What to see in this famous park? For what, in general, is it worth going here?
A few days ago, I talked about how to get to the Ruskeala mountain park and how much it costs to visit it. Today I will tell you about interesting objects in the park.
The history of the mountain park «Ruskeala» — in brief
The lands where the park is located have changed hands more than once. Until 1721 it was a Swedish territory. And marble has been mined here since the 17th century — little by little, to get lime. Lime is exclusively white marble or light light gray.
Ruskeala. Sculpture in a mountain park. In these trolleys marble was taken out of the quarry. Photo of the author. Ruskeala. Sculpture in a mountain park. In these trolleys marble was taken out of the quarry. Photo of the author.
After the victory of Russia in the Northern War, these lands were ceded to the Russian Empire. Catherine II, who took the throne, launched active construction in St. Petersburg, and for the construction of new palaces, natural stone was needed — in huge quantities. Such was found not far from the capital — near the village of Ruskeala. The deposit was considered suitable, one might say, it was discovered by the apprentice stoneworker Andrey Pilyugin and the local pastor Samuil Alopeus.
And in 1768, the empress signed the Decree of the Senate on the start of marble mining in Ruskeala for the construction of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and later for other buildings.
The stone was taken both in an open way and in underground adits.
Marble for construction purposes was mined here until the mid-80s of the XX century. It is Ruskeala marble that decorates the St. Petersburg metro stations Ladozhskaya and Primorskaya. Later, marble was quarried mainly for the sake of lime, less and less.
In 1998, the quarry was declared unsuitable for commercial marble extraction. And in 1999, the concept of a tourist site was born, which was originally given the name «Marble Fragments of Ruskeala».
The idea was promising, and soon began to implement it.
- 2001 — began clearing the territory of the future park.
- 2005 — the beginning of the work of the «Mountain Park» Ruskeala «. They laid the first trail for recreational walking, opened a boat station. There was an opportunity to visit a small section of the adit.
- 2008 — a rope extreme park appeared.
- 2009 — they began to install artistic lighting in the park, including in the dungeons.
- 2010 — the beginning of research on abandoned underground adits.
- 2013 — according to the discovered fragments of the old mine surveying trail, a new route for tourists was opened — «The Road of Mining Masters».
- 2015 — the first exhibition of ice sculptures in the underground of the park.
- 2017 — the opening of the route «Mountain Ruskeala» (which we visited and filmed a video ).
The most interesting objects of the Ruskeala park
This part of my story is very subjective, because I will name those objects that I managed to see and which I personally found interesting.
Marble Canyon itself . At the time of our visit, it was still under ice. But in the summer, I think it looks pretty. There are conveniently arranged viewing platforms. The main charm and unusualness is the marble sheer cliffs of the canyon. There are 3 photos in the gallery.
Although, those who saw the turquoise Katun in Altai or the Sulak, squeezed by rocks in Dagestan, will not faint with delight.
Ruskeala. Marble Canyon. May 2022. Photo by the author.
Ruskeala dungeons . From my point of view, this is the main attraction of the park. But you can’t just get there, you need to buy an excursion. It’s very beautiful and mysterious. During the tour, ethnic music sounds, the lights turn on. And, since we were in a cold time, we managed to admire the ice sculptures on the surface of a frozen underground lake. There are several photos in the gallery.
Underground Ruskeala. Photo of the author. Underground Ruskeala. Photo of the author.
To feel the atmosphere, watch the video filmed during the excursion to the Underground Ruskeala:
The lake is bright. Like a lake like a lake. But on its banks it is so quiet, so calm. And the birds sang wildly. Come here for peace, space and tranquility.
Ruskeala. Lake Light. Photo of the author. May 2022 Ruskeala. Lake Light. Photo of the author. May 2022
Failure. It is also an underground lake. This is the name of the place where the ceiling collapsed in one of the underground galleries where marble was mined. We saw him both from the inside — from the dungeon, and from the outside. Outside, it is fenced so that by chance no one falls down.
Ruskeala. Failure. View outside. May 2022 Photo by the author. Ruskeala. Failure. View outside. May 2022 Photo by the author.
Italian Quarry . This is an amazing place! Bombastic, as the youngest son would say. I give career second place after dungeons.
Here you can see the beauty of the stone. It’s good raw too. Can you imagine how such marble looks in a polished version, in interiors? There are 3 photos in the gallery.
Italian Quarry. May 2022 Photo by the author. Italian Quarry. May 2022 Photo by the author.
Furnaces for annealing marble . These ovens are cyclopean in size. I can’t even imagine how they could be built — without cranes? In these kilns, light marble was burnt and lime was obtained.
The concrete overpass was built much later.
Ruskeala. Ancient kilns for lime production from marble. May 2022 Photo by the author. Ruskeala. Ancient kilns for lime production from marble. May 2022 Photo by the author.
Railway station and Ruskeala Express . From the mountain park to Sortavala, a locomotive-drawn train runs — «Ruskeala Express». The train is pulled by a real steam locomotive, and the cars are stylized «antique» — the beginning of the 20th — the end of the 19th century.
But the station itself was built the way it might have looked 100-150 years ago.
Ruskeala station. May 2022 Photo by the author. Ruskeala station. May 2022 Photo by the author.
I really liked the bonfires at the station, taken into curly lattices. There are benches next to the fires. In cold weather it is very nice to warm up here. We were already in May, but it was not superfluous to warm our hands by the fire. I was wearing gloves, and my husband said that no one wears gloves in May, and he was cold courageously.
The bonfires are real — on wood. An employee of the station threw logs in front of us.
Ruskeala. Bonfires at the station in curly lattices. Photo avtra. Ruskeala. Bonfires at the station in curly lattices. Photo avtra.
And this locomotive was driven onto a turntable in order to be serviced and hooked in the opposite direction.
Ruskeala. Steam locomotive on a turntable. Photo of the author. Ruskeala. Steam locomotive on a turntable. Photo of the author.
«The Abode of Angels» — a museum of wooden sculptures . I highly recommend visiting even though we weren’t there ourselves. At that time, we were already tired and satiated with impressions and emotions. We decided not to go. Now I regret not coming. If you are in «Ruskeala» — visit the «Abode of Angels» be sure, do not repeat our mistake. The reviews are very good. I don’t have my photo, I show the page of the advertising booklet:
Page of the booklet about the mountain park «Ruskeala». Page of the booklet about the mountain park «Ruskeala».
There is also a zipline in the park, a bungee. There are more than enough people who want to get thrilling impressions. But I would not classify these objects as attractions of the park. As well as cafes and playgrounds. It is more of an entertainment infrastructure.
In general, the park is wonderful, if you have not been, try to visit. You definitely won’t regret it! But if you go by car, arrive by 10 am, for the opening, otherwise there will be problems with parking. By the way, it’s free.
In this article, how to get there and how much it costs:
Mountain park «Ruskeala». How to get there, how much does a visit cost? When is it better to go — in winter or in summer? Village TravelerMay 16
Thank you for your attention to the article!
Health to everyone!
#karelia#ruskeala#ruskeala mountain park#travel in russia#russian north