Verman lake fortifications

[After some deliberation I’ve removed maps for the fear that their publication may encourage treasure/souvenir hunters.]

Vasily Ivanovich has kindly shared with me this 1943 1:100000 map showing German fortifications in the River Verman area, where the front along the Verman river hadn’t moved from September 1941 to September 1944. German fortifications are indicated as black circles on the second map. They are a bit west from the river because they probably represent the second layer of defence. Pink line is the modern road to Alakurtti. I’m putting this on the list of places to explore once snow melts in the woods and it dries up a bit.

This is what was left there as of 2009:

verman-fortification-1  verman-fortification-2  verman-fortification-3

(click to expand)

No special permission is needed for foreign travellers to go there.

Concrete rings of Liinakhamari, near Pechenga

liinakhamari_circlesThese were built by the Germans as support for huge guns. The popular Russian version about landing for flying saucers powered by anti-gravity engines constructed with the help of Saami shamans may be more entertaining though. has recently published several photos of these things.

The area is classed as “restricted”, which means you have to stay on the road, or get a permit well in advance, or take your chances. Whatever info I notice on the specifics of foreigner travel in the Murmansk region it gets dumped in the Attention Foreign Travellers section.


A series of vivid photos of the bunkers and of Medvezhyegorsk in general >>

Info on cemeteries, which are numerous in the region, is coming up. So is the story of my trip through west Karelia in 2011, which was the closest the old materialist me has ever come to seeing ghosts.

Medvezhyegorsk is spelled “Medweshjegorsk” on German maps. For Karelians and Finns Medvezh’yegorsk is Karhumägi, which probably is its original name.