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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Heraclea Lyncestis

Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.