Orthodox traditions and attractions

Did you know that Ilomantsi is one of the most orthodox municipalities of Finland? Have you ever visited tsasouna? One of the North Karelia’s special feature is a long tradition of orthodox culture, which you can explore by visiting local monasteries, prayer rooms and exhibitions. For example, Valamo monastery, Lintula convent and The Center of Orthodox Culture in the center of Joensuu invite you to calm down and learn something new about orthodox traditions. So called Karelian church route from Heinävesi to the Russian border presents spectacular wood churches built in the 18th – 19th centuries.

In addition, Orthodox culture can be found everywhere in Karelia: in places of interest throughout the province, on holidays, and even in seasonal cuisine.

The main church of Valamo

Visit the monasteries – Valamo and Lintula

Find serenity in Valamo

Valamo monastery is an orthodox culture center, that serves visitors all over the year. The atmosphere of the monastery and its surroundings in very quiet. During your visit here you will meet monks on the monastery yard. Accommodation and restaurant services together with the study activities, provided by the monastery, make visitors to stay there for a longer time enjoying monastery cuisine and activities.

More information about Valamo

The Lintula convent is open for tourists in summertime

The Lintula convent is located just 15 minutes’ drive from Valamo. The monastery´s guest house, gift shop and coffee shop are open for tourists from June to August. Guided tours and other tourist services are also available by order from May to September. Walking the convent’s prayer trail, a mile long, will allow you to be alone and have a little prayer or reflection.

A decorative othodox painting

The Center of Orthodox Culture in Joensuu

The Center of Orthodox Culture presents orthodox traditions and way of life both in everyday life and on holidays. The Center of Orthodox Culture, the Orthodox Seminary and Church of John the Apostle and the Illuminators of Karelia work as a whole, welcoming everyone to come and explore the cultural atmosphere of Eastern Orthodox Church. In addition, the guests are welcome to enjoy the cafe and catering services of restaurant Elias.

The Center is located nearby the center of Joensuu.

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The Karelian church route – from Heinävesi to Ilomantsi

The Karelian Church Road is a route for tourists and pilgrims, introducing the Orthodox faith, starting from Heinävesi. The second branch of the route takes you to Hattuvaara in Ilomantsi.

The wooden churches and tsasovnyas on the Karelian church route are built in 18th and 19th centuries. Information about all the sights of the route is collected on the ViaKarelia website.

More about Karelian Church Road

A woman in an orthodox tsasouna

Orthodox congregation sanctuaries in Joensuu

All the information about the orthodox churches and tsasounas in North Karelia is available on the website of Joensuu Orthodox congregation. There you will find information on the places of interest, services in other churches, as well as links to the guided tours.

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