Learn more about Ingria
- For the Italian municipality, see Ingria, Italy.
Historically Ingria (Finnish: Inkeri, Russian: Ижора or Ингерманландия, Swedish: Ingermanland) comprises the area along the basin of the river Neva, between the Gulf of Finland, the Narva River, Lake Peipsi in the south-west, and Lake Ladoga in the north-east. The traditional border with Karelia followed the Sestra River in North-West.
Ingria never formed a state; the Ingrians can hardly be said to have been a nation, although their "nationality" was recognized in the Soviet Union, and as an ethnic group the Ingrians died out together with their language. But many people still recognize their Ingrian heritage.
The historic Ingria covers approximately the same area as the raions of Kingisepp, Lomonosov, Volosovo, Gatchina, Tosno, Kirovsk and Vsevolozhsk in the Leningrad Oblast. It also contained the historic towns of Schlisselburg, Yamburg and Ivangorod and after 1703 Saint Petersburg, the new Russian capital.
In the Viking–late Iron Age, from the 750s and on, Ladoga was a bridgehead on the Varangian trade route to Eastern Europe. A Varangian aristocracy developed, that would ultimately rule over Novgorod and Kievan Rus'. In the 860s, the warring Finnic and Slavic tribes rebelled under Vadim the Bold, but later asked the Varangians under Rurik to return and to put an end to the recurring conflicts between them.
The ancient Novgorodian land of Vod was called Ingermanland by the Swedes, Latinized to "Ingria". Folk etymology traces its name to Ingegerd Olofsdotter, the daughter of the Swedish king Olof Skötkonung (995–1022). Upon her marriage to Yaroslav I the Wise in 1019, she was given the lands around Ladoga as a marriage gift. They were administered by Swedish jarls, such as Ragnvald Ulfsson under the sovereignty of the Novgorod Republic.
In the 12th century, Western Ingria was absorbed by the Republic. There followed centuries of frequent wars, chiefly between Russians and Swedes, but often involving Danes and Teutonic Knights as well. The latter established a stronghold in the town of Narva, followed by the Russian castle Ivangorod on the opposite side of Narva River in 1492.
 Swedish Ingria
- Main article: Swedish Ingria
Ingria became a Swedish dominion in the 1580s, was returned to Russia by the Treaty of Teusina (1595), and after the Ingrian War again ceded to Sweden in the Treaty of Stolbova (1617). Sweden's interest in the territory was strategic: as a buffer zone against Russian attacks on the Karelian Isthmus and present-day Finland; and Russian trade had to pass through Swedish territory. In addition, Ingria became the destination for Swedish deportees. The townships of Ivangorod, Jama (now Kingisepp), Caporie (now Koporye) and Nöteborg (now Shlisselburg) became centres of the four Ingrian counties (slottslän).
Ingria remained sparsely populated. In 1664 the total population was counted as 15,000. Swedish attempts to introduce Lutheranism were met with repugnance by the majority of the Orthodox peasantry, who were obliged to attend Lutheran services; converts were promised grants and tax reductions, but Lutheran gains were mostly due to voluntary resettlements by Finns from Savonia and Finnish Karelia. Ingermanland was enfeoffed to noble military and state officials, who brought their own Lutheran servants and workmen.
 Russian Ingria
In the early 1700s the area was reconquered by Russia in the Great Northern War after having been in Swedish possession for about 100 years. Near the place of the Swedish town Nyen, close to the Neva river's estuary at the Gulf of Finland, the new Russian capital Saint Petersburg was founded in 1703.
Peter the Great raised Ingria to the status of duchy with Prince Menshikov as its first (and last) duke. Later, in 1710, it was designated the Province of Saint Petersburg. After the Bolshevik revolution in Russia a so-called Republic of North Ingria (Pohjois Inkeri) declared its independence from Russia with the support of Finland and with the aim to be incorporated into Finland. It ruled parts of Ingria from 1919 until 1920. With the Peace Treaty of Tartu it was re-integrated into Russia. In 1927, Ingria was renamed Leningrad Province, and although in 1991 the city of Leningrad changed its name back to Saint Petersburg, the region is still called Leningrad oblast.
The orthodox Izhorians, along with the Votes, are the indigenous people of historical Ingria (Inkeri in Finnish). However, after the Swedish conquest the Ingrian Finns, descendants of 17th century Lutheran emigrants from present-day Finland became the majority among the "Finnish" population.
At its height in the 1920s, the Finnish population of Ingria was about 160,000, with 300 Finnish language schools and 10 Finnish language newspapers. 
This population all but disappeared from Ingria during the Soviet period. 63,000 fled to Finland during World War II, and were required back by Stalin after the war. Most were executed as unreliables  or became victims of Soviet population transfers; and the remainder, including some post-Stalin returnees, were in any case outnumbered by a numerous Russian immigration. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, surviving Ingrian Finns and their Russified descendants have been allowed to emigrate to Finland. This has led to the birth of a sizable Russophone minority in Finland.