One of St. Petersburg's most famous and popular visitor attractions, the palace and park at Peterhof (also known as Petrodvorets) are often referred to as "the Russian Versailles", although many visitors conclude that the comparison does a disservice to the grandeur and scope of this majestic estate.
Versailles was, however, the inspiration for Peter the Great's desire to build an imperial palace in the suburbs of his new city and, after an aborted attempt at Strelna, Peterhof - which means "Peter's Court" in German - became the site for the Tsar's Monplaisir Palace, and then of the original Grand Palace. The estate was equally popular with Peter's daughter, Empress Elizabeth, who ordered the expansion of the Grand Palace and greatly extended the park and the famous system of fountains, including the truly spectacular Grand Cascade.
Improvements to the park continued throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Catherine the Great, after leaving her own mark on the park, moved the court to Pushkin, but Peterhof once again became the official Imperial Residence in the reign of Nicholas I, who ordered the building of the modest Cottage Palace in 1826.
Like almost all St. Petersburg's suburban estates, Peterhof was ravaged by German troops during the Second World War. It was, however, one of the first to be resurrected and, thanks to the work of military engineers as well as over 1,000 volunteers, the Lower Park opened to the public in 1945 and the facades of the Grand Palace were restored in 1952. The name was also de-Germanicized in 1944, becoming Petrodvorets, the name under which the surrounding town is still known. The palace and park are once again known as Peterhof.
This Church was built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was severely wounded and died in March 1881.The church was built from 1883 till 1907. The construction was funded by the imperial family.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The Church contains over 7500 square meters of mosaics—according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.
Although it is only a 20th century creation, Palace Bridge is undoubtedly one of the most famous sights of St. Petersburg, and is quite literally unmissable for most visitors to the city, who will find themselves continually using the bridge to move between Palace Square, home to the Winter Palace and the Hermitage Museum, and the numerous historic attractions on Vasilevskiy Ostrov.
Despite the grandeur and extravagance of the surrounding architecture, Palace Bridge itself is a relatively simple structure, comprising five cast-iron spans resting on granite-clad, packed-rubble piers. Height of the bridge was strictly limited, so as not to obstruct the view of the monuments around. The central span of the bridge splits into two wings, which are raised through an angle of over 45° to allow ships to pass up the Neva River, and the view of the golden spire of the Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral between the two raised wings is one of the most widespread and memorable images of St. Petersburg. It also makes Palace Embankment the centre of nightly celebrations during the White Nights, when thousands of locals and visitors gather to watch Palace Bridge open in the small hours.
In the 17th century, Narva was a city on the border between Sweden and Russia, which Sweden wanted to turn into a regional capital. The designer of the defence fortifications was a military engineer and architect Erik Dahlberg.
German, Swedish and Italian architectural influences are mixed in the building style of the Town Hall that dates back to the 17th century (architect G. Teuffel). The architectural complex of the Town Hall Square included the Town Hall, Stock Exchange, and residences of the wealthy Swedish citizenry.
The Northern yard is our attempt of recreating the 17th century. Here, we imagine genuine and vibrant early modern urban quarters with houses, people, and their everyday lives. This way, a guest of the Northern yard is instantly taken 300–400 years back in time.
Narva Museum today – it is the Narva stronghold, the Northern Courtyard, and the Art Gallery. These are more than architectural monuments, as the castle and the gallery also have exhibition halls.
The exhibition of Narva castle talks about the history of Narva from the 13th century until the beginning of the 20th century. In 1991, the Art Gallery was opened. This allowed the museum to host Estonian and foreign art exhibitions in addition to displaying its own art collection.
In 2007, Põhjaõu was opened as a new tourist attraction in the Northern Courtyard of the castle; this is how Narva Museum interprets the district of artisans dating from the 17th century.
The monument dedicated to the 100th birthday of Paul Keres, an Estonian chess player and international grandmaster, is located on a square between Puškin Street and Peeter Square.
The authors of the monument are well-known Estonian sculptors Aivar Simson and Paul Mänd. Their idea was to make it possible for people to sit opposite to Keres behind the chessboard and think about the next move.
The monument depicts the game between Keres and Walter Browne in Vancouver in 1975. The monument mistakenly shows Keres playing with white pieces.
The sculpture is made of bronze.
Ylämaa Gem Museum was founded in the year 1982. The museum is the first gem museum in Finland that is open for public. Over 250 000 visitors have visited in Ylämaa gem museum to this point.
The Ylämaa Gem Museum exhibition presents over four thousand gems, minerals, and fossils from all over the world. The specialities of the museum are genuine fossils of dinosaur and mammoth, and different types of meteorite.
Among other things, you will see a replica collection of the world’s most famous diamonds, desert roses, ocean jaspers, quarter-ton rose quartz from Madagascar, various mineral ores, and 4000 other exciting specimens. Prehistoric fossils, corals and meteorites are also fascinating.
You will learn a lot about the most beautiful labradorite of the world, spectrolite, found only in Ylämaa, some kilometres from Gem Museum. At the museum, you will also be presented fluorescent minerals radiating in magnificent bright colours, an experience to remember.
Situated in the heart of Lappeenranta, St. Mary’s Church of Lappee is a double cruciform wooden church that was originally built in 1794. The current church was built by Juhana Salonen, from Savitaipale, although it has undergone restoration work over the years. The altarpiece, representing Christ’s Ascension, was painted by Aleksandra Frosterus-Såltin in 1887, and there are many other paintings in the church by unknown artists.
Built in 1826, Wolkoff House is located in the centre of the town and is one of the oldest wooden buildings in Lappeenranta. It originally belonged to a Russian merchant family, from 1872 to 1986, and was opened as a museum to the public in 1993.
Situated in Lappenranta airport, the Aviation Museum of Karelia opened to the public in 2000. The basic exhibition displays fighter planes MIG-21BIS, SAAB 35S, DRAKEN, NIEUPORT 17, FOLLAND GNAT and the school plane SAAB 91D SAFIR.
The Church of the Virgin Mary is the oldest orthodox church in Finland and is situated in Linnoitus, otherwise known as the Fortress of Lappeenranta. There was a wooden church on the site as far back as 1742, the present church was completed in 1785. The most valuable icon here is the 200-year-old Communion of the Holy, found in the middle of the north wall.
Founded in 1965, the Lappeenranta Art Museum initially occupied the same premises as the South Karelia Museum of Cultural History, at the northern tip of the Lappeenranta Fortress. In the 1980s, the Art Museum moved to its present site in the neoclassic-style barracks (built in 1798), opposite the Orthodox Church. In 1986, the Art Museum became the Regional Art Museum of South-East Finland.
The museum is home to a collection of Finnish art from the mid-19th century to the present day. The museum’s largest single collection of old Finnish art was accumulated by Viipurin Taiteenystävät ry (Vyborg Friends of Art); this collection includes works by many well-known artists such as Albert Edelfelt, Pekka Halonen, Tyko Sallinen, Hjalmar Munsterhjelm and Eero Järnefelt. The collection has paintings by artists who were active in Vyborg or were born there. The contemporary art collections, on the other hand, focus in particular on art from south-east Finland and include paintings by Leena Luostarinen, Unto Ahjotuli, Anne Tompuri, Irmeli Tarmo, Eeva Vesterinen, Heimo Suntio and Sinikka Kurkinen etc. etc.
Every year, the Art Museum also stages between three and four temporary exhibitions which feature both the latest trends in the world of art and works representing earlier periods in the history of art.
The Fortress of Lappeenranta is a unique place in South-Eastern Finland. Inhabited and full of life even today, it once formed part of a defence system that also included the fortress of Suomenlinna in Helsinki and the fortress of Hamina.
Although different in size, all three of these fortresses are of a similar nature and share the same passion for development. While seeking to protect and preserve these areas through careful land use planning, they also aim to increase services and levels of activity around the year.
The Fortress of Lappeenranta was constructed as a border fortress, forming part of the chain of fortresses between Finland and North-Western Russia. Over the centuries, the Fortress was alternately held by the Swedes and Russians. Today, the Fortress of Lappeenranta is a valuable component of Finnish, Russian and Swedish cultural heritage and forms part of the Castles and Fortifications chain of cultural destinations.
Lusto – The Finnish Forest Museum is a destination for the entire family. It’s a place that brings back memories and creates new experiences. The national museum responsible for forest culture is located in Punkaharju, in the most beautiful landscape of ridges and lakes in eastern Finland. Lusto’s exhibitions and events provide a diverse and illustrative insight into the significance of forests in the life of Finns.
Lusto is sure to appeal to visitors of all ages!
Johanna and Reijo Oras purchased the Tuunaankartano Manor, situated in the heart of the Retretti area in Punkaharju. The manor-house, built in the 1910s, is the permanent location for Johanna Oras´s summer exhibition. A side building will be renovated into the artist´s summer atelier, offering something exceptional in Finland; the public will have the chance to follow the artist at work and see some of the mysterious birth processes of a work of art from inspiration to the final brush touch.
Hytermä islands are nature reserve area and museum islands, about 7km from the centre of Kerimäki towards Hälvä. Hytermä was declared a protected nature area in the year 1931, and the fact that is has survived almost completely in its natural state is all down to an ex-rural police chief (1916-1940) Heikki Väyrynen, a.k.a. Romu-Heikki, and his wife.
The islands have a one-of-a-kind collection of art made from rocks and easily walked nature paths. Hytermä can only be reached by boat which you can rent before rowing the 400m to the island. Once there you will also find a wonderful sandy beach and a pier.
Hytermä is situated 7 km from the centre of Kerimäki (Savonlinna-Kerimäki 23 km), address: Hälvänsaarentie 80, Kerimäki.
The church of Kerimäki is the world’s largest Christian wooden church and has the most spacious interior in Finland. It is 45 meters long, 42 meters wide and 27 meters high. The height of the dome is 37 meters.
The building of Olavinlinna Castle began in 1475. The Danish-born founder of the castle, knight Erik Axelsson Tott, decided that a powerful fortification should be build to protect the strategically important Savo region
Savonlinna Cathedral is the main church of Savonlinna’s Evangelical-Lutheran parish. The name of the church originates from the cathedral, the seat of a bishop, located in Savonlinna from 1897 to 1924.
The church was designed by architect A.H. Dahlström in 1858, and it was consecrated on 2 February 1879. The church was damaged during an air raid in 1940. The reconstruction was designed by architect B. Lilljeqvist. The altar choir ceiling fresco, paintings on the gallery bannisters, and the chandeliers were created by artist Antti Salmenlinna. The altarpiece “Jesus in Gethsemane” is a triptych painted by artist Paavo Leinonen. The church textiles, designed by artist Helena Karvonen, are from 1979.
Alatskivi Castle Park – the biggest park in Tartu County (130 ha) – was established by squire von Stackelberg in the end of the 18th century. The Alatskivi Castle built according to the designs of Arved von Nolcken with the surrounding park is one of the main sights in the area. The towers and terraces of the castle offer beautiful views of the lakes, the church and the surrounding landscape. A marked hiking track runs through the park. The majority of the trees growing in the park are local species, such as lime trees, maples and oaks.
Welcome to Finland’s oldest home museum! Come and enjoy the authentic atmosphere of the 1860s bourgeois home (kirjailijakoti) as guests of the Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg (1804-1877) and his wife Fredrika (1807-1879).
The museum’s unique atmosphere is created by furniture, works of art, dishes and old house plants, many of which have been grown from Fredrika’s cuttings. During the summer season you can discover the floral splendour of the house’s carefully restored garden.
This private collection is open to the public during the summer months and to groups by arrangement throughout the year. One of the best toy museums in the country, exhibiting a large number of toys, all of which children have played with at some point in time.
Porvoo Museum is both a historical museum and an art museum. The two buildings in which it is housed date from the 1760s and stand on the edge of the square beside the Old Town Hall in the heart of the oldest part of Porvoo.
Artist Pentti Ikäheimonen art gallery Villi Villa is located in the middle of a beautiful Finnish lake landscape, only 5 km from the center of Rantasalmi.
Come and explore the remodelled building and artwork that breathe both rural and natural beauty.
The gallery presents a sales exhibition of Pentti Ikäheimonen and visiting artists as well as works by former masters.
What to do with your family, children, friends, guests, or colleagues in Tartu? Are you looking for new experiences and great photos? You have come to the right place! The Upside Down House is an exciting and dizzying experience where all of this is possible.
The Upside Down House has furniture, a refrigerator, and everything else which is usually found on the floor – but here, they are on the ceiling. Well, actually, they are on the floor, but here, the ceiling is the floor. But wait – maybe it is you that is upside down? The house is also slightly sloped to test your balance.
All of this is confusing, funny, and exciting :)
The visit takes about 30 minutes – during this time, you will experience the house fully and are able to take cool pictures as well!
Want to surprise yourself? The AHHAA Science Centre offers science, excitement, adventure and useful skills, as well as a fun time for everyone. Our centre is an attractive learning environment in which you are bound to learn something new. The majority of our exhibits are 'hands-on', so you can try everything yourself, whether it be the planetarium, the school laboratory pilot programme, creating educational materials or the science theatre. You can even host your own birthday party here.
Tartu Toy Museum, situated in the Old Town of Tartu, takes adults back to the brighter days of their childhood and offers children plenty of interesting things to see and do.
The permanent exhibition displays toys that Estonian children have played with throughout the years. Artist-made dolls, souvenir dolls of different nations, and Finno-Ugric traditional toys are also exhibited. Playrooms and workshops are also open. You can see puppets from Estonian puppet films and temporary exhibitions in the outbuilding.
The museum also has a theatre building named ’Teatri kodu’ (The Home of Theatre) with a theatre hall, a museum of puppets, and a children’s studio.
Tartu is the birthplace of beer brewing in Estonia and it has been a beer city for almost 1,000 years.
A beer museum was opened on the territory of the A. Le Coq Brewery in 2003 to introduce the history of industrial beer brewing. It also provides the most thorough overview of the history of beer in Estonia, its culture, and origin story. Almost 2,000 items are exhibited in the malt tower built in 1898, including an original bottle of Imperial Extra Double Stout from the year 1869.
All museum visits end at the museum pub, where guests can sample A. Le Coq’s beverages.
Tartu Cathedral, located on the beautiful Toomemägi Hill, is one of the largest churches in Estonia. It is also the only mediaeval church with two towers in Estonia. The construction of the church started in the 13th century and the church was fully completed in the beginning of the 16th century. The church towers were the last things to be finished. During the Livonian War, the church was destroyed and since then, it has not operated as a church. The ruins of the Tartu Cathedral are one of the most prominent examples of brick-Gothic buildings in Old Livonia.
The University of Tartu Museum, which introduces the history of science and university education, operates there. In addition to the museum, there is also the Toompood store, and visitors can also go to the cathedral’s towers, which offer beautiful views.
The art nouveau Small House of the Vanemuine Theatre was built from 1914 to 1918 (architect A Eichhorn). The decision to build a new, modern theatre building was made after the building of the summer theatre of the German Society of Artisans that used to be located in this spot perished in a fire.
Söderskär lighthouse island combines a rugged but breathakingly beautiful environment with a fascinating history. In summer there are cruises to the island for the public, and for groups there is the possibility of chartering a cruise. During your visit you will hear many fascinating stories and also visit the art exhibition, which changes every summer. You can book accommodation in the lighthouse from July to September.