01 December 2016

Schlangendorf, Schwedengebiet

Schlangendorf plat map
Heimatbuch der Deutschen aus Russland 1961 (Homeland Book of the Germans from Russia)
Map courtesy of Black Sea German Research plat map collection

Schlangendorf was one of the Mother colonies in the Schwedengebiet (Swedish territory), on the north bank of the Dnieper River.

Although founded in 1804, the village was not fully occupied by German settlers until 1806. The 19 families from Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia who settled the village lost all their possessions along the way in fire at an inn near Zhytomyr. Because there were no houses ready by the time they arrived, they stayed in Schwedendorf until the end of 1805.

The layout of the houses were all along one main street rather than two as was customary, which displeased   Privy Councilor Shilkov.  "Euer Dorf habt ihr gebaut wei ein schlange alles nebeneinander," he said. "You have built your village like a serpent," and so he named the village Schlangendorf — Snake Village.


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