Explore the environs of the park -

The environs of Repovesi offer plenty of interesting sights and experiences. Take a cultural trip or enjoy a forest sauna!

The old cemetery nurtures traditions (Kouvola/Mäntyharju)

The deceased have been buried in the sand of Mäntysaari, an island on Lake Vuohijärvi located a couple kilometres from the mainland, since at least the 1200s. Today, only a few funerals are held each year, and the small chapel on the island also hosts weddings in the summer.  The island is important to local residents and is also fascinating from a cultural and historical standpoint. As some would have it, the island has been used for burials since the Bronze Age. Mäntysaari may well be one of the last--if not the last--graveyard islands in Finland that is still in use.

According to local lore, Mäntysaari was originally used to bury people who had been feared in life, such as criminals and other malefactors. “It was believed that these souls would not be able to cross the expanse of the lake in the summer, and that they feared the white snow in the winter.  Burying them on the island made locals feel safe,” explains a Mäntysaari local, relating the story behind the graveyard.

As its Finnish name indicates, the graveyard is situated on an island, which can be accessed by boat. The Kultareitti "Golden Route" Cruise stops at Mäntysaari. Read more about the cruise at: www.orilampi.com/in-english