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Aalto and the jewels of Imatra

Location: Imatra, Finland

Duration: 4 h

Sites: Church of the Three Crosses (Vuoksenniska Church), Imatran Valtionhotelli, Imatra Spa Resort

Persons: Min. 10

Available: All year

Accommodation: Not included

Transportation: Not included

Themes: Churches, Cultural buildings, Industrial sites, Modernism

From 60 € per person

From the formation of the Vuoksi River and Saimaa Lake at the end of the ice age, along the rich industrial history of the area and the dramatic wartime years, to the present life as a border town to Russia: this multifaceted identity offers plenty to experience for travelers. Join us on this tour to learn about the history of Imatra!

Tour highlights:

  • The Church of the Three Crosses
  • Sightseeing tour of Imatra
  • Lunch at the Imatra Spa Resort

Imatra is located along the Vuoksi river, on its departure point from Lake Saimaa. The city center is only 6 kilometers distant from the Russian border. After the Second World War, Alvar Aalto was asked to draw up a master plan for Imatra, which combined three old villages that stood relatively far apart from each other: Imatrankoski, Vuoksenniska and Tainionkoski. The Vuoksenniska industrial community also needed church services, and Aalto was given the task of designing a new church in 1955.

The resulting Church of the Three Crosses (take “which” out) has been classified by the international architectural organization DOCOMOMO as one of the most significant buildings representing modern architecture in Finland. During this tour, you will experience its bright, peaceful atmosphere and its close connection to nature, creating a harmonious unity within the design of the church. The central idea of the project is a threefold theme: the altar has three crosses instead of an altarpiece, and the church hall itself can be divided into three parts by room dividers.

On a guided tour of Imatra, you will also discover other exciting architectures in both Art Nouveau and modern style, and get acquainted with the city’s industrial history through visiting idyllic working-class residential areas. You will also learn about the dramatic years of the city during the two great wars of last century. Lunch will be enjoyed in the exceptional setting of Imatra Spa Resort, overlooking Lake Saimaa.

The bright, peaceful atmosphere and the connection to nature creates a harmonious unity for the design of The Church of the Three Crosses. Photo: imatra.kuvat.fi

The Church of the Three Crosses has a threefold theme: the altar has three crosses instead of an altarpiece, and the church hall itself can be divided into three parts by room dividers. Photo: imatra.kuvat.fi

The Church of the Three Crosses in Vuoksenniska is unique: a small sculptural parish church rising up amidst a pine forest, embodying the free and imaginative aspects of Alvar Aalto's architecture.
Imatrankoski rapids, Imatran Valtionhotelli
Imatra Valtionhotelli is located by the Imatrankoski rapids. Photo: imatra.kuvat.fi
The Church of the Three Crosses, Imatra
The Church of the Three Crosses is visited by many travelers every year, but it is also an important meeting place for the locals. Photo: imatra.kuvat.fi
Valtionhotelli, Imatra
Winter at the Imatran Valtiohotelli. Photo: imatra.kuvat.fi
Niskalampi residential area, Imatra
The residential area of Niskalampi. Photo: imatra.kuvat.fi
Imatra Spa
Imatra Spa is located by the shore of Lake Saimaa. Photo: imatra.kuvat.fi

Programme by day

Day 1: Aalto and the jewels of Imatra

Arriving to Imatra either by train, bus or by separately arranged private transport. The guide will meet the group at the station.

The day program begins with a guided visit to the Church of the Three Crosses, designed by Alvar Aalto, and an account of the building’s history and its design process, that combines practical and aesthetic needs. The resulting building is considered to be one of the most unique church designs by Aalto.

After visiting the church, we will continue on our path along the beautiful Vuoksi river, towards other sights in Imatra. We will admire the largest rapids in Finland, called Imatrankoski, and the world-famous Imatran Valtionhotelli towering above them on a nearby cliff. Imatran Valtionhotelli has been voted as the most beautiful building in Finland in 2014: another reason why it’s impossible not to burst into cries of excitement and admiration during this tour!

The tour will also tell us about the ways of life close to the national border with Russia, and we will get acquainted with the residential areas Niskalampi and Kupari, designed as housing for the industrial communities in the area. At the end of the day, we will head towards Saimaa – Finland’s largest lake, that has become renowned around the world for its many spas. The excursion day ends with a tasty lunch at Imatra Spa, a last treat before embarking on the journey back home.

Useful information

Destination addresses:

  • The Church of the Three Crosses, Ruokolahdentie 27, 55800 Imatra
  • Imatra Spa Resort, Purjekuja 2, 55420 Imatra

Tour on the map

1. Imatra

Sites included in this trip

The Church of the Three Crosses in Imatra from aerial perspective.

Imatran Valtionhotelli

Imatra / 1903

The world-famous Imatran Valtionhotelli is located next to the largest rapids in Finland: Imatrankoski.

The Church of the Three Crosses in Imatra from aerial perspective.

Imatra Spa Resort

Imatra

Imatra Spa Resort is the most diverse holiday center in Eastern Finland, located on the shores of Lake Saimaa.

Information on this trip

Good to know

  • Tour is available for both groups and individual travelers
  • Combining other travel programs is possible on request

Included

  • Guided tour at the Church of the Three Crosses
  • Guided sightseeing tour around Imatra (Imatrankoski rapids, Valtionhotelli, Russian border, residential areas Niskalampi and Kuparila)
  • Transfers for individual travelers from the railway station or their hotel location in Imatra

Optional services

Additional services:

  • Saimaa Lake or Vuoksi River cruise (June-August), price 20 € per person. Please note: bus transportation to be arranged independently by the group
  • Train transfers Helsinki-Imatra-Helsinki for individual travelers

Please note Vuoksi River cruise is available for a group of maximum 14 people!

 

 

Excluded

  • Charter bus for the group

Example price 60 € per person

  • Price for groups: 60 € per person
  • Minimun group size: 10 people
  • Price for individual travelers: 350 €/2 person

All rights reserved.

Inquiries and bookings

Example price 60 € per person

  • Price for groups: 60 € per person
  • Minimun group size: 10 people
  • Price for individual travelers: 350 €/2 person

All rights reserved.

Imatra Tours

Helsingintie 1

55100 , Imatra

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