16 June 2017

On This Day, 16 June 1766

Among the first villages settled on the Wiesenseite (meadow side) of the Volga River was Mariental. The name translates to "Mary's Valley."  There were 20 German villages in Russia with the name Mariental listed in German-Russian Handbook: A Reference Book for Russian German and German Russian History and Culture, and this was the very first founded.

Most sources agree that Mariental, a Roman Catholic colony, was founded on this day, 16 June 1766. Others indicate that may have been settled earlier,  29 June 1764.

Plat map of Mariental as remembered from about 1941.
Map courtesy of American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.
A larger version is also available from Volga Germans Germans from Russia

Location of Mariental on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet
Map of German settlements in the Volga region, AHSGR map #6)

Location of the Volga colony Mariental.
Today it's known as Sovetskoye, Saratov, Russia.  

For more information, visit the following sites: 
Center for Volga German Studies - Mariental
Volga German Institute - Mariental
Volga Germans Germans from Russia - Mariental, Mariental plat map

2017 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Mother colonies along the Volga River. There are many events throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary, and the Germans from 
Russia Settlement Locations project joins in the celebration of this rich Volga German heritage.  

The German immigrants that came to the Volga region were among first colonists to take up Catherine the Great on her manifesto. They came from Hesse, the Rhineland, the Palatinate and Württemberg.  They are also among the most well researched and documented groups of German colonists in Russia. Thus far, the Volga Mother colonies settled between 1764 and 1767 are the only colonies that have precise dates they were settled.  

For more historical and current events related to Germans from Russia, see our calendar page or link to our public Google calendar.

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