Astuvansalmi Rock Paintings

Ristiina, Finland

The 65 rock paintings of Astuvansalmi are the largest found in the whole of Scandinavia. The oldest paintings are made 3000 - 2500 BC. They are located at the highest level (about 11 metres). The water level changed very fast about 2,5 metres with the landslide of Vuoksi. Later on the level slowly went down 8 metres to its present level. All the later paintings have been made from boats during the different historical water-levels. The form is clearly visible during wintertime while viewed from the ice of the lake.

The Astuvansalmi rock paintings contain the following pictures: 18-20 elk, about as many human figures, tens of hands and animal tracks, 8-9 boats, geometrical figures and pictures that are thought to show a fish and a dog. The paintings could have a link to the Siberian and North European shamanistic tradition.

Other archeological artefacts have also been found on the site at the bottom of the lake, for example small amber statuettes of old gods, animal jewellery and arrowheads.

Astuvansalmi rock paintings are submitted to the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 3000 - 2500 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Finland
Historical period: Neolithic Age (Finland)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kale Holster (4 years ago)
Beautiful and easy to access! For all who are interested on history.
Viacheslav Shirikov (4 years ago)
Feel the time itself
dd cc (4 years ago)
Great hike from the main road. A lot of up and down hills, walking next to cliffs, beautiful views over several lakes and little islands. Rock paintings not the most impressive but important cultural heritage. Time spent: 3hrs. Recommend: sporty shoes, mosquito spray, picknick, swimming gear.
Antti Eskelinen (4 years ago)
Impressive spot after 2km beautiful walk trough typical Finnish forest scenery.
Hanna Boss (4 years ago)
Long, challenging and beautiful way to walk through the woods and over watersto get there. Interesting to see the paintings.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Saint-Eustache

The Church of St Eustace was built between 1532-1632. St Eustace"s is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there.

The origins of Saint Eustache date back to 13th century. The church became a parish church in 1223, thanks to a man named Jean Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby, as granted by King Philip Augustus. To thank such divine generosity, Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr. The construction of the current church began in 1532, the work not being finally completed until 1637. The name of the church refers to Saint Eustace, a Roman general of the second century AD who was burned, along with his family, for converting to Christianity, and it is believed that it was the transfer of a relic of Saint Eustache from the Abbey to Saint-Denis to the Church of Saint Eustache which resulted in its naming. Jeanne Baptiste d"Albert de Luynes was baptised here.

According to tourist literature on-site, during the French Revolution the church, like most churches in Paris, was desecrated, looted, and used for a time as a barn. The church was restored after the Revolution had run its course and remains in use today. Several impressive paintings by Rubens remain in the church today. Each summer, organ concerts commemorate the premieres of Berlioz’s Te Deum and Liszt’s Christus here in 1886.

The church is an example of a Gothic structure clothed in Renaissance detail. The church is relatively short in length at 105m, but its interior is 33.45m high to the vaulting. At the main façade, the left tower has been completed in Renaissance style, while the right tower remains a stump. The front and rear aspects provide a remarkable contrast between the comparatively sober classical front and the exuberant rear, which integrates Gothic forms and organization with Classical details. The L"écoute sculpture by Henri de Miller appears outside the church, to the south. A Keith Haring sculpture stands in a chapel of the church.

The Chapel of the Virgin was built in 1640 and restored from 1801 to 1804. It was inaugurated by Pius VII on the 22nd of December, 1804 when he came to Paris for the coronation of Napoleon. The apse chapel, with a ribbed cul-de-four vault, has at its centre a sculpture of the Virgin and Child of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle that the painter Thomas Couture highlighted by three large paintings.

With 8,000 pipes, the organ is reputed to be the largest pipe organ in France, surpassing the organs of Saint Sulpice and Notre Dame de Paris. The organ originally constructed by P.-A. Ducroquet was powerful enough for the premiere of Hector Berlioz" titanic Te Deum to be performed at St-Eustache in 1855.