Russian Finland: Finnish Heritage northwest of St. Petersburg – Road.Travel

Russian Finland: Finnish Heritage northwest of St. Petersburg

Road Trip Route. Find out what the villages of Fire, Roshchino and Pioneer used to be called., To visit the lake of death., Try the Finnish ear at a 150-year-old restaurant in Vyborg., Follow the traces of the Soviet-Finnish war in Leipäsuo, Admire old Lutheran churches., .

Finland has been part of Russia for a century. The mutual penetration of cultures began even earlier. What to hide, the Finns in a certain sense can be considered the indigenous population of the Leningrad Region. However, the vast majority of the inhabitants do not even suspect that they live in Ingermanland and have the most vague idea about the Finns who lived here before. During this mini-journey you will visit the places nearest to Peter, where the spirit of "Russian Finland" is most vividly traced, and try to open the veil of historical secrets.

History and Culture. From: Saint Petersburg

Marina Selivanova. Traveller.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: Lintula, Roshchino, Pioneer Lake, Vysotsk, Vyborg.

If Finland doesn't come to us, we go to her. Today you will drive through several villages in the northwest of the Leningrad Region that are connected to Finland and remind us of it. These are Ogonyonki (former Lintula), Raivola with its picturesque larch grove, Kuolemajärvi's "death lake", Vysotsk with the remains of a fortress and of course Vyborg. The journey will be generously seasoned with Finnish cuisine: there will be plenty of creamy ears and herring in every expression!


The first thing we'll do is to visit the village Ogonyonyoki in Vyborgsky district. Till 1948 this former Finnish village was called Lintula (in translation from Finnish it means "bird's place"). The village was known as the first Finnish Orthodox nunnery in the diocese. At the end of XIX century it was founded by the secret advisor Fyodor Neronov. In his estate he built the Holy Trinity Church and invited from Penza Province nuns Smaragda and several sisters. During the war, almost all the buildings were burned down and the nuns fled inland to the town of Palokki. In 2007 the revival of the temple began: it was attributed as a courtyard to the Konstantino-Yeleninsky convent. To the ruins of the monastery began to make the procession, and soon it was possible to reconstruct the building. Today nun Maria lives here permanently.

Рощинское озеро

The peasants of Roshchinskoe had to work hard to get a place for plowing from the forests. Maybe that's why the village used to be called "Raivola": in Finnish raivata means "to clear, scavenge". With the advent of the Railway Station, Raivola has become a popular holiday destination for VIPs. You bet: the village is surrounded by a nature reserve, protected by UNESCO - Linduliv Larch Grove. The tradition of resting from the city noise in this area has been preserved: today Roshchino has many summer houses, hotels and recreation centers.


For lunch we'll go to the Roshchin restaurant "Shishkin". Without deviating from the theme of our trip, we order here herring in mustard sauce and ear in Lappish. Those who are not driving and have already reached the age of majority can treat themselves to a currant vodka Finlandia Blackcurrant. Although it's too early to relax: there are plenty of interesting things to do!

Пионерское Озеро

Let's go to Pioneer's. Until 1948 the village and the lake on which it stands were called Kuolemajärvi, or "lake of death". On the lake died a Swedish army that was crossing on rafts during the storm, and the Finnish Bishop Mikael Agrikola, who sailed home after negotiations with Ivan the Terrible. There was a legend, as if the lake required one person to sacrifice every year. If it did not happen for a long time, it came out of the shore, flooding the settlements. But let's not think about the gloomy Finnish legends: let's admire the beauty of local places! There are no man-made sights here. At the beginning of the last century a stone Lutheran church was erected in Kuolemajärvi, but it was blown up in 1975. Today you can see a memorial sign at the construction site.

Крепость Тронгзунд (Транзундский редут)

The next destination of our Finnish journey will be Vysotsk, one of the smallest cities in Russia. Just over a thousand people live here. From 1917 to 1940 the city also belonged to independent Finland. The main supplier of wood was called Uuras, i.e. "industrious". The main attraction of the city is the ruins of Trongzund Fortress, built by order of Peter the Great. Since Vyborg was conquered from the Swedes, the name of the fortress was Swedish: trång - "narrow", sund - "strait". There is little left of the once powerful fortress: granite faced earth ditches, interior rooms. And yet, the building - albeit already overgrown with trees and grass - is very impressive.

Библиотека Алвара Аалто

In Vyborg the first thing we will go to Alvar Aalto library (1935). The wavy ceiling of the lecture hall once made a real sensation in the architectural society. Now it has been restored according to original drawings. The library regularly holds exhibitions and interesting events. * The library closes at 7:00 p.m. * Sunday is a day off (summer is also Saturday).

Vyborg Castle (Выборгский замок)

Vyborg was founded by the Swedes during the Middle Ages, and at the beginning of the 19th century it became part of the Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1860s the Finns began to actively change the appearance of the city: on the place of historical fortifications there were avenues, parks and industrial complexes. Until 1940 Vyborg remained the second largest city in Finland. After the war and the transition of the city to the USSR in tiny steps began to promote tourism exchange. Finnish communists came to Vyborg in small groups. In the 70s the era of independent auto tourism began: the inhabitants of Finland visited the city for cheap goods and affordable alcohol. After perestroika all obstacles collapsed: private and joint ventures started to be created, the infrastructure in the city was changing for the better. By 2010 Vyborg became "almost like a city in Finland" - according to the Finns themselves.


Dinner at Finnish restaurant "Espila", one of the oldest in town. It was founded in 1868 - in the last century and a half the restaurant burned down several times and, like the Phoenix from the ashes, was reborn again. In the menu you can find some curious positions on the subject of our journey. For example, fried herring wrapped in rye flour or herring fillet on warm potatoes with pickled onions. Of course, the Finnish salmon ear on a strong creamy broth. For dessert, mana mousse with lingonberries. From the very opening, the restaurant was famous for its excellent entertainment program. The current owners decided not to deviate from tradition. Evenings of live music, performances, parties are held here with enviable regularity. A special feature of the institution - "casino" on strong alcohol or sparkling wine.

Day 2: Vyborg market, battle marks Leipiasuo, kayaking on Lake Sukhodolsk, evening in Priozyorsk.

In the morning we will continue our research in Vyborg: we will visit the market with Finnish products, take a walk in the centre. The city is officially Russian. In spirit - a bit Swedish. Partly Finnish, of course. After that we will visit Leipäsuo with traces of the Soviet-Finnish war and the beautiful Sukhodol lake. In the evening we will come to Priozyork - another "Finnish" town with excellent beaches and fashionable facilities.

Market Square (Рыночная площадь)

After breakfast (and I hope you've had a kalakukko fish pie or mammy porridge in the morning) we head to the Old Vyborg Market. The building has been standing for almost 115 years and over the years it is only good. Inside it is the most ordinary market, where - attention! - You can buy Finnish delicacies and handmade Finnish knitwear. Grab a couple of snacks and water at the market: you'll need them on your upcoming mini-track. The market is located in the heart of the city, so after shopping I recommend to throw your shopping in the trunk and walk a little more among the old houses and cathedrals.

Озеро Лейпясуо

Let's go to Leipäsuo. In Finnish, Leipäsuo means "Bread-marsh". Probably plants from the local swamps were eaten in the hungry. According to another version, the name is associated with the construction of the railway during the years of difficult economic situation, which provided the earnings of hundreds of workers. In the vicinity of the station Leipiasuo preserved sites of battles of the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939-40. Among them is a fragment of the Mannerheim Line, the Finnish fortified strip. You'll need a guide here, but you can try to find the DOT by yourself. The neighbouring Podhora Lakes are a wonderful place to relax: it is quiet, dry, in the surrounding forests there are many mushrooms and berries, and the water is not as icy as in Ladoga.

Ресторан Silver

Late lunch at the Silver Guest House restaurant. The complex is located on the shore of the most beautiful lake in Sukhodolsk. Forest air + stylish interiors + reasonable prices = love. In the past, Sukhodol Lake was called Suvanto-Järvi. In 1939 the front line of Soviet-Finnish war passed along it. However, no bloody dramas unfolded here - the lake witnessed only artillery shelling from the southern shore. In the afternoon, I suggest we dilute our historic kayaking tour. In the next country club "Dacha" kayaks can be rented for 500 rubles per hour.

Gazpromneft filling station #45

It's a great trip, isn't it? And to make it dynamic, come to the Gazpromneft filling station, take water and a snack.


Meet the sunset go to the beach Priozyorsk - a town on the shore of Lake Ladoga. These places are the quintessence of idyllic (and even a bit heartbreaking) beauty.

Гастрономическое кафе «Точка на карте»

It is unlikely that you will find a more stylish place in the whole Priozyorsk than "Dot on the map". The menu in the restaurant consists of the most popular northern dishes: Danish smurrebs with Baltic herring, pike-perch, fish Ladoga dumplings with spruce oil, crème brûlée with pine cream (oh, Gods!). Try it - do not try it!

Day 3: Corela Fortress, Museum of Antiquities in Kuznechny, Ladoga skerries and abandoned Finnish kirkhs.

In the morning we will visit the lake fortress of Korela and explore the Lutheran Church of Kyakisalmi. Then we'll go to the village Kuznechoe: see the ancient amulets and kayaks among the Ladoga archipelago. On the way back we'll stop at the abandoned Finnish church and have dinner in an elegant restaurant "Levada".

Korela Fortress (Крепость Корела)

Look into Corela Fortress. The Old Russian fortification was built by Novgorodians back in 1310 on Castle Island. In XVI-XVII centuries, the Swedes remade the fortress on the bastion system, faced the ramparts with granite, built stone towers, arsenal and powder cellar. At the end of the XIX century Kexholm (former name of Priozyorsk) together with the ancient fortress found itself in the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland - it remained Finnish until September 24, 1944. The fortress is small, compact. Visitors are always especially interested in the torture and observation platforms. *" Attention! The last Thursday of every month is a health day.

Лютеранская кирха Кякисалми (Käkisalmi)

Let's take a walk around the city and remember its history. As a part of Finland Priozyorsk (which was renamed into Käkisalmi by the Finns) has experienced economic growth. Here railway communication with cities of both countries was actively developed, sawmills were built. At the end of 1930 a majestic Lutheran Kirch appeared in the heart of the town - it still stands here. In addition, the railway station building, designed by Finnish architects in 1916, has been preserved here. It is 2 minutes drive from the old church.

Хутор Milka

From Priozyorsk we will go to the village of Blacksmith. It used to be a Finnish village and was called Kaarlahti, i.e. "curved bay". Here we will visit the farm museum "Milka". This is a young local history project, which is to preserve the history and culture of the village. The museum is located in the House of Railway Workers of 1916. Some of the exhibits were given to the founder of the museum by her grandparents, some of them were attached to the old house. Some items are given to the museum by locals, while others are being excavated. Replics of the old amulets and other cute souvenirs can be bought here as a keepsake.


Restaurants in the Blacksmith's tight. Come to the supermarket to buy a couple of pies and juice - that's enough to walk around in peace for a couple more hours.

Ладожские шхеры

The beauty of these places was admired by Alexander Dumas-father. Local landscapes seemed to the French writer more beautiful than the Swiss expanses. You can rent a boat or a kayak to explore Ladoga skerries at the Drive Park Ladoga base in the neighbouring village of Beryozovo. On the way to Beryozovo we will find the traces of the extinct ancient Karelian fortress Linnamäki (translated from Finnish as "castle hill"). In 1937 a wooden ski made by the Finns, presumably as far back as the XII century, was found there. Now it is kept in the National Museum of Finland.

Кирха Вуоксенранта

On the way back, we'll stop by to admire Vuoksenranta's kirch. The Lutheran Church was built in the 1930s according to the design of the Finnish architect Väinho Keinyanen. The kirch is made of bricks and the bells were cast in Tampere. In Soviet times, the church was used as a stable and warehouse. The facade and roof survived, but the windows, doors and interior decoration elements have not been preserved. Unfortunately, the church is still in semi-destroyed condition.


We'll stop by Levada for dinner. It is a restaurant of European and Russian cuisine, which enjoys great authority among St. Petersburg citizens. You won't find Kalalaatikko and graavilokhi here, but moose cutlets, tuna steak and they are always available.