The Ruokolahti church and surrounding buildings were built on terrain deposited by the glacial river and is dotted with kettle holes. Kettles formed as large blocks of ice were buried in the sand and gravel at eskers and deltas formed by glacial rivers. As the ice blocks gradually melted away, holes of various shapes and sizes were left behind. The area of  church hill is bordered in the west by Ukonsalmi, a former glacial bay which was formed as the ice sheet deeply eroded the bedrock’s fault zone. The fault is one of the largest in the Geopark area. At Ukonsalmi it is 26 metres at its deepest. Geology is also visible in the church’s foundations, as its cornerstone contains a diverse range of stones in the area, which includes garnet-cordierite mica gneiss and granite boulders.

There are kettle holes on the church hill next to the museum’s parking area and along the path (Eukkojen polku, “the Eukko Trail”) around the cemetery. The Saimaa Geopark sign can be found in the parking area: contents of the Saimaa Geopark sign at the Ruokolahti church hill (pdf)

Three panels in the sign open up different contents on your mobile device (a series of panels beginning with the title “Discover the hidden treasures of Lake Saimaa”). You need the free Salmi AR app to view the content. Content includes pictures, videos, audio narration, and peepholes. You’ll find information about Suvorov’s time, wartime, and industrialization, and get to see what the area looked like 11,000 years ago and how the ancestors lived. The contents are currently available only in Finnish. Instructions for downloading the Salmi AR application (pdf)

Eukkojen polku, “the Eukko Trail” is a 3 km long route that winds through the terrain of the church hill, which presents the history of the Ruokolahti church area and its special and interesting geological formations. More information about the Eukko trail and the map of the trail (Ruokolahti Society)

You can also find more information about the church hill here

Among the most famous works of Albert Edelfelt, one of the most famous artists of the Finnish Golden Age, is ‘Women of Ruokolahti on the Church Hill’ (1887). Edelfelt sought genuine Karelian people from Ruokolahti and sketched them on the spot. However, he finished the actual work at Haikko, at the family’s summer villa, where Edelfelt had a studio. Behind the Ruokolahti church, where the women of the painting are sitting, is a monument telling us today about the Edelfelt’s visit to Ruokolahti.

Read the story Elli and Albert (pdf), inspired by the Edelfelt’s visit to the Ruokolahti and written in the Rural Explorer project (Story: Pekka Vartiainen, Translation: Annira Silver).

Videos made of Ruokolahti’s geosites can be watched on the Ruokolahti municipality’s YouTube channel.

 

Coordinates: x=597937,112 y=6796009,912 (ETRS-TM35FIN)

The above coordinates are working in GPS-devices and for example in karttapaikka.fi service.

The below coordinates are working in Google maps service, which uses geographic coordinates:

Coordinates: 61.285964017, 28.827387975 (ETRS89 maantieteelliset(~WGS84))

 

Image: Ruokolahti municipality

Location

  • Suitable for children
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Parking