It's called worldwide as the country of the thousand lakes. It's not amazing because there are more than 60000 lakes in the country. The area of Finland was flat-polished by thick ice during the ice-age. The water assembled in the depressions of the crystalline primitive rocks. The lakes are connected by rows of rivers and are bordered by extensive pinewood and birch forests. On the other hand the northern parts are covered with scattered plants because of the tundra climate. The Lapps are living there. Inherent animal is the reindeer, which is held in hordes by the Lapp.
Two-thirds of Finland is covered with forests. Wood was used as building material and firing-wood, than it was the stock of ship-building. Since the 19th century paper and cellulose are made from the greater part of wood. Finland is the second biggest exporter of the worldwide wood industry nowadays with it's cellulose and paper export.
Water took a big part in the processing of wood. Huge amounts of wood was floated to the place of processing. Factories were placed aside waterfalls because the lumber mills used the energy of rivers.
The Verlaian sawmill
Verla is in the south-eastern part of Finland and has a unique industrial relic: the sawmill. The appearance of this technique is a significant point in the development of industry, but it's importance wasn't discovered. The museum isn't mentioned in any guidebook.
Verla is in the Kymi-valley, next to Kuusankoski. Since the town exist the people worked in woodworking of the wood coming on rafts. This sawmill is different from the oders, it's powered by steam, not by water. It was constructed by a young engineer, Hugo Neumann, in 1872.
Fire was a main danger in woodwork industries at the time, either for Verla. First it was burned down totally 4 years after the opening. It was rebuilt from wood again far from the houses. But everyday life and working interweaved at the manufactory. The warehouses, the drying-halls, the accomodations of single workers, the family-houses and the house of the factory-owner stood next to the woodworking halls. A cardboard-factory was built at the reconstruction, in 1882. The owner was Gottlieb Kreidl, an Austrian paper-maker then.
The sawmill burnt down again 10 years later, the drying-halls were destroyed. The owner resolved to build the whole factory again from brick. The four-storey hall with solid ornaments constructed by Eduard Dippell, a Viborgian architect, remaining for the future.
The wood cutted around Verla was floated down the canal Kimola, and this method also lives nowadays. The building of the canal was inportant, because the rivers of the region are fast, full of torrents, rafting is dangerous here.
The method of production was always traditional, parts of the work were made by the hand. The request for these products wasn't decrease in the 20th century. The factrory was closed in 1964, then in 1972 a museum was estabilished to show all the machines and equipments of the sawmill and the cardboard-factory. The whole method of production can be tracked by mock-ups. In the courtyard stands the common accessory of factories of that time, the fire-fighting house.
The other interests of the region are the neo-gothic wooden temple in the near-by town of Jaala, and the 6000 years old rock-drawings found in 1974 next to Verla.
The other pictures are in the galery.