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 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. In particular, Ruskeala marble can be seen in the decorations of St. Isaac's Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral and 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

Ruskeala Mountain Park was opened for public visits in 2005.

The following excursions are organized in the 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.

The "Underground Ruskeala" trip takes about one hour and includes a visit to the caves. It is not possible to book this activity in advance, only on location, subject to availability.

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

Subject to change, please check the exact timetable before your visit.

Summer.

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.

Spring.

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.

Questions & Answers

Is Ruskeala considered a National Park?

No, it is not a natural area created and protected by the Russian government. Ruskeala is closer to a theme park.

How to get to Ruskeala?

Ruskeala Mountain Park is located in the Republic of Karelia, 1.5 kilometers from the village of Ruskeala.

YIf you have a car, follow the highway between the town of Sortavala and Vyartsilya, the checkpoint on the Russian-Finnish border. The distance from the center of Sortavala to Ruskeala is 32 km, from Vyartsilya checkpoint - 34 km.

In Sortavala, you can hop on the "Ruskeala Express" retro steam train. Schedule (subject to change): Sortavala 10:40 - 11:40 Ruskeala 17:30 - 18:30 Sortavala.
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