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6 Belyanas: Forgotten River Giants

Belyanas: Forgotten River Giants

Posted on November 21, 2014 by team


Today few people know what the word “Belyana” means, but just a hundred years ago giant ships called “Belyanas” were sailing along the Volga and Vetluga rivers and probably were the most unique river craft in the world.

Even today they would seem huge. Some of them were up to 120 m long, and they could reach six meters in height.

The carrying capacity of “Belyanas” corresponded with their dimensions, which could reach 4000-6000 pounds for small “Belyanas” and 32 000 pounds for big ones! It is quite comparable with the size of an oceangoing ship, though not a huge one.

People were cutting timber and rafting it down the rivers without any mechanization. Workers were living in the forests, staying away from home for 3-4 months at a time, they had poor nutrition, and spent their nights in little wooden houses with poor insulation.

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6 Responses to “Belyanas: Forgotten River Giants”

  1. Richard S. says:

    Looks like Noah’s ark

  2. Stary Wylk says:

    By “pounds”, do you mean “tons”?

  3. john says:

    Awesome ,

  4. Erik says:

    What an amazing look into the Russian past .
    Thank you

  5. Mister Twister says:

    And again, the workers are treated like crap.

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