Most interesting wonders of Finland
Below are listed the most amazing natural and man made landmarks of Finland.
- Björkö (Korsholm) moraine ridges – Kvarken Archipelago, Ostrobothnia. Impressive landscape formed 10,000 – 24,000 years ago by De Geere moraines formed by the melting of continental ice sheet. Area is experiencing one of the quickest uplifts in the world, 8 – 10 mm per year.
- Julma Ölkky canyon lake – Northern Osthrobotnia. Impressive, narrow, more than 3 km long lake surrounded by up to 50 m (100 m?) high granite cliffs. Ancient paintings.
- Karikkoselkä – Central Finland. Lake of approximately round form, located in meteorite impact crater. Diameter of the crater is 1.4 km, depth 150 m, but now the lake is 26 m deep. Formed approximately 240 million years ago, in Triassic period.
- Lostenen – Ostrobothnia. Largest (at least – tallest) erratic boulder (piece of bedrock moved by glacier) in Finland, 16 m high.
- Outokumpu uvarovite – Northern Karelia. Here are found the most beautiful uvarovites – rare green garnets, which reach 2 cm size and often are lucid.
- Paasselkä devils – Southern Savonia. Light phenomena occasionally appearing above Lake Paasselkä and areas near it, mentioned since the 18th century. Usually it is ball of light which sometimes behaves as if has its own will. Paasselkä lake has formed in meteorite crater.
- Pihtsusköngäs – Lapland. The most powerful waterfall in Finland, height 17 m.
- Ylämaa spectrolite – South Karelia. This area has the highest concentration of spectrolite – unique iridescent variety of labradorite feldspar.
Man made landmarks
- Astuvansalmi rock paintings – Southern Savonia. Group of 65 rock paintings at the rocky shores of lake Yövesi. The paintings could be made in 2200 – 3800 BC, they show elks, people, boats and other features.
- Finby stone labyrinth, Nauvo – Finland Proper, Vartiosaari stone labyrinth in Helsinki, Uusimaa, Mustaviiri stone labyrinth (Kymenlaakso) and approximately 100 other stone labyrinths (jatulintarha) are found along the coast of Finland. The oldest may be from Viking time, while the newest – even from the 19th century.
- Lampuvuori cliff painting on Valkeisaari – Saimaa Lake, South Karelia. Faint paintings on a cliff of this island show boat with elk-head sculpture as a prow and four figures in this boat and another undecipherable painting. Below these drawings have been found pottery shards, bones. This painting could be made 3600 BC. Cliff itself resembles a giant sculpture of man – this might be a reason why this site has been special to ancient people.
- Pattijoki Kastelli – Northern Ostrobothnia. Prehistoric structure which was built approximately 2000 BC. It represents a stone circle – 36 x 62 m large, 2 m high rampart with 6 gateways. There are more, although less impressive kastelli in Finland.
- Sammallahdenmäki – Satakunta. Impressive Bronze Age burial site consisting of 36 granite cairns of different styles. Developed in 1,500 – 500 BC.
- Shrine of Ukonsaari (Äijih) – Lapland. Ancient sacred site of Saami people with Ukonkivi – sacrifice stone. Possibly used by Saami until the 19th century. Contains also sacrifice cave on western side – a fragment of silver jewelry was found here.
- Värikallio rock art – Kainuu. Oldest rock paintings in Northern Finland, drawn sometimes around 1500 – 2500 BC. Among other shows also humans with triangular heads.
- Wolf Cave of Vargberget (Susiluola) – Ostrobothnia. Large cavern in granite rocks, unique in Northern Europe as it shows that people lived here, in this cave before the last Ice Age, 120,000 years ago.
- Helsinki Cathedral – Helsinki, Uusimaa. Imposing domed building in Neoclassical style, built in 1830 – 1852. One of symbols of Helsinki.
- Kerimäki Church – Southern Savonia. Considered to be the largest wooden church in the world, built in 1844 – 1847, 37 m high, suited for 3,000 people.
- Petäjävesi old church – Central Finland. Unique wooden church built in 1763 – 1765, clock tower in 1821. This is very late example of Renaissance style with some influence of Gothic style.
- Temppeliaukio Kirkko – Helsinki, Uusimaa. Rock cut church, made in 1969. Topped by unusual dome made of copper wire.
- Turku Cathedral – Turku, Finland Proper. National shrine of Finland, one of historically most important buildings in Finland. Consecrated in 1300, belongs to the brick Gothic style characteristic for Northern Europe of this time.
Fortresses and castles
- Olavinlinna – Savonlinna, Southern Savonia. Impressive medieval castle from the 15th century, the northernmost medieval castle of the world still in use. Located on small granite island.
- Suomenlinna (Sveaborg) – Helsinki, Uusimaa. Enormous fortress complex, built on six islands. Construction started in 1748 by Swedes, further fortified by Russians in the 19th century and early 20th century. Planning of star fort here has been adjusted to the location – rocky islands.
- Turku Castle – Turku, Finland Proper. Largest surviving medieval castle in Finland and oldest building in Finland still in use. Construction started in 1280 by Swedes, mainly built in the 16th century.
Other monuments of architecture
- Bengtskär – Finland Proper. 52 metres high lighthouse which was built in 1906, very impressive addition to the rocky landscape of this southernmost inhabited place in Finland.
- Cliff carvings of Gaddtarmen (Hauensuoli) – Uusimaa. More than 600 carvings left in the granite cliffs of small island, the oldest from the 15th century AD. Many carvings contain coats of arms of local noble families. Carvings represent a kind of "guestbook" left by sailors.
- Helsinki Central railway station – Helsinki, Uusimaa. Beautiful National Romanticism structure which was designed by Eliel Saarinen, built in 1909 – 1919.
- Old Porvoo – Eastern Uusimaa. Second oldest town in Finland. Town has retained medieval street network and numerous old wooden buildings, including a group of unique storage houses.
- Old Rauma (Vanha Rauma) – Satakunta. Unique, well preserved complex of the 19th century historical wooden architecture complete with historical streets, typical for Northern Europe.
- Paimio Sanatorium (Paimio Hospital) – Finland Proper. Great example of modernist architecture, built in 1929 – 1932, designed by Alvar Aalto. Also the interior and furniture was designed in harmony with the building.
- Päijänne Water Tunnel – Southern Finland. World’s second longest continuous rock tunnel after Delaware Aqueduct in United States. 120 kilometers long, runs 30 – 100 m under the surface. Tunnel is large enough for truck to go through. Provides fresh water to large cities of Southern Finland. Built in 1972 – 1982.
- Verla Groundwood and Board Mill – Kymenlaakso. Well preserved factory settlement from the 19th century, formed around paper mill working on water power. It was founded in 1872, operated until 1964. Preserved technological equipment.
Described wonders of Finland
Landscape and art of this northern land is somewhat restrained, but nevertheless Finland offers diverse and interesting landmarks. The most exciting among them are archaeological and architecture monuments.
Featured: Paasselkä devils
There was a time when locals living around Lake Paasselkä (earlier – Paasivesi) did not turn much attention to the lights hovering above this large lake. Paasselkä Devil was just a play of spirits, who should care about them?
Nowadays, when people have no logical explanation to existence of spirits and ghosts, this light phenomena is very intriguing. It is observed rather often nowadays as well.
Whether it’s kayaking in the serene Lakeland, enjoying a cruise on the Baltic, or taking in the splendor of the Northern Lights in Lapland – Insight Guide Finland helps you get the best out of this outdoor paradise.
In this compact guide, Rick Steves covers the essential spots of each city, including the Hermitage, the Church of the Spilled Blood, Linnanmäki (a classic amusement park), and Toompea Castle. Take a day trip to the Peterhof, stroll through Kaivopuisto Park, or visit the Kumu Art Museum. You’ll get Rick’s firsthand advice on the best sights, eating, sleeping, and nightlife, and the maps and self-guided tours will ensure you make the most of your experience.