There have been some fortifications in Lappeenranta city from the 17th century. After the defeat of Sweden-Finland in Great Northern War 1700-1721 Viborg castle and large areas in Carelia were lost to Russia. The military value of Lappeenranta, the new border city, was suddenly increased. The construction of the new bastion fortress was started immediatelly after war in 1721. It was planned to be a part of the new defence system of Finland together with Olavinlinna castle and Hamina fortress.
Russians conquered the fortress in the next war in 1741 after bloody battle. New border was moved to west and Lappeenranta was left to Russian side. Russians settled a garrison to fortress and started to enhance it in the 1750's and again in 1791-1792. After the Finnish War in 1808-1809 fortress lost its military value. After year 1810 it was used as a garrison and prison. During the Finnish Civil War in 1918 red guards were arrested and executed in Lappeenranta fortress.
Nowadays fortress has been renovated and open for visitors. The former garrison buildings are now home to the South Karelian Museum and Art Museum, artists' and craft workshops, Lappeenranta's Orthodox church and parish hall, a children's art school and a café, among others.
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.