Karelian traditions are celebrated at this little village 2km south of Ilomantsi. It's named for bard and kantele player Jaakko Parppei (1792–1885), whose songs inspired the Kalevala epic. Listen to the harpsichord-like sounds of this local stringed instrument at the small cultural museum on the hour from noon. Parppeinpirtti does a wonderfully authentic Karelian buffet. The Mesikkä Animal Museum explores the relationship between Karelians and nature; there's a fascinating exhibition on the war years in the Border General’s Cabin.

The cabin served as headquarters for Major General Erkki Raappana, a local hero who was decorated by Mannerheim for his achievements, and contains many of his personal effects, plus a case of Finnish and Russian weaponry from Uzis to homemade bombs.

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