Top Historic Sights in Ilomantsi, Finland

Explore the historic highlights of Ilomantsi

Hattuvaara Tsasouna

Tsasounas are small Orthodox chapels in Carelia and the Russian side of the border. They are typically simple wooden buildings with lot of decoration. The tsasouna of Hattuvaara, built in the 1790s, is the oldest still used tsasouna in Western Europe. During the World War II heavy battles were fought in Hattuvaara, but the tsasouna survived with no damages. In tsasouna´s yard, there is also a museum outbuilding and ...
Founded: 1790s | Location: Ilomantsi, Finland

Ilomantsi Church

The Lutheran church of Ilomantsi is a colorful wooden church and rich in nuances. It was built in 1796 by H. Mechelin. The interior is richly decorated by Samuel Elmgren, who painted inside one hundred angels and several characters from Bible between 1830 and 1832.
Founded: 1796 | Location: Ilomantsi, Finland

Ilomantsi Orthodox Church

The wooden Orthodox church of Ilomantsi is the largest in Finland and is dedicated to the prophet Elijah. It was built in 1892 according the design of S. V. Sadovnikov from St. Petersburg. The church has an obvious Russian influence.
Founded: 1892 | Location: Ilomantsi, Finland

Möhkö Ironworks Museum

Möhkö Ironworks was built in the middle of wilderness in the eastern part of Ilomantsi, by Möhkönkoski rapids of Koitajoki river. Ilomantsi born Carl G. Nygren was granted to build the ironworks in 1838. After him the factory was built by Adolf von Rauch from St. Petersburg between 1847 and 1849. Industrialist Nils Ludvig Arppe modernised the ironworks.The conditions for the foundation of ironworks wer ...
Founded: 1838-1908 | Location: Ilomantsi, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Eketorp Fort

Eketorp is an Iron Age fort in southeastern Öland, which was extensively reconstructed and enlarged in the Middle Ages. Throughout the ages the fortification has served a variety of somewhat differing uses: from defensive ringfort, to medieval safe haven and thence a cavalry garrison. In the 20th century it was further reconstructed to become a heavily visited tourist site and a location for re-enactment of medieval battles. Eketorp is the only one of the 19 known prehistoric fortifications on Öland that has been completely excavated, yielding a total of over 24,000 individual artifacts. The entirety of southern Öland has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Eketorp fortification is often referred to as Eketorp Castle.

The indigenous peoples of the Iron Age constructed the original fortification about 400 AD, a period known to have engendered contact between Öland natives with Romans and other Europeans. The ringfort in that era is thought to have been a gathering place for religious ceremonies and also a place of refuge for the local agricultural community when an outside enemy appeared. The circular design was believed to be chosen because the terrain is so level that attack from any side was equally likely. The original diameter of this circular stone fortification was about 57 metres. In the next century the stone was moved outward to construct a new circular structure of about 80 metres in diameter. At this juncture there were known to be about fifty individual cells or small structures within the fort as a whole. Some of these cells were in the center of the fortified ring, and some were actually built into the wall itself.

In the late 600s AD the ringfort was mysteriously abandoned, and it remained unused until the early 11th century. This 11th century work generally built upon the earlier fort, except that stone interior cells were replaced with timber structures, and a second outer defensive wall was erected.

Presently the fort is used as a tourist site for visitors to Öland to experience a medieval fortification for this region. A museum within the castle walls displays a few of the large number of artefacts retrieved by the National Heritage Board during the major decade long excavation ending in 1974. Inside the fort visitors are greeted by actors in medieval costumes who assume the roles of period artisans and merchants who might have lived there nine centuries earlier. There are also re-enactment scenes of skirmishes and other dramatic events of daily life from the Middle Ages.

Eketorp lies a few kilometers west of Route 136. There is an ample unpaved parking area situated approximately two kilometers west of the paved Öland perimeter highway. There is also a gift shop on site. During peak summer visitation, there are guided tours available. Visitors are assessed an admission charge.