A Monument for memory of  "Red finns" shot here in 1918-19 and the South Karelia Museum in Fortress at Lappeenranta.

© Ojimorena/Getty Images/iStock


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Standing guard above the harbour, this hulking hilltop fortification was begun by the Swedes and finished by the Russians in the late 18th century. Today it contains galleries, craft workshops and fascinating museums, including the history-focused South Karelian Museum and Cavalry Museum, and the Lappeenranta Art Museum. Its Orthodox Church, Finland’s oldest church, was completed in 1785 by Russian soldiers. Pick up the tourist office's free walking guide The Fortress of Lappeenranta, or download its free app.

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1. South Karelian Museum

0.04 MILES

Focusing on the history of Lappeenranta – and of its two sister towns, Käkisalmi (Priozersk) and Vyborg, lost across the Russian border in 1939, this…

2. Lappeenranta Art Museum

0.12 MILES

This art museum at the Linnoitus fortress has a permanent collection of modern paintings by Karelian and other Finnish artists. A large part of the space…

3. Hiekkalinna

0.14 MILES

Every summer, around 30 sand artists from Finland and abroad gather to build the Hiekkalinna, a giant themed ‘sandcastle’ made from some 3 million kg of…

4. Orthodox Church

0.15 MILES

At the Linnoitus fortress, Finland’s oldest church was completed in 1785 by Russian soldiers and features a glittering iconostasis and other saintly…

5. Cavalry Museum

0.17 MILES

The cavalry are honoured as Lappeenranta’s greatest heroes and the 1772-built former garrison (the town’s oldest building) at the Linnoitus fortress tells…

6. Wolkoff Home Museum

0.47 MILES

Built in 1826, this lovingly preserved Russian home was owned by the merchant Wolkoff family from 1872 to 1986, and its 10 rooms have been maintained as…

7. Myllysaari

0.58 MILES

On the lakeshore, this sandy beach has an outdoor swimming pool, beach volleyball, a water slide and kiosk, along with the Myllysaari beach sauna. Hardy…

8. Lappee Church

0.62 MILES

Diagonally across the park from its own bell tower, the adorable wooden Lappee Church was built in 1794 to an unusual ‘double cruciform’ floor plan, the…