве Эстонии в Тарту [Ingermanland's legal monuments from the 17th to the beginning of the 18th century in the Estonian Historical Archives in Dorpat]. In: Правовая система общества: проблемы теории и практики: Труды международной научио-пракер. Ческной. [Санкт-Петербург, 12 ноября 2010 г.] / Сост. С.В.Волкова, Н.И.Малышева. СПб .: Издат. Дом С.-Петерб. гос. ун-та, 2011, ISBN 978-5-288-05252-1 , pp. 438-447.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Based on: Erkki Räikkönen: Heimokirja. Otava, Helsinki 1924.
  2. ^ Ott course: Ingria. The broken landbridge between Estonia and Finland. In: GeoJournal. Vol. 33, No. 1, 1994, ISSN  0343-2521 , pp. 107-113, doi : 10.1007 / BF00810142 .
  3. Wolfgang Michalka (Ed.): The Second World War. Analyzes, basic features, research results. Published on behalf of the Military History Research Office. License issue. Seehamer, Weyarn 1997, ISBN 3-932131-38-X .
  4. Olga Kurilo: Change of identity of Lutheranism in Russia in the field of tension between culture and nationality . In: Peter Maser, Christian-Erdmann Schott (Ed.): Contributions to East German Church History , Vol. 8: Berlin - Riga - Vilnius - Breslau: Contributions from four international conferences . Association for East German Church History, Münster 2007, ISBN 978-3-9808538-3-5 , pp. 69–86, here p. 81.
  5. René Wyberg: Luther, the main fin . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of October 9, 2017, p. 12.