15 best sights of Ruskeala – description and photos

15 Ruskeala sights worth visiting

Ruskeala sights

Among the key tourist destinations in Karelia is the village of Ruskeala and the mountain park of the same name. It is both an amazing natural site and an open-air museum. It is situated 30 kilometers from Sortavala, on the bank of Tohmajoki river.

Since XVII century marble that was used for the building of the most beautiful buildings of St. Petersburg was extracted here. At the end of the XX century the quarry was recognized as a cultural heritage object. Marble quarrying has ceased and tourist complex has been laid out in this territory. The best sights Ruskeala with a description below.

Marble Canyon

Marble Canyon

Marble Canyon.

The main natural treasure of Ruskeala and the most attractive object for tourists is the canyon itself, where different kinds of marble were mined. The area was developed by the Swedes in the XVII century. After the Northern War, the territory became part of the Russian Empire.

Extensive development of the quarries began under Empress Catherine II. Today the marble quarried here can be admired in the decoration of the Winter and Mikhailovsky Palaces, St. Isaac’s and Kazan Cathedrals and other buildings of the northern capital. The excavations operated intermittently until the end of the last century. Operated and marble-lime factory.

Nowadays the canyon is thoroughly flooded, forming an elongated lake. In the neighborhoods marble is still mined, but not on an industrial scale. Now the main purpose of Marble Canyon is tourism. Guests walk around the reservoir on specially paved trails. A fence separates them from the steep slopes.

View the mines and the beautiful nature of the Russian North conveniently from the equipped around the canyon observation deck. Tourist infrastructure includes a cafe with authentic cuisine and souvenir store, which sells products made of marble. You can stay overnight in a tent city.

Address: Big Marble Canyon, Marble Street, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

Ruskeala Fault

Ruskeala Fault

Ruskeala Fault.

The next object, also left after marble mining, is the Ruskeala Fault. The local population tells that in the middle of the last century, the roof of one of the underground galleries collapsed because of the explosion. Now the failure is a deep and wide hole of about 30 m in diameter.

The failure has a surprising feature. In the summer months it is flooded with water, forming a small underground lake. At the same time in the far reaches the temperature remains constant, and the ice left over from the winter does not melt at all. Frozen water forms the bizarre forms of icicles, hanging from the domes like stalactites. The only way to get to them is to use a rope to get down to the boat. Swimming in the water is not recommended: even in the summer, it is very cold, and the underwater terrain is complex.

In winter, the lake freezes and you can safely navigate on the solid ice. And those who are knowledgeable even take with them skates. Also in the winter, local enthusiasts make beautiful sculptures out of the ice.

Address: Ruskeala Mountain Park, Marble Street, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

Marble Lake and boat trip

Marble Lake and boat trip

Marble Lake and boat trip.

The lake was formed after the flooding of Marble Canyon. The exact reason why the water began to flow into the excavation has not been determined. Perhaps some of the rock was blown up by the Finns during World War II.

Now the lake is one of the most picturesque places in Karelia. Its length is about 460 m, width – 100 m. The main feature is very clear water of a beautiful turquoise color. In some places, the bottom can be seen up to 18 meters deep. The walls of the canyon have a silver-white tint, and the shores are green with dense coniferous trees.

Tourists admire the reservoir from viewing platforms, but even more vivid experience will give a boat ride on it. The service is available only during the warm season. You can ride on your own, all passengers are issued life jackets. The walls of the canyon are pierced with grottos and tunnels. There is a passage that leads to the underground adit.

Address: Marble Quarry, Marble Street, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

The best tours in Ruskeala:

The Road of Mountain Masters

The Road of Mountain Masters

The Road of Mountain Masters.

During this fascinating tour, lasting about two hours, tourists learn the history of the development of the canyon and marble mining. On the route they will be accompanied by a guide, who will introduce in detail the local wonders and interesting facts.

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“The road of mountain craftsmen” includes several objects of the mountain park. In addition to viewing the Marble Canyon, travelers will be able to look into the underground workings with a picturesque lake. There is also the Italian quarry, where there are preserved marble cuttings.

Address: Ruskeala Mountain Park, Marble Street, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

Underground Ruskeala

Underground Ruskeala

Underground Ruskeala.

According to the reviews of many tourists, a tour of the underground Ruskeala gives the most fantastic experience. Guests of the mountain park can go down into the tunnels and see, literally, from the inside, as a development of marble quarries. Walking on the “underside” of the rock takes about an hour. Colorful lighting and sound create a feeling of light unreality of what is happening, as if you get into a completely different world.

It is worth remembering that in the underground caves, even in the warm season the temperature does not exceed +8 ° C. It is advisable to bring warm clothes. In summer tourists can take a walk on the Marble Lake on a floating platform as a nice addition to the excursion program.

Address: Underground Ruskeala, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

Italian quarry

Italian quarry

Italian quarry.

The Italian quarry received its name in the 18th century, when the excavation was managed by Italian engineers. Later under the Soviet regime marble was produced there in accordance with the Italian mining technology, with the use of foreign equipment. Mostly light blue and light gray stone was mined, which forms the basis of Mount Belaya.

During a tour of the Italian quarry tourists will look at the traces of drilling in the thickness of the rocks, see the marble layers in the section. All the holes in the rock were then drilled manually, and later placed explosives in them. The explosion caused large chunks of marble to break off. In the winter, the huge marble blocks were put on the sledge and taken to Ladoga Lake, and then delivered on ice to St. Petersburg, where the carvers turned them into works of art.

Address: Quarry “Italian quarry”, 1, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

Ruskeala Waterfalls

Ruskeala Waterfalls

Ruskeala Waterfalls.

Among the things that every tourist should see in Ruskeala is a group of small waterfalls on the river Tohmajoki. Those who have rafted on the river are especially familiar with them. In total, the Ruskeala waterfalls are four, and the height does not exceed 4 meters. Despite their modest size, they are so beautiful that they are recognized as one of the main local attractions.

A characteristic feature of the cascades is the unusual reddish-brown color of the water. The reason is the high iron content in the river water. By the way, the Ruskeala village owes its name to this circumstance: from Finnish ruskea it means “brown”. Fast foamy streams run down among moss-covered rocks, enclosed in a frame of dense coniferous greenery. The best time to visit is spring, when the river that feeds them is at its fullest.

Address: Ruskeala Waterfalls, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

Kalevala Park

Kalevala Park

Kalevala Park.

“Kalevala” is a world-famous collection of Karelian epic legends. The park, located near the Italian quarry, was named after him. On the territory of the park, the heroes of the epic runes (songs) carved in wood and stone are waiting for travelers.

The local nature could not be better suited to the atmosphere and mood of Karelian legends. The area is divided into Dark (with a stone cliff) and Light (with a vast glade) parts. Guests are given booklets with basic information about the Kalevala collection and its characters. The walk is really fascinating and interactive: the creators of the park organize quests, master classes and other entertainment, give visitors souvenirs.

Address: Ruskeala Mountain Park, Marble Street, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

The Garden of Stones.

The Garden of Rocks

The garden of stones.

Continuing to explore the natural treasures of Karelia, tourists often visit the Garden of Stones, founded by a native of this place Boris Ahonen. For about 20 years he has been collecting rock samples, forming from them unusual compositions and entire sculptures.

The collection of rocks is still growing: many visitors to the garden give Boris Stepanovich their interesting finds. The collection includes garnet, shungite, semi-precious stones and, of course, Ruskeala marble. Excursion conducts himself the owner of the park. And if the tourist has time, he can collect a stone sculpture himself. The exposition also includes rare items – domestic objects, found by Ahonen in the forest areas, abandoned by people.

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The Abode of Angels Museum

The Abode of Angels Museum.

The basis of the collection of a unique museum are carved wooden products. As the name of the attractions hints, most of them are figures of winged gods, but there are also pictures of people. The founder of the museum is Alexander Ivchenko, a famous woodcarver.

The museum is located in a frame pavilion. The exhibition is not a disjointed collection, but an extensive and well-thought-out composition. Many visitors compare it to a theatrical scene frozen in time. The central element of the composition is the hand of the Creator, made of 4,000 wooden parts. It is surrounded by anthropomorphic angels, each with their own role. There are signs that explain what the exhibition is all about so that visitors can understand it better.

Address: Abode of Angels, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

The Lake of Light

Light Lake

Bright Lake.

To the west of the Italian quarry stretches a beautiful body of water with a telling name – Lake Bright. It is distinguished by surprisingly clean and clear water. In many places, even at a depth of several meters you can see the bottom. The water is not too large, but it is picturesque.

Water in the lake has a comfortable temperature: in cool weather, it keeps warm, and in hot – refreshing. Therefore, many tourists are happy to swim here. Clean air and beautiful northern nature is a reason to stay longer: there are tent camping on the shores.

Address: Light Lake, Marble Street, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

Trolls

Trolls

Trolley.

Ruskeala is good not only for the fabulous nature and cultural sites: fans of outdoor activities are also sure to find entertainment to their liking. One of the most popular – trolley or zipline. Ride is a high-speed descent on a cable stretched between two points at a small angle. The design is safe, but such a descent gives a sense of speed and the opportunity to admire the height of the beautiful views.

In Ruskeala, the “flight” takes place over the most picturesque part of the mountain park, Marble Lake. A splash of adrenaline and positive emotions are guaranteed. It is worth taking into account that there may be lines for the trolls. There is a restriction on body weight of the tourist – up to 120 kg. Children under the age of seven are not allowed to go down.

Address: Flying over the canyon (trolls), Marble Street, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

Bungee

Bungee

Bungee Jumping.

If trolling seems not exciting enough, bungee jumping is waiting for thrill-seekers in Ruskeala. The visitors of the attraction are tied with rubber ropes, and then they jump from a height – in this case, 20 meters. The views of Marble Canyon are unlikely to be seen during the jump, but extreme lovers don’t expect that.

Queue to the bungee is usually small, but there is also a weight limit – up to 100 kg. Children can participate from the age of seven years. The attraction operates only during the warm season.

Address: Big Marble Canyon, Marble Street, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

Diving

Diving

Diving.

Underwater diving is another entertainment for visitors to the mountain park. Scuba diving here is particularly pleasant and interesting thanks to the clear and clean water of the quarry. The walls contain many caves, which divers swim in. Submerged tunnels resemble a real labyrinth.

Tourists should keep in mind that the water, even in summer, is cool, around +16 Celsius. Season lasts from May to October. In addition, you must come with your equipment or rent it back in Petrozavodsk. You can dive on your own or with an escort. In the second case the cost also includes instruction and photo.

Address: Ruskeala Mountain Park, Marble Street, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

Rope park “Kubik”.

Rope park Kubik

Rope park “Cube”.

Both adults and children can try their hand at another exciting attraction. In the park “Cube” there are two levels of rope courses. For climbing lovers there is a climbing wall with a height of 6 meters. Children from five years of age are allowed to visit the park.

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Address: Kubik Rope Village, Marmarnaya Street, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia, Russia.

16 Sights of Ruskeala worth visiting

The best places of interest in Ruskeala

One of the most beautiful corners of Karelia has a huge number of attractions. Most of them are associated with the extraction of marble, which began in these areas in the XVII century.

In the village itself and its surroundings are quite a lot of picturesque places, which are definitely worth going. All of them are worth seeing. Ruskeala is interesting both for adults and children.

Marble Canyon

Marble Canyon

Marble Canyon

Mining first began in the 17th century. After the expansion of the Russian Empire, ownership of the land passed to Catherine II.

Visitors can walk along the nearby trails, and guides will tell the full history of the development of the canyon. A beautiful view opens up from the observation decks. Everyone can visit the cafe, buy a souvenir or stay overnight in the tent city.

Currently, the canyon serves only as a tourist attraction. It is thoroughly flooded, the marble is mined around and in extremely small quantities. To look at the stone, which has been achieved in these places, you can almost all the palaces of St. Petersburg.

Address: ul. Marble, 1, Ruskeala, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.94718, 30.57975

Opening hours: Cash desks are open every day from 9 am to 8 pm.

Ruskeala Fault

Ruskeala Fault

Ruskeala Fault

In the last century there was an explosion that created one of the most beautiful sights of the village.

On the place of the excavation there was a failure, which eventually turned into a pit with a diameter of over 25 meters. In summer, it is almost filled to the top with water. Surrounded by ice and snow remnants, the temperature around the lake does not rise by degrees.

The best way to see the hole is to go down with a rope. It is usually forbidden to swim in the water for two reasons: the water in the lake is almost icy, and you can easily hurt yourself on the bottom.

During the cold winter people often come here to go skiing. They are not afraid to fall through the ice, it is always very strong and thick.

Address: Ruskeala village, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.9488, 30.57786.

Working time: Daily from 10:00 till 21:00

The Lake of Light

Light Lake

The Lake of Light

Not far from the Italian quarry is another natural attraction. The name of the pond speaks for itself. The water in it is completely transparent and strikes its purity. Even in the deepest sections, the bottom can be seen as if in the palm of your hand.

The small lake is surrounded by picturesque views. Quite often you can find tourists swimming. The water here is refreshing and cool. People usually put up tents and organize whole towns on the shore.

Address: Ruskeala village, 1, Marmarnaya St., Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.94914, 30.56992.

Where to go and what to see in Ruskeala

Marble Lake and boat trip

Marble Lake and boat trip

Marble Lake and boat trip

The body of water appeared after the flooding of the canyon. Scientists have not been able to find the exact reason why the water began to move into the outcroppings.

Most of them believe that Finnish soldiers damaged some of the rock during World War II. The lake is considered one of the most beautiful in the country. Its width reaches 100 m, and its length is more than 450.

The unusual beauty of this place gives the color of the water. The turquoise color creates a sense of fairy tale.

The water in the lake is almost transparent, you can see the bottom at a height of 20 meters. You can view the attraction from a specially equipped platform, or you can hire a boat to explore the lake better.

Address: Ruskeala village, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.94718, 30.57975

Opening hours: Docks are available from the end of May to the beginning of September, daily from 10:30 to 19:30

The Road of Mountain Masters

The Road of Mountain Masters

The Road of Mountain Masters

Ruskeala Mountain Park has a wide appeal because of the huge number of interesting sights located on its territory.

One of them is the famous trail. Along the way, the guide will tell you about the ancient legends that surrounded this place, as well as about the history of exploration of the canyon and marble mining.

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Tourists will have the opportunity to see not only the Marble Canyon, but also to be inside the cave. From the eyes hides a wonderful lake, which is mentioned in many myths.

Address: Ruskeala village, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.94833, 30.58031

Opening hours: in summer from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm, in autumn from 10 am to 5 pm, in spring and winter from 10:30 am to 5 pm.

Underground Ruskeala

Underground Ruskeala

Underground Ruskeala

One of the most popular tours takes place in the caves. The amazing world seems to be imaginary thanks to the special lighting and special music. Tour guides talk about how the quarries were developed and what features the underground Ruskeala has.

Tourists are advised to take warm clothes. Under the ground temperature is much lower. Even in the hottest summer the thermometer scale does not rise above +10°C. The most interesting episode is considered a short walk on a floating platform on the lake.

Address: Ruskeala village, 1, Marble Street, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.94743, 30.57606

Working time: every day from 10 am to 5 pm, in summer from 9:20 am to 7:40 pm.

Italian quarry

Italian quarry

Italian quarry

The name, still known today, appeared in the 18th century. At that time the place was discovered by Italian engineers, who extracted valuable materials. Subsequently, foreign technology has been preserved. During the works, they managed to get gray and bluish stones, which are considered the basis of Belaya.

Guides present to the public the traces of drilling, hiding in the rocks, as well as demonstrate the marble layers.

Address: Ruskeala village, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.94985, 30.57399

Opening hours: in spring and summer the ticket office is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., in autumn and winter time schedule is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Kalevala Park

Kalevala Park

Kalevala Park

An interesting attraction called the collection of legends and legends of the region. The park territory is divided into Dark and Light zones. Each of them has a special atmosphere.

A fascinating journey through the picturesque alleys, along which stone and wooden sculptures of the main characters of the Karelian epic will not leave indifferent neither children, nor adults.

At the entrance to the territory, all guests receive booklets with a summary of the most famous “Kalevala” legends and the characteristics of the epic’s main characters. Amusing quests and master classes for children are held daily in the park.

Address: Ruskeala settlement, Ruskeala Mountain Park, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.94901, 30.57384.

Opening hours: The ticket office opens at 9 a.m. and works until 9 p.m. every day, without interruption.

The Garden of Stones.

The Garden of Rocks

The Garden of Stones.

The founder of this amazing place is a native of Karelia, B. Ahonem. More than 20 years Boris Stepanovich collects minerals of different shapes and sizes, and then turns them into true masterpieces of art.

Tour among the unusual sculptures of shungite, granite, semi-precious stones and Ruskel stone is held by the owner of the garden. Boris Ahonem tells many interesting facts about the properties of minerals, as well as stories related to his hikes in the mountains.

The exposition of the unusual museum is decorated with artifacts found by the founder of the garden during geological expeditions.

Address: Ruskeala village, Sortavala highway, 16, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 62.04625, 30.68275

Opening hours: every day from 10:00 till 18:00

Entrance: free

The Abode of Angels Museum

The Abode of Angels Museum

The unique museum, which has no analogues in the world, attracts mainly art lovers. Many visitors compare the numerous expositions to a frozen theatrical performance.

Almost all of the figures are made of wood. They represent people and angels. Some compositions are hard to perceive, to reveal the idea of the author, each has an information plate.

The pearl of the museum is called the hand of God himself. The sculpture was created from 4,000 parts, each of which was carved by hand.

Address: Ruskeala village, Ruskeala Mountain Park, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.94766, 30.57297

Opening hours: from 10:00 to 17:00, no break, no holidays.

What to do in Ruskeala

Trolls

Trolls

Trolls

For those who are tired of the constant excursions, this activity will definitely suit you. But you also have to try to give up your fears. The troll flies at high speed over the Marble Lake. This place is considered the most beautiful in the village, so the attraction is quite popular.

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The ride on the trolls will give you bright and unforgettable emotions. It is difficult to see all the local sights, but to have a bird’s-eye view of them is worth it for everyone.

Address: Ruskeala settlement, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.94851, 30.57958

Opening hours: in spring from 11 am to 6 pm except Tuesdays and Wednesdays, in summer from 11 am to 7 pm, on weekends until 8 pm

Bungee

Bungee

Bungee

This attraction is open only in summer and is very popular. Daredevils who are ready to jump from a great height line up in a long queue. Anyone who dares to take the risk will be insured by a rubber rope. The height from which the jump does not exceed 20 meters.

Anyone can try his or her mettle. Children are also allowed to bungee jump, but only those who are over 8 years old.

Address: Ruskeala settlement, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.94566, 30.57999 61.94845, 30.57939

Opening hours: seasonal, in spring from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. only on weekends, in summer from Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Diving

Diving

Diving

The most popular activity in the village is not only exploring the local beauty, but also scuba diving. Fans of scuba diving will be delighted. The water in the quarry is almost transparent, and a lot of interesting things are waiting below. Experienced divers are allowed to swim into the caves, which are woven into an oddball maze.

Anyone can dive under the water, just rent equipment and, if necessary, ask for help from an instructor. Water is quite cold, even in the warmest time of the year the temperature does not rise above +15 ° C.

Address: Ruskeala village, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.94519, 30.57901

Opening hours: book in advance

Snowmobiles and quad bikes

Snowmobiles and quad bikes

Snowmobiles and quad bikes

Outdoor enthusiasts come to Karelia quite often. Riding on quad bikes and snowmobiles is very popular.

The former are used in the warm season, and the latter only in winter, when there is a lot of snow. The largest rental shop is located in the Mountain Park. Here tourists can find a track that suits their level of training.

If you’ve never been skiing before, don’t worry. Experienced professionals give instructions and help to everyone who needs it to avoid accidents before the trip.

Address: Ruskeala village, 1, Marble Street, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.94496, 30.57989

Opening hours: every day from 9 am to 6 pm

Rope park “Kubik”.

Rope park Kubik

Rope park “Kubik”.

This popular attraction is available to children and adults. Anyone who wants to test their strength and agility can try to pass the obstacle course. All in all, there are about a dozen different trails with two levels of difficulty.

Fans of rock climbing will not get bored for sure. They can try to climb to the top of the rock climbing wall, its height is slightly over 5 meters. Even the youngest guests of the village, whose age has reached 6 years, have an opportunity to visit the park.

Address: Ruskeala village, Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.94438, 30.57982

Opening hours: in summer from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Mon-Fri), on weekends from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Ruskeala neighborhood sights

Ruskeala Waterfalls

Ruskeala Waterfalls

Ruskeala Waterfalls

Quite small waterfalls, despite their modest height, are considered one of the most beautiful sights of the village. Fans of active lifestyles, rafting on the river are well acquainted with their view. The waterfalls are located on the river Tohmajoki.

They are widely known for the unusual color of the water. The hue resembles copper, brownish, and all because of the high iron content. Streams of water strike between the thick greenery that curls around it.

This place is especially beautiful in the spring. Experts recommend to visit it after rains.

Address: Republic of Karelia; GPS: 61.91558, 30.62655

Opening hours: from 10:00 to 19:00

May be interesting

Curious facts about Ruskeala

Ruskeala Mountain Park first opened its doors to visitors in 2005.
It is also known that the park is included in the list of cultural heritage of Russia.
Interestingly, several famous films were shot here: “The Dark World”, “The Dawns Here Are Quiet”, “Flint”.

Ruskeala sights on the map

Frequently asked questions

There are several cafes in the park: Cafe Leto, Cafe Ruskolka, Kolmas Burgers, Cafe Nordenbeef.

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