Welcome to the Norka, Russia website. The purpose of this website is to document and preserve the heritage, history, traditions, and accomplishments of the German colonists who settled in Norka, as well as their descendants.
Norka, Russia, was founded on August 15, 1767, by colonists who predominantly originated from the area now comprised of the current state and cultural region of Hessen, Germany. These colonists were drawn to Russia by the Manifesto of Catherine II, who wished to develop lands on the southeastern frontier of the Russian empire. The colony of Norka was located on the unsettled Steppe, not far from the west bank of the Volga River, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southwest of the frontier town of Saratov. Norka grew from a fledgling settlement to one of the Volga region's largest and most prosperous German colonies.
These pioneers shared a rich life based on German culture and traditions 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 descendants remain in Kazakhstan and Siberia, where the entire Volga German population was deported in 1941, bringing an end to the colony of Norka.
Explore this site to learn more about the people and history of Norka, a German colony in Russia.