The Prelude to a Discovery

Welcome to Southeastern Finland and Lake Saimaa. I spent a lot of time here during one especially dry and hot summer. As my blog is about photos and stories from abandoned places as well as my story of discovering those abandoned places, I decided to take this opportunity to promote this part of Finland a bit.

Southeastern Finland is perhaps after Helsinki the most interesting part of the country when it comes to architecture. This building here is the Lauritsala Church. It divides opinions, but I (fink u freeky and) I like you a lot.

The area also has huge amounts of functionalistic architecture from the 30’s and 40’s. Personally I find this my favourite architectural style.

This here is the Valtionhotelli (State Hotel) in Imatra. It is perhaps the most beautiful hotel in the country and has served as a hotel for more than 100 years.

The Valtionhotelli is located next to Imatrankoski (Imatra Rapids), which would be even more spectacular if the dam was open. They actually open it regularly and arrange shows where music is played and the water flows.

Here’s the end of the rapids. It all looks like being straight out of a fairytale.

Here’s the rapids from another direction. The hotel can be seen hiding in the forest on the right side of the picture.

This photo is from Lättälä, one of my favourite places in the world. It’s a small residential area designed by Väinö Vähäkallio in the 30’s for the workers at the adjacent pulp mill.

Lättälä is the last residential area still owned by the forest industry and it features around 20 small residential buildings from the prewar era. Almost everything has been preserved as it was for almost 90 years ago.

And this monstrous building has to go down as one of my all-time favorites. It’s was a former sanatorium turned into an asylum center, and it really is so huge, it doesn’t fit in one picture.

My journey took me via Ylämaa, Miehikkälä and Virojoki to Hamina, a very old city on the southern coast pretty close to the Russian border.

Hamina has a fairly nice amount of old wooden buildings.

It is famous for its circular town plan, which, as far as I know, is unique in Finland.

And despite the flowers being the main thing in this picture, it’s worth noting, that Hamina also has a rich history as a military town.

While I was practicing my photography skills, I ran into something interesting…

…this. It looked like a school, and it looked to be in a very bad shape.

A walk around the building proved me right. It definitely was a school and it most definitely was abandoned.

A closer look revealed, that all the windows and doors were intact.

There was absolutely no way inside this building. But I knew in my heart that I had to get to explore it somehow.

Vastaa

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