Maritime Centre Vellamo is a unique building in Finland with a wave-like roof. It houses the Maritime Museum of Finland, Museum of Kymenlaakso and Information Centre Vellamo.
The Maritime Museum of Finland is a national maritime museum operating under the National Board of Antiquities and the Ministry of Education, destined to record the history of seafaring in Finland and to convey related information. The Maritime Museum collects and preserves items, photographs, archival material and literature pertaining to seafaring and boating.
In its main exhibition “North Star, Southern Cross”, the Maritime Museum of Finland tells about the history of seafaring in Finland, focusing on issues such as life of seafarers, development of ships, maritime trade, and travelling by sea. The main exhibition also covers the speciality of Northern seafaring, winter shipping and ice.
The Museum of Kymeenlaakso records, studies, preserves and presents the cultural legacy of Kotka and the entire region of Kymenlaakso. The foremost themes of the main exhibition Flow are efficiency as well as the relationship between an individual and the community. These themes are approached from a number of angles, and the topics covered include perception of time, significance of money, boundaries and crossing them, beauty, immortality, work and having fun.
There’s also an icebreaker Tarmo located outside the Vellamo. Built in 1907, it’s one of the oldest still surviving icebreakers in the world.
The Château de Chaumont was founded in the 10th century by Odo I, Count of Blois. The purpose was to protect his lands from attacks from his feudal rivals, Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou. On his behalf the Norman Gelduin received it, improved it and held it as his own. His great-niece Denise de Fougère, having married Sulpice d'Amboise, passed the château into the Amboise family for five centuries.
Pierre d'Amboise unsuccessfully rebelled against King Louis XI and his property was confiscated, and the castle was dismantled on royal order in 1465. It was later rebuilt by Charles I d'Amboise from 1465–1475 and then finished by his son, Charles II d'Amboise de Chaumont from 1498–1510, with help from his uncle, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise; some Renaissance features were to be seen in buildings that retained their overall medieval appearance. The château was acquired by Catherine de Medici in 1550. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus. When her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Château de Chaumont for Château de Chenonceau which Henry had given to de Poitiers. Diane de Poitiers only lived at Chaumont for a short while.
Later Chaumont has changed hands several times. Paul de Beauvilliers bought the château in 1699, modernized some of its interiors and decorated it with sufficient grandeur to house the duc d'Anjou on his way to become king of Spain in 1700. Monsieur Bertin demolished the north wing to open the house towards the river view in the modern fashion.
In 1750, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray purchased the castle as a country home where he established a glassmaking and pottery factory. He was considered the French "Father of the American Revolution" because he loved America. However, in 1789, the new French Revolutionary Government seized Le Ray's assets, including his beloved Château de Chaumont.
The castle has been classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. The Château de Chaumont is currently a museum and every year hosts a Garden Festival from April to October where contemporary garden designers display their work in an English-style garden.