- The spirit of history
- Cultural center of the city
- City life
- Water part of the city
- Lappeenranta's gastronomic taste
- Health for
- Summer events
Lappeenranta is a city in Finland with a population of 72,000. Despite its small area and proximity to the Russian border (30 km), the city has its own face, atmosphere, character, history. This city surprises with the harmony of the presence of an old fortress, a port, churches, quiet streets, museums, typical Finnish houses and endless shopping opportunities.
The spirit of history
Lappeenranta has long been a territory of disputes between Sweden and Russia, between the Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox churches. It is not surprising that one of the main attractions of the city is the ancient fortress.
Initially, this place was a fairground, around which a settlement arose. From the promontory, where the fortress is located, there is a vast view of the city, Lake Saimaa, the Saimaa Canal and rich Finnish forests.
The construction of the fortress began in 1721 by the Swedes. However, the Finns themselves call this building the "Suvorov Fort", since the Russians made a significant contribution to its development in the 1750s after Lappeenranta passed into the possession of the Russian Empire. The large-scale construction of the fortress during this period forced the civilian population to move outside the ramparts to where the central streets of the city are today.
After the completion of the fortification of the city, Lappeenranta never became a site of military battles. Most of the buildings that have survived to this day were built during the Russian rule. The oldest Orthodox church in Finland, the Church of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built in 1785.
In 1918, a prisoner of war camp was set up on the territory of the fortress. In 2002, the fortress was restored, brought to its original form. Now on its territory there are a church, museums, cafes, residential buildings, a summer theater, etc.
Cultural center of the city
The Church of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos is the oldest Orthodox church in Finland. The need for its construction was due to the increase in the number of the Orthodox population at the expense of the Russian military and Russian-speaking settlers participating in the construction of the fortress of Lappeenranta. The temple was built of brick and granite on the site of an old wooden church and could accommodate 150 people. At the beginning of the 19th century, the temple became small to the growing parish. In this regard, it was decided to increase the premises of the temple by adding side parts.
The oldest icon of the 18th century, the icon of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos in a robe, has survived to this day in the church. It is located on the right side of the altar. Church utensils date back to the 19th century. In 1870, a new iconostasis was installed in the church, acquired in St. Petersburg. Services are held on Saturdays at 18:00 and on Sundays at 10:00. Visitors to the temple are struck by the interior decoration, silence, respect and love with which the Finns take care of the church.
Since the Museum of South Karelia is also located on the territory of the fortress, its history is related to the time of the work on the military fortification of the city. Once upon a time there were artillery barracks in the museum building. This is evidenced by two ancient guns at the entrance.
The museum buildings were built at the beginning of the 19th century. Here are exhibits dedicated to the cities of South Karelia - Lappeenranta, Vyborg and Priozersk, which were once part of Finland. The model of the old Vyborg with an area of 24 sq.m. is of great interest to the museum visitors. The mock-up details the streets of the city, figures of people, cars, trams, ships - the realities of life in 1939. In addition, the exposition of the museum presents items of clothing, everyday life, old photos, there is a small shop with souvenirs and books.
If you climb the fortress parapet and walk along the fortress border, you can observe a beautiful view of the lake and the parking lot of boats and yachts.
The cavalry museum, created in 1973, will be interesting for boys and parents: here you can see and touch the weapons of the Hakkapiilita warriors, study the smart uniform of the dragoon regiment. The oldest exhibit in the museum is a flintlock from the 1700s.
In the fortress of Lappeenranta, of particular interest is the perfectly preserved wooden two-storey house of the merchant Volkov's family. The interior of the museum, household items and household items are considered standards for describing the daily urban life of the Finns in the period from 1872 to 1983. The museum has its own shop with seasonal products, and a restaurant is located in the premises of the former bakery of the merchant Volkhov. The fortress often hosts holidays and festivals, which the Finns like to arrange.
It is pleasant to walk along the main street of the city Kauppakatu in any weather. The street is full of brightly decorated shop windows, Shopping centers (Galleria and Armada), cafes, as befits the central streets.
The oldest wooden Town Hall, built in 1829, the high bell tower of the Church of the Virgin Mary of the mid-19th century, the Church of the Virgin Mary of the 18th century adorn the central part of the city.
Street art of city streets, which is impossible not to notice, amaze the imagination of the audience. It's funny. Lappeenranta is a city of contrasts and a special atmosphere. To feel this, send on a walk along its streets.
Water part of the city
A cozy quiet port located next to the fortress, all year round and in any weather, pleases with its photogenic landscapes and snow-white yachts and ships that create a festive atmosphere. Lappeenranta is located on the shores of Lake Saimaa, Finland's largest lake. The Saimaa Canal connects the lake with the Gulf of Finland in the Vyborg region and plays an important role in the life of the city and the country. The 43-kilometer canal with many locks appeared during the reign of Emperor Alexander II and immediately became a busy highway for freight and passenger traffic.
You can appreciate the beauty of Finnish forests, lakes and locks on a yacht or boat trip on the lake in summer. The guide will tell you interesting facts about these places.
Winter fishing is a popular activity on the lake. Even if you have no experience, the instructors will tell you the secrets of ice fishing.
Lappeenranta's gastronomic taste
In the fortress, you can visit the cafe in the Mayorshi house and taste delicious pastries in cozy home interiors. This cafe is legendary. Traditional Karelian pies with rice, ham and eggs, flatbreads, pretzels, pies, pastries with sweet sauce, tea with honey, home-made beer - this is the list of treats of this hospitable house.
On the port square of Lappeenranta, at the Vety ja Atomi kiosk, do not forget to taste the local delicacy - the traditional hearty veti and atomi pies with boiled egg or smoked ham. Additionally, if desired, the pies are seasoned with garlic mayonnaise, cucumber salad, ketchup and mustard. The secret of making pies is kept secret.
In the suburb of Lappeenranta - on the shore of the lake in Lemi - you can dine at the unusual restaurant Säräpirtti Kippurasarvi, where they prepare a unique dish - sarya, the recipe of which has existed for over 1000 years. "Särä" - translated from the Finnish language means birch dishes with cracks. A young lamb with potatoes is cooked in it. After a long languor, a ruddy crust and a soft center are formed. Syara is served with freshly baked barley bread with butter, organic wine, homemade kvass, dried fruit jelly.
In Lappeenranta, you will find activities not only for the soul, but also to spend time with benefits for the body. You can recuperate and actively relax in the spa centers of the city. The center's range of services includes, as a rule, procedures for the general restoration of body systems, prophylaxis, massages, aromatherapy, visits to the Finnish sites.
The Cirque Saimaa water park is not large in size, but it will surprise even the sophisticated visitor. Every half hour in the central part of the park, water and light shows begin: singing fountains with multi-colored illumination move to the beat of the music. The show looks mesmerizing and attracts the attention of tourists. Another feature of Cirque Saimaa is a huge jacuzzi bowl installed in a special pavilion. The cost of an adult ticket is 20 euros for 2, 5 hours, a child under 14 years old - 12 euros, a family ticket - 52 euros.
Speaking of water activities, it is necessary to mention the beach in Lappeenranta - Myllysaari, which is located on the banks of the Saimaa in the center of the city. Water slides, beach volleyball courts, playgrounds - everything is on the beach. There is “Flowpark”, where you can try winter swimming in the open air in special suits. An incredibly invigorating treatment! In winter, you can go to the Finnish sauna here.
Everyone knows the love of Finns for bicycles. In July of every year, a bright sporting event is held - the cycling race "Ride of the Savage", in which amateurs and professionals take part. The organizers provide meals, showers and a tour of the city's attractions.
In summer, be sure to visit Lappeenranta's sandy castle on Port Square. There is a Finnish festival between June and September. People dress in colorful medieval clothes and walk along the streets of the city, singing songs. The exhibition of books, where you can buy old and rare editions, should be noted separately.
During the festival, a stormy life begins around the castle - attractions, cafes, sandpit, mini-golf, children's theater. The Lappeenranta sightseeing train with audio guide departs from the sand castle. You can get on and off the train at any stop. The entrance to the park is free.