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:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.