OWL MOUNTAIN

The museum in the cliff

“GORA FILINA” is a new, or how it is appropriate to say, rediscovered war-historical object, the one of ten components of “South Karelia”,  the now establishing tourist-recreational cluster.

The war complex “Gora Filina” is located in forest surroundings, being a giant granite cliff with two entrances. Since 1943 until 1944 this natural grotto was used as Finnish Army battle headquarters. Its inner floor area size equals to 750 square metres with height reaching four metres. There are all the necessary communications inside the headquarters. The headquarters are unique as an engineering structure; unconventional technologies and materials were used during its construction. The reconstruction of the underground route is in the planning stage.

The efforts of gathering and housing the war-historical expositions of museum are in progress, with sections dedicated to the Winter War of 1939-1940 and Great Patriotic War in Karelia 1941-1944. The war reconstructions, quests, outposts and other thematical actions are held on the complex grounds.

The geology of Lahdenpohja district and “Gora filina” complex is also interesting. The city is located within Svekofennian geological province of the Baltic Shield. The solids, exposed in the city of Lahdenpohja area, were formed almost two billion years ago as a result of deposition of the sediments at the bottom of the ancient ocean and the volcano eruptions. In “Gora filina” there are such minerals as biotite, quartz, garnet, muscovite, cyanite, andalusite and sortavalite. The last mineral attracts attention because it is only found in the south-western part of Karelia and nowhere else in the world! In the museum there is a section dedicated to the Karelian geology.

The ground features and magnificent views from the viewing points and pedestrian routes make Gora Filina an attractive object for panoramic and scenic photo shooting. We care about filling your day with a bright impressions and for combining interesting timespending with learning history and health improvement.

 There is a free parking on the complex grounds. The guided tours are held everyday, costing 200 roubles. You are welcome to visit this wonderful place!

We are located in Lahdenpohja, turn to the Huuhkanmaki station in 1 km. The lake Paikjarvi is in 300 metres.

 The project is realised with the assistance of

  • Republic of Karelia Govermnent
  • The Minitsry Of Culture
  • Russian Geographical Society

Photos

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History

The first settlements in the Lahdenpohja area appeared as early as 2nd century BC. In 6th century AD the Karelian isthmus began to be populated by agricultural tribes, who could also work iron. The lands in Sakkola, Räisälä and Kurkijoki areas were the first to be brought into the cultivation. During 800-1100 AD large-sized settlements and powerful defense system, consisting of many fortresses located on the tops of the steep rocks on the shore of the Lake Ladoga, were set up there. Different Finno-Ugoric tribes migrated here mainly from south, partially from west, and, mixing with each other and local Saami people, formed the Karelian people.

During 1100-1300 AD the fur trade flourished here and military connections with Novgorod the Great were established. The first mention of the Karelians in Russian chronicles occured in 1143, where they were mentioned as ‘korela’.This etnonym existed in the Russian language until the 19th century, but it was gradually replaced by the modern “karelians”. In 1227 Grand Prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovisch baptised the Karelians in Orthodoxy, and Novgorod the Great recieved the Ladoga Karelia lands (Priladozhje).

Swedes clamed Karelian lands, and long years of wars finally led to the conclusion of the Treaty of Oreshek (Treaty of Noteborg) between Rus (The Novgorod Republic) and Sweden in 1323. The area of the modern Lahdenpohja district became part of Kiriazh Pogost, which belonged to the Novgorod lands. In 1478 Kiriazh Pogost, together with the other Novgorod Pogosts, joined the Great Duchy of Moscow. This way Ladoga Karelia lands became part of Korela yezd (district).

In 1570 Russia and Sweden start a big war, and, as a result, in 1580 Korela yezd was occupied by the Swedish army. In 1595 the new peace treaty was concluded in Tyavzino (Teusina), according to which Korela yezd was returned to the Russia. Despite this, the Swedish army occupied it once again in 1611.   

In 1617 Russia and Sweden signed the Treaty of Stolbovo, whereby Sweden got Karelia and Ingria. Kiryazh Pogost was renamed Kurkijoki. This has radically changed the fate of Korela yezd. It was not given the full Swedish rights, and a special administration and tax systems were established on the territory of yezd. The majority of Orthodox Karelians have left the land and moved to the Northern and Eastern Karelia, Novgorod and Tver’.

During the Northern War  (1700-1721) the territory of the modern Lahdenpohja region was freed by Russians and became a part of Russia.

In 1808, the new war between Russia and Sweden began. In 1809 a peace treaty of Fredrikshamn was concluded, according to which Finland joined the Russian Empire. In 1811 Emperor Alexander I issued a decree about incorporation of the modern Lahdenpohja district territories to the Great Duchy of Finland.

In 1917, as a result of the revolution in Russia, Finland  gainedindependence.  On the territory of the modern district, comprised from three administrative districts (Hiitola, Kurkijoki and Jaаkkima), large-scale sawmills were built. Wood processing products were exported and these lands became vital for the Finnish economy.

In November 1939, the Soviet-Finnish (Winter) war began. It ended by signing a peace treaty on March 12th, 1940. According to the treaty, Lahdenpohja lands together with other Finnish territories were ceded to USSR. The Finnish population was evacuated. In July 1940 a Kurkijoki district was founded with a centre in the settlement of Kurkijoki, which in turn was incorporated into the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic.

In 1941, Finland in alliance with Germany declared war over USSR. From 1941 until 1944 the territory of the disctrict was occupied by the Finnish army, and the port of Lahdenpohja became the main base of the Finnish fleet on the lake Ladoga. In September 1944 USSR and Finland signed the armistice, and the territory of the district agane became the  part of  the Soviet Union. On January 20th, 1945, the administrative centre of Kurkijoki district was moved to the city of Lahdenpohja. In February 1947 USSR and Finland signed a peace treaty, where the belonging of the Ladoga Karelia to the USSR was legally secured.

Geology

From the geological point of view, the territories of the Nordic countries, Murmansk district and Karelia are situated on one of the rare exposures of the ancient platform basements to the earth surface. There are around twenty (depending on whether Canadian and Greenland shields are merged together or regarded as different shileds) such exposures, which geologists call ‘crystalline shields’, and three of them are located in Russia. Crystalline shield as a fragment of ancient platform basement is not homogenous in terms of formation, composition and time. Within the shield geologists distinguish separate provinces, each having its own, different from the neighbouring ones, geological history. Each province is an ancient continent or a seam from the ancient oceans closed off.

The city of Lahdenpohja and “Gora Filina” are situated within Svekofennian geological province. The history of Svekofennian province formation lasted for about 100 million years, the absolute age of solids composing it being about 1,9-1,8 billion years, which corresponds to the the Proterozoic era.

There are several zones distinguished within the Svekofennian province.

The solids exposed at the surface in Lahdenpohja area were formed 1,92-1,89 billion years ago during Kalevian geological era, as a result of sediments deposition, including fossils, on the bottom of the ancient ocean and vulcanic eruptions as well.

After deposition these layers of sediments and eruptive products ended up in the ancient ocean close off zone, where they were heated up to the temperatures reaching 8000C under pressure of 4,8-6,4 atmospheres (they were metamorphically altered in conditions reaching the granulite facies). In these conditions solids became plastic and bended into folds, some even melted. The melting penetrated the creeks and weakened zones between the creazed layers, forming the wonderful patterns we see today.

After the metamorphic transformations stage the giant drops of granitical melting rose and cristallized within the modified volcanic sedimentation mass, forming intrusions aged 1.88-1.87 billions of years.

In the north of Lahdenpohja Area the Meyer thrust is fixed, which geologist interpret as a zone where two blocks of earth crust shifted from one another.

From there durind hundreds millions of years sedimentary cover was accumulated on the crystallic basement of an ancient platform: seas, lakes, rivers and decaying mountains sediments were accumulated, portaged, eroded and accumulated again.

However, during the Quaternary glaciation (120-10 thousand years ago) almost all accumulated sedimentary cover was removed and ancient basement was exposed. Glaciers, especially during the last, Valday glaciation (70-10 thousand years ago) formed the present-day landscape: thin alteration of hills and depressions oriented north-west with 50-70 metres elevation difference, long and narrow bays and islands on the Ladoga shores.

Sights

There are 53 monuments and 4 historico-cultural ensembles in Lahdenpohja district.  In the city there are Rauhala manor (build in the end of the XIX century), Koivumäki manor, for those who love history Hiitola manor and archeological sites, like Kurkijoki ancient fortified settlement (14-16 centuries AD), Suur-Mikli town settlement (9-14 centuries), burial site Kuuppala near Kurkijoki and ancient settlement site are of interest. For a long time Lahdenpohja area belonged to Finland, which is reflected on its architectural look. Among the sights of the region one can name Lutheran Churches in Lumivaara and Ilmee settlements.

In Lahdenpohja area there are seven natural sites with a status of  “Specially protected natural areas”. The “Ladoga skerries” are recognized as the main one -- the complex of more than 300 island with virginal nature and rif mountains. The number of islands, bays and straits there is impossible to find in any other region. Another specially protected natural area in the list is the “Western archipelago” (Zapadny arkhipelag) reserve. It unites numerous islands and is used for protection of larids and Ladoga seals. The Northern Ladoga Karelian reserve is operating for the breeding of the game animals.

 Among tourist objects of interest are the botanical natural site near Kurkijoki town and fortress-mountains Linnanmaki and Linnavuori, where ancient Karelians defended against raids. These historical monuments (around ten in number) can be seen only in Lahdenpohja district. There are geological sites in the mountains, for example, glacial kettle hole in Jaamaki and the cave on the slope of the Aittavuori mountain. The  local landscape consists mainly of mountains and cliffs, but there are beaches in the area. For example, the vast sand beaches on the Kuhkaa island and rather extended beach on an Kojonsaari island are natural sites too.

Prices

Including guided tour to museum in the rock and walking route visit.

Adults300 rubles
Students, pupils200 rubles
Veterans of World War II and children under 7 yearsFree

Contacts

Russia, Karelia, Lakhdenpokhya

GPS coords: 61.548857, 30.199141

Google maps

Working hours

Mo-Fr:10:00 — 19:00 last guided tour - 18:15
Sa-Su:10:00 — 20:00 last guided tour - 19:15

Email

9211104@mail.ru

Phones

+7 921 220-20-32

+7 911 921-11-04