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 were lake ore lifted from the bottom of approximately a hundred lakes, cheap charcoal, water routes for transport and hydro power of the Möhkönkoski rapids. Möhkö was the one of the largest ironworks in Finland and it employed 2000 people. Thanks to the ironworks, Möhkö grew into a village of 600 people. The factory maintained a shop, a school, a library and a reading room.
The ironworks was closed down in 1908 because of distant location and the falling of the rocky ore prices. W. Gutzeit & Co. bought the factory and the forests. After the ironworks had been shut down, lumbering and log floating work provided a living for the people of Möhkö and Ilomantsi.
The Second World War destroyed Möhkö badly. It took away approximately a third of the territory of Ilomantsi. The automatisation of lumbering and migration to towns quitened Möhkö in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Today Möhkö ironworks area functions as the factory museum. The ruins of blast furnace, massive waterwheel and unique, restored channels tell the stories of Möhkö ironworks. Pytinki Museum Shop serves customers. Several events are held in the area in summer season.
Reference: Möhkö Ironworks Museum
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.