Marble Canyon, Ruskeala — Location, Facts
Near Sortavala town, Ruskeala village, incomparably beautiful open casts comprising a natural monument called “Marble Canyon Ruskeala”.
The first developers of marble open casts Ruskeala were the Swedes. After the end of North war, these lands were handed over to field-marshal Buturlin, and the extraction of marble was ceased for some time. Finally, in 1769, according to the special order of empress Catherine the Great, development of the open cast resumed. Saint Petersburg needed new castles and temples.
Since 17th century, Ruskeala marble is a unique exporter of different types of marble.
The masters of marble mining sold the material not in Karelia only, but to other areas of north-west Russia, as well. For instance, the patterns made of ashen marble from Ruskeala canyon can be observed in St. Isaac’s Cathedral and some stations of Saint Petersburg underground.
Before the start of Soviet-Finnish War of 1939-1940 the open cast was full of Finns. A lot of techniques for techno-diving were left on the bottom: crane, automobiles, motor-cycle.
Now Marble canyon in Ruskeala is, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful natural monuments in Karelia and a unique monument of mining in Russia.
Today there are many convenient routes and ways to get there, and the park started being popular among tourists, because there is no similar monument in entire Europe.
How to get there?
You need to drive to route A121 from Saint Petersburg. Go 130 km to Priozersk, and then go in the direction of Sortavala, which is 130 km more.
Quitting Sortavala, go 8 km and turn to Vyartselya. On the crossing, there will be a sign showing way to the park.