Neva River

Neva River

[nee-vuh; Russ. nyi-vah]
The Neva (Нева́) is a river in northwestern Russia flowing from Lake Ladoga through the western part of Leningrad Oblast (historical region of Ingria) and the city of Saint Petersburg to the Gulf of Finland. Despite its modest length, it is the third largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge (after the Volga and the Danube).


The length of the Neva is 74 km. 28 km of these are within the city boundaries of Saint Petersburg, while the rest are within Leningrad Oblast. It flows southwest from Lake Ladoga, reaches its southernmost point near its confluence with the Tosna River, and turns northwest into the Gulf of Finland. Average width is 400—600 m, maximum width: 1200 m. Average depth is 8-11 m, maximum depth: 24 m (it is in the middle part of the stream, not too far from Liteyny Bridge ). The Neva basin includes Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega, the two largest lakes in Europe, and spans a large area of Northwestern Russia and southern Finland.

Neva delta

The islands in the Neva delta formed by both natural armlets and artificial canals are occupied by the historical part of Saint Petersburg. The largest armlets are

The most significant canals and small rivers are

Among the notable islands are


The Neva has 26 tributaries. The major ones are:

Cities and towns along the Neva

Geological history

Neva River is a young river which originated between 4,000 and 2,000 BP, as the Lake Ladoga had transgressed and broken through the threshold at Porogi in the lower reaches of the River Izhora, which was a tributary of the Gulf of Finland flowing through the lower portions of the present-day Neva valley. According to some newer data, it happened at 3,100 radiocarbon years BP (3,410-3,250 calendar years BP).


In the Middle Ages the wide and navigable river had great importance as a link between the Baltics and the Volga portages leading to the Orient. The confluence of the Neva and Izhora was the site of the famous, although badly documented Battle of the Neva (1240) between the Swedes and the Russians. Alexander Yaroslavich, Prince of Novgorod, won this battle, and took his title Nevsky (meaning "Of the Neva") from this event.

During the 16th century the mouth of the Neva was the site of the Swedish fortress Nyen, and the inlet to the Ladoga of the Russian fortress Oreshek, later renamed Shlisselburg. The Nyen fortress was destroyed by Peter the Great, after that he founded the Peter and Paul Fortress in 1703. Standing on the Hare Island, the fortress is considered the first structure of present-day Saint Petersburg. It was also Peter who ordered construction of the Ladoga Canal linking the Neva with the Volkhov and the Svir Rivers several miles south of Lake Ladoga.


The Neva is the most northwestern part of the Volga-Baltic Waterway, the connection between the Volga River and the Baltic Sea. This waterway is navigable for even the largest inland vessels, and it is an important part of the inland shipping connection between Saint Petersburg and Moscow. Many passenger vessels share this waterway with large transport ships.

During Mid-Winter, the river becomes unnavigable due to freezing over.

Historical references

See also


External links

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