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Norka, Russia was founded on August 15, 1767 by colonists who primarily originated from the Hessen area of present day Germany. The colony was located on the unsettled Russian steppe near the west bank of the Volga River, about 65 kilometers southwest of the city of Saratov. Norka grew from a fledgling settlement to become the largest and one of the most prosperous German colonies in the Volga region.

Windos of a home in Norka, Russia

Window of home in Norka. Photograph courtesy of Steve Schreiber (2006).

These pioneers shared a rich life based in German culture and traditions that were influenced by their Russian neighbors and the environment.

Today, those born in Norka and their descendants have migrated to many parts of the world including Canada, the United States, Germany, Argentina and Brazil. Many remain in European Russia, Kazakhstan and Siberia.

Explore this site to learn more about the people and history of Norka, a German colony in Russia.