Lake Seliger

The Seliger (Russian озеро Селигер / Ozero Seliger ) is the largest lake in the Valdai Hills.


The largest part of the lake belongs to the Tver Oblast in the northwestern part of the Central Federal Region. The extreme northern part of Novgorod Oblast in North West Russia. It lies at an altitude of 205 m, contains 212 square kilometers and has about 160 islands. The largest island is chat shin, another major islands are Gorodomlja and Stolobny. The lake reached an average water depth of 5.8 m.

The Seliger is situated in a wooded and hilly landscape, the Valdai Hills, in which the three major rivers Dnieper, Western Dvina and Volga spring. Due to its rich flora and fauna of the lake was declared a nature reserve. The only town on the shore of the lake is Ostashkov.

The lake is a popular tourist destination and summer resort. One attraction is the Nilow monastery on the island Stolobny.


In the period between 1939 and 1941, the Nilow monastery was used by the Russian secret service NKVD as a POW camp. Most of the predominantly Polish inmates were assassinated in 1940 in Tver, which is known as part of the Katyn massacre, and buried in Mednoe.

On the island Gorodomlja a biological research station was set up in 1928 in which, inter alia, research has been done on the foot-and-mouth disease. From 1946, here the Department 1 of the research and development center for space rockets NII -88 was set up, headed by Sergei Korolev. From 1946 to 1955 German rocket engineers and also their families were settled on the island. The most significant was Helmut Gröttrup, previously assistant of Wernher von Braun. For this reason, the island gained some notoriety in the history of space travel. To this day, the island is located on it with the settlement Solnetschny one of the closed- administrative-territorial formations ( SATO ) of Russia.

Since 2005, takes place annually on the shores of the lake Seliger youth meeting place, which was initially hosted by the pro-government youth organization Nashi and has been organized since 2010 by the State Agency for Youth Affairs Rosmolodjosch.