Belyana: Russia’s Giant Wooden Boats

The Belyana were some of the largest wooden ships ever built. Yet, they were only meant for a single journey.

They were built to transport huge quantities of timber along the Volga and Kama. Instead of just floating the logs down the rivers, they were fashioned into enormous ships and these large vessels were rowed or floated downriver. At their destination, the vessel was disassembled and the wood sold. Between the 16th and the 19th centuries, hundreds of belyanas were built every year and floated down the rivers.

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