Category Archives: Finland ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ

Bronze Age Burial Site of Sammallahdenmรคki

The Sammallahdenmรคki cairn cemetery bears exceptional witness to the society, and especially the funerary practices, of the Bronze Age of Scandinavia. The Scandinavian Bronze Age culture, 1500-500 BC, included the coastal zone of continental Finland and the land archipelago. Bronze is extensively represented in its material culture, although neither copper nor tin is to be found in the area, the metals being largely acquired through trade and exchange. The value of the objects is enhanced by their association with burials and religious sites, such as cairns and other types of grave.

Stone burial cairns constructed of boulders, without earth fill, over cists of stone or wood, were erected on cliffs with a view on the sea all along the coast of Finland; more than 3,000 have been identified. They contained both cremation and inhumation burials of members of the community with all the associated funerary objects (grave goods).

Since 1999 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Amina for the postcard.

finlandia - bronze


Petรคjรคvesi Old Church

The Petรคjรคvesi Evangelical Lutheran Old Church is a building of considerable global importance as an example of northern timber church architecture. The church is uniquely representative of log construction in the northern coniferous area and of the skills of the peasant population. European architectural trends have influenced the external form and the ground plan of the church, but they have been applied masterfully to traditional log construction. The church combines the layout of a Renaissance central church conception and older forms derived from Gothic groined ceilings. It reflects in an impressive way the architectural beauty of a northern rural Protestant church.

The church is situated on a peninsula where Lakes Jamsa and Petรคjรคvesi meet. The location was determined by the fact that the congregation would be able to reach it by boat or over the ice in the winter. At the present time there is no settlement in the immediate vicinity of the church, since the town of Petรคjรคvesi has developed about 1ย km away.

Since 1994 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Amina for the postcard.

finlandia - petajavesi

Struve Geodetic Arc

The Struve Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through 10 countries and over 2,820 km. These are points of a survey, carried out between 1816 and 1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, which represented the first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian. This helped to establish the exact size and shape of the planet and marked an important step in the development of earth sciences and topographic mapping. It is an extraordinary example of scientific collaboration among scientists from different countries, and of collaboration between monarchs for a scientific cause. The original arc consisted of 258 main triangles with 265 main station points. The listed site includes 34 of the original station points, with different markings, i.e. a drilled hole in rock, iron cross, cairns, or built obelisks.

Since 2005 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Ana for the postacard.

estonia - struve

Thanks to Tone for the postcard. (Norway)

Thanks to Alex for the postcard. (Belarus)

bielorussia - geodetic

Thanks to Amina for the postcard. (Finland)

finlandia - struve

Thanks to Elena for the postcard. (Russia)

russia - struve geodetic arc

Thanks to Gayl for the postcard. (Ukraine)

ucraina - struve

Thanks to Svetlana for this postcard. (Moldova)

Fortress of Suomenlinna

In the history of military architecture, the Fortress of Finland (Suomenlinna) is an outstanding example representative both of the general fortification principles of the period and of its specific characteristics.

In 1747, when Finland was part of the Swedish realm, the Diet in Stockholm decided to build a fortress to serve as the main base for the armed forces stationed in Finland. A group of islands close to Helsinki were chosen to be the site of the fortress, which was to be called Sveaborg, the ‘Fortress of Sweden’, and construction began in 1748. The purpose was to link and fortify several islands so that entry into the city’s harbour could be controlled.

The work began in 1748 under the supervision of the Swedish Admiral Augustin Ehrensvรคrd (1710-72), an artillery officer of aristocratic background in his mid-thirties. He adapted Vauban’s theories to the very special geographical features of Helsinki. Ehrensvรคrd’s original plan was to build a chain of linked fortifications across a group of islands close to Helsinki and to fortify certain strategic points on land around the town itself. The second part of the plan was never carried out, but by the time of his death in 1772 Ehrensvรคrd had produced the chain of forts, collectively called Sveaborg (Swedish Fortress), that were to protect the approaches to Helsinki. By the end of the century the construction work was virtually complete.

Since 1991 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Anu for the postcard.

finlandia - suomelinna

High Coast / Kvarken Archipelago

The Kvarken Archipelago (Finland) and the High Coast (Sweden) are situated in the Gulf of Bothnia, a northern extension of the Baltic Sea. The 5,600 islands of the Kvarken Archipelago feature unusual ridged washboard moraines, โ€˜De Geer morainesโ€™, formed by the melting of the continental ice sheet, 10,000 to 24,000 years ago. The Archipelago is continuously rising from the sea in a process of rapid glacio-isostatic uplift, whereby the land, previously weighed down under the weight of a glacier, lifts at rates that are among the highest in the world. As a consequence islands appear and unite, peninsulas expand, and lakes evolve from bays and develop into marshes and peat fens. The High Coast has also been largely shaped by the combined processes of glaciation, glacial retreat and the emergence of new land from the sea. Since the last retreat of the ice from the High Coast 9,600 years ago, the uplift has been in the order of 285 m which is the highest known ”rebound”. The site affords outstanding opportunities for the understanding of the important processes that formed the glaciated and land uplift areas of the Earth”s surface.

Since 2000 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Sini for the postcard.


Old Rauma

Situated on the Gulf of Botnia, Rauma is one of the oldest harbours in Finland. Built around a Franciscan monastery, where the mid-15th-century Holy Cross Church still stands, it is an outstanding example of an old Nordic city constructed in wood. Although ravaged by fire in the late 17th century, it has preserved its ancient vernacular architectural Heritage.

The city, which was constructed in wood, was ravaged by fire in the late 17th century and a new city was built. Despite some changes made in the 19th century, Rauma has preserved its ancient appearance as the modern city has grown up outside the original core.

Apart from the old Franciscan church and the ruins of the 15th-century Holy Trinity church, the only monument in the old city is the City Hall, built in the 18th century. However, the old city of Rauma’s great wealth is its vernacular architectural heritage (houses, workshops and shops). The majority of the buildings in the old city have been sensitively restored as part of a comprehensive development plan.

Since 1991 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Sini for the postcard.


Verla Groundwood and Board Mill

The Verla groundwood and board mill and its associated residential area is an outstanding, remarkably well-preserved example of the small-scale rural industrial settlements associated with pulp, paper and board production that flourished in northern Europe and North America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Only a handful of such settlements survive to the present day.

The ‘Industrial Revolution’ that reached the Kymi river valley in the first half of the 1870s is one of the most dramatic phenomena in the economic history of Finland. Over a very short time dozens of steam sawmills, groundwood mills and board mills were established, in many cases by foreign businessmen. The Kymi valley benefited in particular from the construction of timber-floating facilities and the introduction of cooperative floating, enabling logs from the virgin forests of central Finland to be brought to the processing facilities. At the same time a new social class of factory and mill-workers emerged.

The first mill on the western bank of the Verlankoski Rapids was founded in 1872, but it encountered financial problems and closed down after a fire in 1876. A new, larger groundwood mill with adjoining board mills was built in 1882 by two master papermakers. The new mill was again built entirely in wood, but set apart from the other buildings to minimize fire risk. The main section of the present owner’s residence was completed in 1885, and the hostel for the workers in the following year. When the board-drying section was destroyed by fire in 1892 it was replaced by an impressive ornamental building in red brick on four floors.

Since 1996 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Sini for the postcard.