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Ladoga Lake is the largest in Europe, twice as large as Onega. It is 18,000 square kilometers in area, with a maximum length of 219 km, an average width of 83 km and an average depth of 50 m. Its boundless space looks like a sea, as no shore is visible from its open part. The depression of the lake was produced by the action of glaciers, which is why seals still live there. Many rivers and streams empty into Ladoga while only the Neva issues from it. Its southeastern shores are low and regular, with no islands nearby. The northwestern part that we are bound for has numerous islands fringing the shores, which are high, craggy and broken by deep fjord-like inlets. Islands mirror in their shape the line of the shores and form reefs. They are strikingly beautiful with their high sheer granite rocks sharply rising above the water. Coniferous trees grow on them, stretching out their branches to the dim sun of the north. Many quarries have been active on the northern shores. Granite obtained there was used for St. Petersburg's construction. When Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) was under siege by the Germans (1941−1944), Ladoga Lake was the lifeline connecting it with the rest of the country. Supplies and military equipment were brought to the city and the sick were evacuated from it across the water and ice.