Province: Mikkelin laani (Sankt Michels lanMikkeli). Altitude: 76 m (250 ft). Population: 29,000.
Postal code: SF-571 30. Telephone code: 9 57.
Kaupungin Matkailutoimisto (Municipal Tourist Information Office), Olavinkatu 35: tel, 1 34 92-93.
HOTELS. Casino, Kasinosaari, 213 b„ SP; Tott, Satamakatu 1, 102 Rauhalinna, Lehtiniemi, 18 b. (June-August); Knut Posse, Kasinosaari, 110 b. (June-August); Malakias, Pihlajavedenkatu 6, 440 b. (June-August); Elefantti, Keskussairaalantie 2, 108
EVENTS. Opera Festival, Music Days and Summer Music Seminar (July); Savoninna Rowing Regatta, Lake Saimaa Sailing Regatta (July).
SPORTS and RECREATION. Fishing (salmon, trout), shooting, riding, boating and sailing; skiing.
Savonlinna (Swedish Nyslott), a very popular spa and vacation resort, lies in the middle of the Saimaa lake system, between Haapavesi to the N and Pihlajavesi to the S. The town grew up around the castle of Olavinlinna or Olofsborg and received its municipal charter in 1639. The oldest part of the town is on an island, between two swiftly flowing channels; the newer districts are on the mainland to the W. Savonlinna is one of the principal bases for the boats on Lake Saimaa.
SIGHTS. The town’s main traffic artery is Olavinkatu, a long street running E to W. At the W end of the old town, on the Haapasalmi channel, is the Market Square, with the dock used by the Lake Saimaa boats. From here a bridge leads N over the Koululahti inlet to the VAARA-SAARI peninsula, with the Spa (modern treatment facilities; casino; summer restaurant), a summer theatre and an attractive park. Olavinkatu runs E from the Market Square into another spacious square, Olavintori, with the Little Church (L. T. K. Visconti, 1845; originally Orthodox, Lutheran since 1 940) and the old Grammar School (L. Gripenberg, 1890). On the S side of the island stands the Riihisaari Museum, in an old granary (E. B. Lohrman, 1851) in which exhibitions are organised during the Opera Festival. To the W, on the Haapasalmi strait, is the museum ship Salama, a
steam-powered schooner, launched in Viipuri in 1 874, which carried passengers and cargo between Savonlinna, St Petersburg and Lubeck. The ship sank in Lake Saimaa in 1 898 and lay in more than 30 m (95 ft) of water until 1971, when it was raised, restored and opened to the public as a museum ship in 1 978.
On the SAVONNIEMI peninsula, between the Haapasalmi channel and the inlet of Kirkkolahti, is the Lutheran Cathedral, a neo-Gothic brick church (A. H. Dahlstrom, 1879) which was destroyed by wartime bombing and reconsecrated in 1949. To the W, in Savonkatu, is the Orthodox Church, opposite the district of Heikinpohja.
Every visitor should see the castle, Savonlinna (Swedish Olofsborg), SE of the old town on an islet in the Kyronsalmi channel (reached by a bridge). The castle was built by Erik Axelsson Tott, governor of Viipuri Castle, in 1 475. After the Nordic War (1743), it was ceded to the Russians, who strengthened it several times. The castle is entered by a vaulted gateway on
Kerimaki, Punkaharju the W side which leads into a small courtyard, the oldest part of the structure. The castle, which has been excellently restored, contains a number of handsome rooms which are used for receptions and conferences, among them the King’s Hall or Knights’ Hall, the Congress Hall and the Great Hall. There are three massive circular towers; on the third floor of the Church Tower is a small chapel, still used for worship and for weddings. In the Great Bastion is a summer cafe. From the loopholes and small windows in the towers, there are attractive glimpses ofthe surrounding country. Conducted tours; small historical museum. Theatrical performances are given in the castle courtyard in summer.
SURROUNDINGS. Boat trips to other towns on Lake Saimaa. Other places which can be reached by boat are ‘Punkaharju (93), the monasteries of Heinavesiand Lintula and, nearer Savonlinna, the old hunting lodge of the Tsars (now the Rauhaiinna Hotel).
15 km (10 miles) E of Savonlinna by Road 71 and Lake Puruvesi is Kerimaki, with the largest wooden church in the world ( 93).