Wood processing factory in Verla, Finland.

Old church in the village of Petäjävesi

Petäjävesi Old Church in central Finland was built of logs in 1763-1765. This provincial Lutheran church is a typical example of the architectural traditions that are unique in Eastern Scandinavia. The symmetrical layout of the Renaissance church combines here with older forms originating from the Gothic cross vaults.

Wood factory in Verl

The wood factory in Verl and the neighbouring housing area is an outstanding and very well-preserved example of a small industrial settlement in the countryside. Wood pulp, pulpwood, paper, and board production flourished in Northern Europe and North America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Only a few of these settlements have survived to this day.

Sammallahdenmäki Bronze Age burial complex

The Bronze Age Sammallahdenmäki burial mound contains over 30 granite tombstones (cairns) and provides unique evidence of the burial customs and social and religious structures that prevailed in Northern Europe over three thousand years ago.

Struve Geodetic Arc

“The Struve Arc” is a chain of triangulation points stretching 2,820 km across ten European countries from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea. These observation reference points were established in the period 1816-1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve (aka Vasily Yakovlevich Struve), who thus made the first reliable measurement of the large segment of the arc of the Earth’s meridian. This allowed us to accurately establish the size and shape of our planet, which was an important step in the development of Earth sciences and topographic mapping. It was an exceptional example of scientific cooperation between scientists of different countries and between ruling monarchs. The original “arc” consisted of 258 geodetic “triangles” (polygons) with 265 major triangulation points. The World Heritage Site includes 34 of these points (the best preserved so far), which are marked on the ground in different ways: hollowed out in the rocks, iron crosses, stone pyramids or specially erected obelisks.

7. Kvarken Archipelago / “High Bank” (Gulf of Bothnia)

“High shore” is located on the west coast of the Gulf of Bothnia, which forms the northern extension of the Baltic Sea. The total area of this territory is 142.5 thousand hectares, including the adjacent water area of 80 thousand hectares together with the coastal islands. The local landscape, with its rugged relief, chains of lakes, bays and flat hills up to 350 m high, was mainly shaped by the processes of glaciation, glacier melting, land uplift and sea shore retreat. “The High Shore” became ice-free 9,600 years ago, and since then the area has risen about 285 m, the highest elevation recorded to date. “The High Coast” is a unique area where one can study the geological processes of glaciation and uplift of the earth’s surface. The Kvarken Archipelago (added in 2006 as an extension of the “High Shore” site) includes 5,600 islands and islets and covers a total area of 194,400 hectares (15% land and 85% water area). Here you can see an unusual ridge-shaped moraine – “De Greer moraines”, formed as a result of melting of the continental ice sheet 10-24 thousand years ago. The archipelago is constantly rising above sea level, as the land previously under the weight of the ice sheet rises at a rate that is recognized as one of the highest for this kind of phenomenon. As the coastline grows, new islands appear and existing islands merge, peninsulas grow, bays are transformed into lakes that swamp over time. Kvarken is a perfect testing ground for the study of isostatic land uplift, a phenomenon first revealed here.

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In February-March 2014, Finland saw a general decline in tourism business, approaching the level of 2009, when the decline in the number of foreign tourists was due to the effects of the economic crisis. In September the number of overnight stays of tourists from Russia decreased by 20% compared to 2013, and in December the figure rose to 50%.

Of the 4.3 million tourists who visited Finland in May-October 2011, over 1.7 million were tourists from Russia (27% more than the same period in 2010), in second place – 466,000 citizens of Estonia (48% more than in 2010), the third – from Sweden. A total of 7.3 million foreign visitors to Finland in 2011 (17% more than in 2010), of which 45% came from Russia (27% more than in 2010).

On average, foreign tourists stayed in Finland for 4.5 days and spent about 287 euros (Russian tourists spent 232 euros). The total amount of money spent by tourists in 2011 was 2.2 billion euros, 180 million more than in 2010. [1]

In 2011 in the cities of South Karelia (Lappeenranta and Imatra) the level of tourist sales was more than 90 million euros, most of which came from Russian tourists.

In January-May 2012 the number of foreign tourists increased by 12 % compared to the same period in 2011. At the end of 2012 recorded more than 10 million border crossings in southeastern Finland.

In May 2013, the largest group were tourists from Russia, they spent in the country a total of 122 thousand days (50% more than in May 2012), in second place – tourists from Sweden, 43 thousand days (decrease of 7%) and in third place – tourists from Germany, 34 thousand days (10% more than in May 2012).

In 2013 tourists from China spent 117 thousand days in Finland (30% more than in 2012).

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Finns themselves went on holiday within the country in 2012, 26.8 million times (in 2008 – 27.1 million; in 2011 – 31.2 million times), and abroad – 5.8 million (2012) (in 2008 – 3.3 million times). The leaders of foreign trips of Finns remain Estonia, Greece, Spain, Italy and Croatia.


In 2012, the average hotel room rate in Finland was ? 106 (in Stockholm – ? 129, in Kopenhagen – ? 123), which is 6% higher than in 2011. In 2014, experts noted a general decline in hotel business.

Proposed in October 2013 by Markus Lankinen, executive director of the regional business life company of Lappeenranta, the introduction of a compulsory tourist tax of 50 cents per person per night in a hotel, which, in his opinion, would have brought the city substantial funds for the development of urban infrastructure and road repairs, has led to criticism from the Ministry of Finance of Finland.

The country has a network of small private hotels.

Types of tourism in Finland:

Ski tourism.

Finland, mostly in Lapland, has developed winter tourism – downhill skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling, dog and reindeer sledding (resort in Yulläs and others). Well-known for its downhill skiing resorts of Salla, Pyuha, Ruka (near Kuusamo), Suomu (near Kemijärvi), Saariselkä, Levi and Yulläs.

Ecological tourism

Since the 2010s eco-tourism is gaining momentum. The country’s tourism industry offers hiking trails through protected areas and a network of 39 national parks and protected areas.

Religious tourism

A separate category of tourism is religious tourism (or pilgrimage) which aims at visiting the Orthodox monasteries of Novo-Valaamsky and Lintulsky, the Pokrovsky Friary and the Elisabeth Sisterhood, the Dormition Cathedral and several other historic temples of the 19th century.

Medical Tourism

Due to the demand for health care services, the number of Russian tourists visiting Finland for treatment and recovery has been on the rise. In 2011-2012, there has been a significant increase in demand for Russian-speaking medical professionals.

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Organization of surface water runoff: The greatest amount of moisture on the globe evaporates from the surface of seas and oceans (88‰).

Waterfront and shoreline cross-sections: In urban areas shore protection is designed taking into account technical and economic requirements, but special importance is given to aesthetic ones.

Single pole wooden support and methods of strengthening the corner supports: Overhead power line supports are structures designed to support wires at the required height above the ground, water.

Papillary patterns of the fingers of the hands – a marker of athletic ability: dermatoglyphic signs are formed at 3-5 months of gestation, do not change during life.

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Wood processing factory in Verla, Finland.

The Finnish Verla Wood Mill and its residential complex is an outstanding, well-preserved example of a small-scale industrial settlement . It is associated with the production of pulp and paperboard, which flourished in Northern Europe and North America in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

History of Verla

Verla’s first lumber mill was established in 1872 by Hugo Neumann, a Finnish engineer.

A wood chopping machine burned down in 1874. so the young industrialist returned to the railway service.

Wood processing factory in Verla, Finland - Photo 2

History of Verla

In 1882 Gottlieb Kreidl founded a new timber and board factory. Louis Henel and Consul Wilhelm Dippell were also shareholders.

By the end of the 19th century the commercial operations of the Verla factory were managed from Vyborg.

In 1906 Consul Dippell became a major shareholder but died a few months later. His brother, the architect Edward Dippell, inherited his share.

The other shareholders were the heirs of Henel and real estate manager Kreidl, who died of serious illness in 1908. Kreidl’s share passed to the Austrian state.

During the Civil War, the Red Army occupied the factory and office building, but the equipment and buildings were not damaged. The invaders kept the factory running until the end of March 1918.

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Wood processing factory in Verla, Finland - Photo 3

History of Verla

In 1920 the Kissakoski companies bought Verla.

In 1922 they were owned by the Kymi Company. At that time, it was the leading company in the Finnish forest industry.

The new owner purchased a modern machine to replace the oldest Verla sander . Verlankoski also built a small hydroelectric power plant.

The factory’s equipment, except for the grinding machines, was electrified.

During the wars of 1939-1945, production broke records because cardboard was used to make ammunition boxes.

After the Second World War, the Finnish timber industry could not renew its machines for long, because there was no money for investments.

The Verla factories were allowed to continue operating, which was important for both production and employment.

In the 1950s the factories began to be phased out because of difficulties in selling goods, power cuts, and personnel costs.

On Saturday, July 18, 1964, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, Verla’s only working grinder stopped. Drying and subsequent work continued until September .

Werle Wood Processing Plant, Finland - Photo 4

History of Verla

Verla as a museum.

Back in the 1950s, the idea of a museum for the entire factory was floated . This was new to Finland, since the protection of industrial culture had not been raised until the 1970s.

The official proposal to turn the factory into a museum came from Kymi’s head of information and public relations, Veikko Talvi. As a publicist with a background as a historian, he was impressed by the machines, equipment of the factory and the entire work process, which had remained unchanged since the late 19th century.

He photographed the buildings, working methods, and factory staff. He interviewed pensioners and employees, collected old photographs and other documentary materials. On the last day of the work filmed a documentary about the activities of the plant.

The official opening of the factory museum took place on May 14, 1972.

In 1996 the factory and its residential complex was inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Werle Wood Processing Plant, Finland - photo 5

Verla as a museum.


Verla’s single factory environment miraculously avoided demolition . Since the area had no conditions for growth due to the fact that the factory was located on a small body of water, there were no inappropriate additions.

The brick architecture of the Verla factory buildings was shaped largely by English and German industrial architecture .

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The buildings were designed by Karl Eduard Dippell, a Vyborg architect of German origin. He liked to use decorative masonry, projections in the form of half-columns, church gables and original ironwork on the ceiling.

The workers built their own houses on the factory premises, and so by the 19th century many wooden cottages sprang up in the area.

They were vacated after the plant ceased operation, and in 1967 were given to the employees of “Kymi” for the rest. Today the cottages are owned by the Verla Spa Village and are rented out.

Werle Wood Processing Plant, Finland - photo 6


What else can you see?

  • The owner’s residence was built in 1885 according to the plans of architect Dippell. In 1898, a tower-like facade was added to the residence, a colorful garden was laid out, and a bowling pavilion was built.
  • Many traditional perennials bloom in the owner’s garden, including autumn phlox, aconite, and lilies. The park has trees that were planted in the early 20th century, including walnut trees, blue spruce, northern white cedar, linden trees along the banks of the rapids and lianas on the walls of the residence. The museum’s gardener gives tours.
  • The old board drying attic burned to the ground in 1893, and it was decided that the new building should be more durable. A new drying loft was built of brick that same year. Dippell had an eye for detail, and he positioned the new drying loft so that its church-like spire would dominate the landscape when the factory was approached from the road or water.
  • At the beginning of the rapids of Verlankoski is a series of rock paintings, estimated to be 7,000 years old. This ancient relic was discovered in 1974. The red marks can be seen on the vertical surface of the rocks, about one meter above the water surface. Eight moose and three humans are clearly visible in the image. The paintings represent the earliest phase of Finnish rock art.
  • The Historic Trail is marked by information boards. Describes the history of the World Heritage Site, starting with prehistoric rock paintings and going all the way through the factory.
  • You can walk the forest trail and admire the lush fir trees on the cliffs as well as the beautiful view of the lake.

Werle Wood Processing Plant, Finland - Photo 7

What else can you see?

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