The Monuments in Lappeenranta

Information about the monuments

Kaunis Veera statue

Sculptor Markku Hirvelä from Kotka created the figure of the statue based on the story of the song by Tatu Pekkarinen that inspired the 1950 film “Kaunis Veera eli Ballaadi Saimaalta” (Beautiful Veera, or a Ballad from Lake Saimaa) directed by Ville Salminen. The sculpture was commissioned by Ossi Vilhu, a businessman from Lappeenranta, and the city accepted the donation at an unveiling ceremony on 7 August 2020 at the story’s birthplace on the shore of Lake Saimaa, on the lime tree alleyway leading to Lappeenranta Harbour.

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The work of art "Police Vendace"

Police Vendace by Pekka and Teija Isorättyä is located in front of the police station on Villimiehenkatu street in Lappeenranta. The installation consists of nine vendace-shaped fish made of over ten thousand stainless steel rings welded together, along with some perforated stainless steel sheets. The length of one fish is about five metres. The work delights with its inventive use of material and light-hearted overall impression.

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Monument for the deceased left in Karelia, 1954

Karelian organizations and local associations have commemorated the deceased left in Karelia, by erecting several monuments around Finland. In Lappeenranta, the local Karelians of the Saimaa Canal erected a similar memorial stone in Lauritsala.
The monument bears the following text (in Finnish):
"In memory of Karelians who passed away and were left behind the border".

Monument for the deceased left in Karelia, 1955

Originally, the monument was placed on the southern slope of the Fortress. Later, when the fortifications were being restored in the 1980s, it was moved to its current location in the city center, close to the Soldiers’ Cemetery. The monument was erected by Kaakon Karjalaiset.

Monument for Knighted Karelian Fighter Pilots, Erkki Eronen

A red granite bench under the coat of arms of Karelia bears the words (in Finnish):
“Son, your home is Karelia.” Fighting for their country in two wars, these Karelian fighter pilots completed a total of 1,279 sorties and shot down 192 enemy planes. For their military achievements, they received the highest Finnish military decoration, the Mannerheim Cross, thus becoming Knights of the Mannerheim Cross. Twice knighted E.I. Juutilainen shot down 94 planes. Knight E.A. Luukkanen brought down 56 planes and Knight R.O.P. Puhakka 42 planes.

Spring Jumps, Antti Louhisto, 1967

Sculptor Antti Louhisto’s exhilarating statue, of a young heifer leaping out to pasture for the first time in spring, is appropriately located outside a school building in Tyysterniemi. The animal is full of the joy and freedom of early summer – being entirely free of worries. The animal statue reflects the humor typifying the works of Mr Louhisto. This bronze statue has been nicknamed “the ABC calf”. In the summer of 2009, the statue was moved to a schoolyard at Voisalmi.

Cranes, Emil Filén, 1949

The Cranes statue by Emil Filén, which depicts a pair of cranes about to take off, was the first public work of art revealed in the city in the post-war period. This statue forms part of a fountain and basin. The location of the statue in front of the Lappee church, by the side of the Central Park, recalls the bombings of Lappeenranta during the Winter War. It was the location of an air-raid shelter that was hit during deep winter, on 15 February 1940, leaving ten people dead and twenty injured.

Monument of the Battle in Kämärä, Wäinö Aaltonen 1949, 1974

This monument relates to the events of 1918 and more specifically to the military history of the “white” civil guard members of the Vyborg region.
The relief depicts a soldier rushing towards the eastern border, carrying a sword in one hand and a flag of freedom in the other. Originally, the red-granite monument was intended for Kämärä station south of Vyborg, but due to the outbreak of the Second World War there was no time to take the monument there and it was left with the artist. After the adjustment of the border, the monument was placed outside the Finnish National Museum in 1949. In 1974, the monument was moved to its current location on the Army Academy hill.

Lallukka Grave Monument, Emil Halonen, 1923, 1986

The grey granite monument of Juho and Maria Lallukka was completed in 1923 and moved to the northern edge of the Lappeenranta old cemetery in 1986.Originally erected at the Ristimäki cemetery in Vyborg, the monument was damaged during the battles of summer 1944. Moving the monument to Finland became topical in the changed circumstances decades later. Damage was repaired and the monument was officially unveiled in its new location on 30 August 1986.Juho Lallukka (1852 -1913) was a major personality, who felt at home surrounded by artists and happy people. A son of a small farmer from the Karelian Isthmus, he soon joined the business elite in Vyborg.

Memorial Relief of Lappeenranta Fortress’ 30-year Restoration, Vilho Härkönen, 2006

Side by side in the relief, the artist has placed the Swedish constructor of the Fortress Count Axel von Löwen (1689-1772) and the Russian Field Marshall Alexandr Suvorov (1729-1800), who had the fortress strengthened.
Restoration work on the historically significant Lappeenranta Fortress began in 1976. Finland’s National Board of Antiquities and the City of Lappeenranta have both invested heavily in the lengthy process of exposing the original fortifications and rebuilding or restoring parts of the Fortress. The current constructions and structures of the Fortress date back to the Russian phase.

Monument of the Lappeenranta Battle, 1818, 1924, 1949

On the southern slope of the Fortress, along Kristiinankatu, stands the oldest monument in Lappeenranta. This was erected to remind us of one of the most significant battles in Finland’s history, fought in the area on 23 August 1741.This battle resulted in power shifting from the Swedes to the Russians and marks the commencement of the Russian period in the history of our city. The battle was fought during the Lesser Wrath, also called the War of the Hats, and was the bloodiest battle of the time anywhere in the Nordic countries.

Lotta, Lotta Svärd Statue

Lotta, Lotta Svärd Statue, (the Finnish voluntary auxiliary paramilitary organisation for women), Nina Sailo, 1985.

The life-size statue by sculptor Nina Sailo depicts a Lotta with her winter cloak and possessions, awaiting transportation. You can see the statue in a small park in Lappeenranta city centre. The statue faces a stone building across the street. During the war, this building was used by the civil guard and now houses the Department of Social Affairs and Health. During the wars, the building also housed a canteen for the Lottas. In 1921–1944, nearly a quarter of a million Finnish women served in the Lotta Svärd organisation.

Mother Karelia Monument, Kauko Räsänen, 1993

In 1993, the Mother Karelia Monument was erected on the side of the Central Park and the Soldiers’ Cemetery, close to the City Hall. Engraved in the black stonewall surrounding the monument are the names, home villages and dates of birth and death of some 5,500 soldiers buried or missing in the parts of Karelia ceded to Russia. The massive black wall is 70 metres long. The overall design of the monument is by architect Jaakko Merenmies, and the masonry is by Vientikivi Oy.
The central element of the monument is a mother holding her dead son.

Migrating Birds, Jouko Toiviainen, 1983

The Migrating Birds by Lappeenranta-born sculptor Jouko Toiviainen is a Karelia-themed monument, referring to the mass migration of the Karelians after the Second World War, when they were forced to leave their homes permanently. Like these timid birds, the nervous, restless Karelians were ready to move on.

Ringed Seal, Maini Pääläinen, 1997

At the top of the pedestrian street, you can see a statue of the animal symbol of the Lake Saimaa region, the ringed seal, resting on a stone slate. The water streaming onto the rock bench reminds us of the natural habitat of the ringed seal. The seal has emerged onto an islet to rest and enjoy the sun.

Nuijamaa Soldiers’ Monument, 1956

Nuijamaa was already divided in two in the aftermath of the Winter War. The state border passes through the dell next to the church hill. The old wooden church that stood very close to the border was burned down during the Continuation War and a new one was built directly after the war. Esko Toiviainen designed a soldiers’ monument depicting the divided Nuijamaa, for the Soldiers’ Cemetery next to the church.
The stone monument bears the names of the soldiers and the following text (in Finnish):
In memory of the Nuijamaa soldiers killed 1939-44.

Dragoon Statue, Pentti Papinaho, 1982

The statue depicts a 1920s Cavalry Sergeant on a rampant horse. With their skeleton jackets and red trousers, these mounted cavalrymen were an integral part of the small town’s street life in the first decades of the 1900s. The Cavalry Brigade consisted of the Uusimaa Regiment of Dragoons (URR) and the Häme Regiment of Dragoons (HRR). The Dragoons were finally dismounted in Lappeenranta during the post-war period, in 1947.

Saimaa Canal 150 Years – Emperor Stones, 2006

The stone monument was revealed along the Saimaa Canal, as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations on 9 September 2006.
The canal could not have been constructed without the contribution of Emperor Nicholas I. He recognised the canal’s significance to Finland and could also see the benefits in terms of Russian power politics. His successor, Alexander II, also took an interest in the canal. The stone bears the text (in Russian): Emperor Nicholas I began the canal in 1845 and Emperor Alexander II completed it in 1856.

Saimaa Canal Monument, Reino Puustinen, 1968

Located in a small park next to the Mälkiä lock, the two-part monument designed by sculptor Reino Puustinen relates the history of the canal’s construction.

Monument at the Soldiers’ Cemetery

Monument at the Soldiers’ Cemetery: Sorrow and Belief in the Future, Wäino Aaltonen, 1951

1,501 soldiers, who lost their lives during 1939–1940 and 1941–44, are buried at the Soldiers’ Cemetery in the heart of the city centre. The red-granite monument by Wäinö Aaltonen has two sides. On one side is a group titled “Sorrow”, depicting parents mourning for their soldier sons. An old man is supporting his desolate wife. On the other side is a group titled “Belief in the Future,” in which a young woman, having lost her husband, stands with a determined expression. Small children seek sanctuary in the presence of their mother and look steadfastly towards the future.


© Lappeenranta Art Museum (Etelä-Karjalan taidemuseo, 2007)