Fun things to do in Itä-Suomi

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    Joensuu Art Museum

    by Janni67 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Joensuu Art Museum was founded in 1962 as a result of two significant donations to the town, namely the collections of Olavi Turtiainen and that of Arla Cederberg. Somewhat later the town also received the collection of Onni Okkonen in two lots (1964 and 1972). These three donations form the nucleus of the museum`s collections.

    At Joensuu's Art Museum you'll find Finnish art from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day with collections of Chinese art as well as Greek and Roman antiquities. In addition to the permanent exhibition, the museum arranges ten temporary exhibitions of Finnish or foreign art every year.

    Open Tue-Sun 12 am - 18 pm, Mon closed

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    Koli in Lieksa -the official national scene

    by Janni67 Updated Nov 7, 2003

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    The Koli Hills have been a popular tourist attraction since the turn of the century. Rising 347 metres above the sea level they are the highest hill range in southern Finland. The astonishingly panoramic vistas opening out over the long range of hills and the island-speckled Lake Pielinen have been a source of inspiration for many well-known Finnish artists and are among the most photographed views in Finland. In fact, in 1987 Koli was voted to be the most beautiful spot in Finland.

    The Koli Hills provide excellent tourist services and great opportunities for a variety of captivating outdoor activities. In winter Koli is a popular downhill and cross-country skiing resort. There are two skiing centres and 100 km of ski tracks in the area. In fact, the longest illuminated track in Finland (23 km) is to be found in Koli. You can also join a guided snowshoe tour or set off on an action-packed snowmobile safari. In summer the Koli Hills and the surrounding Koli National Park, established in 1991, are a true hiking heaven. There is a large variety of picturesque trails and nature paths to choose from and guided tours are available as well. The breathtaking scenery can also be admired from a ski lift, which operates both in winter and summer. From Koli harbour there is a ferry connection to Lieksa and a boat connection to Joensuu. Charter cruises and water-bus tours are organized by prior appointment.

    It was raining all the time we climbed up and stayed there, and even then I found the scene so beautiful. I can only hope that you can find the beauty as well through my rainy photograps...

    Koli... wet and beautiful.

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    City of Lieksa

    by Janni67 Written Nov 7, 2003

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    Lieksa is located in the north-eastern part of North Karelia by Lake Pielinen. The fifth biggest lake in Finland divides the town into two parts, Koli trail of mountains and wide wilderness areas.

    The town was founded in the 17th century by Pietari Brahe. Despite the long past of the town, the Lieksa of today is quite a modern town, with about 15000 inhabitants. The most important sources of livelihood are services and industry.

    A traveller can experience a many-sided holiday, for example by spending time in nature or living in a cottage, or meet Karelian culture in the Pielinen Museum and in the art gallery of Eva Ryynänen. There are also activities both in summer and in winter from Lieksa Brass Week to shooting the rapids.

    The picture shows some works of sculptress Eeva Ryynänen. Eva uses wood as her material and has the magic to make it literally blossom. Most of her sculptures depict children, animals, nature and everyday farmhouse chores. The book "Karjalan kukkiva puu" (The blossoming Karelian wood), published in 1977, has brought her international recognition.

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    Ilomantsi municipality

    by Janni67 Updated Nov 7, 2003

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    Ilomantsi is the most eastern municipality of Finland, and the most eastern point of the EU is located there. It even lies further east than St. Petersburg! Because of this location, connections to the Karelian Lake Ladoga have been lively from the 12th century on, and the Orthodox Church has a visible position in Ilomantsi.

    In this community of the "Poetry and Border Road", pure nature and rich history combined with modern services provides an opportunity to get to know a significant part of the Finnish-Karelian tradition.

    Ilomantsi can offer much to see and to experience. National parks and wandering routes offer peace of nature, and the ironworks museum, the House of the Soldier and the Poemsinger's Cottage bring an echo from the past. Other experiences include the Peltohermanni wine farm, the zoological museum, and Pääskynpesä rehabilitation center.

    The nearest airport is Onttola airport in Joensuu. Flight time from Helsinki is about 50 minutes. From Joensuu, a coach takes you to Ilomantsi. Alternatively, there are taxis or var hire. The nearest train station is also in Joensuu, with coach connections to Ilomantsi. The distance to Joensuu is 72 km. Helsinki is about 500 km away.

    Poemsinger's Cottage in Ilomantsi

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    The easternmost point of EU in Ilomantsi

    by Janni67 Written Nov 7, 2003

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    The easternmost point of the European union is an island on the Virmajärvi lake, the village of Hattuvaara, in the municipality of Ilomantsi. At the easternmost point, two boundaries of different age converge: the boundaries of the Moscow and Stolbova agreements. To enter the boundary area, the visitor needs a permit granted by the local border station. Near the pole marking the easternmost point is a kota tent that can be reserver for a small fee that goes towards the cost of the firewood. Reservations either from Ilomantsin Matkailu Ltd, tel. +358 (0)13 881 707 or Taistelijan Talo, tel. +358-(0)13 830 111.

    Ilomantsi Tourist Services Ltd organises quided tours to the easternmost point all year round. At the easternmost point of the European Union you can have a memorable birthday, Christmas party or wilderness wedding. In the summer you can visit the point by car or on foor, in the winter by car, by snowmobile, on snowshoes or by skis.

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    Memorials of WWII in Ilomantsi

    by Janni67 Updated Nov 7, 2003

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    In the North Karelia area there are a lot of monuments on places where battles took place during the WW II. Monuments connected with wars can be found in Ilomantsi municipality in Oinassalmi, Taivallampi, Palovaara, Hattuvaara, Möhkö, Öykköstenvaara and Sikrenvaara. Sikrenvaara also has a Soldier’s path (1,5 km) with 13 information points on the battle of 30.7.1944.

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    Möhkö Ironworks Museum in Ilomantsi

    by Janni67 Written Nov 7, 2003

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    A charming old-time factory milieu in authentic surroundings, where you can get acquainted with the history of iron-making. There's a blacksmith’s workshop, restored canals, a ship café, a museum of lumberjacks’ work and timber floating and a lovers’ footpath (1,2 km). There are also different kinds of events during the summer, like summer theatre and midsummer celebrations.

    Open 1st May - 31st August, from 10-18 every day.

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    Poemsinger's Cottage in Ilomantsi

    by Janni67 Written Nov 7, 2003

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    "Runopirtti", Poemsinger's Cottage which is pictured in the tip above, is a Karelian house in Parpeinvaara with a permanent Kalevala exhibition. In the summer there is Karelian-style programme and music played on the kantele. In the same "courtyard" there are also the Mateli poem singer's museum houses, an orthodox tsasouna chapel, general Raappana’s cottage, a handicrafts cottage as well as the Karelian restaurant Parppeinpirtti.

    Open during summer, in the winter by arrangement.

    Mateli Kuivalattare's cottage

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    Botania gardens in Joensuu

    by Janni67 Written Nov 7, 2003

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    Botania is actually the University botanical gardens. It has nearly 1 000 species of exotic plants, from southern palms to carnivores. Different climatic regions are replicated in the various greenhouses. The open garden consists of eight sections, such as aromatic herbs, poisonous plants and medicinal plants. There are also huge butterflies flying around you, turtles, parrots, including a talking one... :)

    1.4. - 31.8. Mon, Wed-Fri 10-18, Sat-Sun 11-16, closed on Tuesdays
    1.9. - 31.3. Mon, Wed-Fri 10-16, Sat-Sun 11-16, closed on Tuesdays

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    Culture and Tourism Center Carelicum in Joensuu

    by Janni67 Updated Nov 7, 2003

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    The Carelicum, situated just opposite the market square, is the cultural and tourism centre for Joensuu. A visit there is a great way to get to know the city of Joensuu and the entire Carelia area, its culture and its characteristics. Besides all the versatile exhibitions, Carelicum is also home to Kids' Street, a fantasy town for kids (see the picture) as well as to a pleasant cafe, a gift shop and free Internet posts. It brings together a wealth of Karelia-related material that has been scattered all over Finland, and displays it in the form of exhibitons, products, music, multimedia, etc.

    Kids street in Carelicum

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    City of Joensuu

    by Janni67 Written Nov 7, 2003

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    Joensuu is the commercial centre of Noth Karelia by River Pielisjoki and Lake Pyhýselký. Its' population of 51 000 is supplemented by thousands of students at the university and numerous other institutions of learning. The town is the capital of North Karelia and has important contacts with the Russian Federation.

    Landmarks of Joensuu include the Town Hall which is designed by Eliel Saarinen, the Summer Festival Centre with its festival stage and like in so many other Finnish town; the market square. The square bustles with life all year round, but is really at its liveliest during the summer months. There is something going on just about every day.

    Joensuu has a lot to offer for a traveller. Numerous summer events, such as the Joensuu Dance Fair, Joensuu Gospel or Ilosaarirock are well-known all over the country, and you can easily spend a whole day or two visiting the Joensuu Art Museum, Botania (university botanical garden) or Carelicum.

    The tower of Joensuu Town Hall

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