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

Beersel Castle

The moated castle at Beersel is one of the few exceptionally well-preserved examples of medieval fortifications in Belgium. It remains pretty much as it must have appeared in the 15th century. Remarkably, it was never converted into a fortified mansion. A visitor is able to experience at first-hand how it must have felt to live in a heavily fortified castle in the Middle Ages.

The castle was built in around 1420 as a means of defence on the outer reaches of Brussels. The tall, dense walls and towers were intended to hold any besiegers at bay. The moat and the marshy ground along its eastern, southern and western edges made any attack a formidable proposition. For that reason, any attackers would have chosen its weaker northern defences where the castle adjoins higher lying ground. But the castle was only taken and destroyed on one occasion in 1489, by the inhabitants of Brussels who were in rebellion against Maximilian of Austria.

After being stormed and plundered by the rebels it was partially rebuilt. The pointed roofs and stepped gables are features which have survived this period. The reconstruction explains why two periods can be identified in the fabric of the edifice, particularly on the outside.

The red Brabant sandstone surrounds of the embrasures, now more or less all bricked up, are characteristic of the 15th century. The other embrasures, edged with white sandstone, date from the end of the 15th century. They were intended for setting up the artillery fire. The merlons too are in white sandstone. The year 1617 can be clearly seen in the foundation support on the first tower. This refers to restorations carried out at the time by the Arenberg family.

Nowadays, the castle is dominated by three massive towers. The means of defence follow the classic pattern: a wide, deep moat surrounding the castle, a drawbridge, merlons on the towers, embrasures in the walls and in the towers, at more or less regular intervals, and machiolations. Circular, projecting towers ensured that attacks from the side could be thwarted. If the enemy were to penetrate the outer wall, each tower could be defended from embrasures facing onto the inner courtyard.

The second and third towers are flanked by watchtowers from which shots could be fired directly below. Between the second and third tower are two openings in the walkway on the wall. It is not clear what these were used for. Were these holes used for the disposing of rubbish, or escape routes. The windows on the exterior are narrow and low. All light entering comes from the interior. The few larger windows on the exterior date from a later period. It is most probable that the third tower - the highest - was used as a watchtower.