Marble quarry in Ruskeala is an interesting tourist destination in Karelia.
History of Ruskeala marble quarry
Near the village of Ruskeala, located about 25 kilometers north of Sortavala in Karelia, there are picturesque marble quarries, which served as a place for the extraction of marble for the cathedrals and palaces of St. Petersburg and other cities.
The marble deposit near the village of Ruskeala was discovered by Samuel Alopeus in 1765, under the reign of Catherine II. In subsequent years, four varieties of marble were extracted in this area: ash gray, gray-green, white with gray cracks and white-gray-blue.
The extracted marble was used in the construction of architectural ensembles of St. Petersburg in the second half of the eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries, of the city of Sortavala and on the island of Valaam in the late XIX - early XX centuries. In particular, Ruskeala marble was used to decorate St. Isaac's Cathedral, floors of Kazan Cathedral and the facade of Mikhailovsky Castle.
Marble was mined in open pits and mine galleries. There are currently three quarries located along the left bank of the Tohmajoki River. They are connected by galleries partially flooded with water and, thus, you can see ponds surrounded by sheer marble cliffs. The water in these reservoirs has an emerald color.
Mountain Park of Ruskeala
In 2005 the Ruskeala Mountain Park was opened for public visits.
The following excursions are organized in the Ruskeala Mountain Park:
"Marble Canyon", duration - 1 hour. The length of the route is 1.3 km. This is a guided walk around the Marble Canyon.
"Road of Mountain Masters", duration - 1 hour 30 minutes. The length of the route is 2.2 km. This tour, in addition to the Marble Canyon, includes a visit to the Italian quarry.
"Underground Ruskeala", duration - 1 hour. The length of the route is 850 m. Excursion to the Ruskeala caves. You cannot book this excursion in advance, only on location, there may be a line of visitors for this tour.
The park offers rental of rowing boats, zip-line, bungee jumping and some other services.
In the first half of August, the park hosts the annual music festival Ruskeala Symphony.
In November and in winter, when it is dark, artistic illumination is turned on.
In 2019, a steam locomotive tourist train was launched between Sortavala and Ruskeala.
The park has a cafe, parking spaces and toilets.
Near the Mountain Park there are the picturesque Ruskeala Waterfalls.
Opening hours of the Ruskeala Mountain Park
The territory of the park is open daily from 09:00 till 21:00, excursions take place from 09:00 till 20:00.
Autumn and winter.
From Monday to Thursday and on Sunday, the park is open from 10:00 to 19:00. Tickets and excursions are available from 10:00 to 18:00.
On Friday and Saturday, the park is open from 10:00 to 21:00. Tickets and excursions are available from 10:00 to 20:00.
From Monday to Thursday and on Sunday, the park is open from 10:00 to 19:00. Tickets and excursions are available from 10:00 to 18:00. Excursion "The Road of the Mountain Masters" is held till 18:30.
On Friday and Saturday, the park is open from 10:00 to 21:00. Tickets and excursions are available from 10:00 to 20:00. Excursion "The Road of the Mountain Masters" is held till 19:30.
Subject to change, please request the exact timetable before the tour.
Ruskeala Mountain Park is located in the Republic of Karelia, one and a half kilometers from the village of Ruskeala.
You can get to the park by road, following the highway between the city of Sortavala and the checkpoint on the Russian-Finnish border of Vyartsilya-Niirala. The distance from the center of Sortavala to the Mountain Park is 32 km, from Vyartsilya checkpoint - 34 km.
You can get to the park on a retro style steam train. Schedule (subject to change): Sortavala 10:40 - 11:40 Ruskeala 17:30 - 18:30 Sortavala.
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