Imatra (population ca. 30 000) is an industrial town in South Karelia. It is dominated by Lake Saimaa, the River Vuoksi and the Finnish-Russian border. Imatra’s over 300-year-old history of busy tourism is greatly attributed to the attraction of the spectacular rapids of the river Vuoksi which have enticed many illustrious personas to visit the area throughout the ages. Visitors have included such people as Russian Empress Catherine II, Alexander Dumas Senior and Richard Wagner.
Imatra is even mentioned in the Kalevala, the epic poem of Finland (compiled from oral poetry in 1835):
"Three, the water-falls in number,
Three in number, inland oceans,
Three in number, lofty mountains,
Shooting to the vault of heaven.
Hallapyora's near to Yaemen,
Katrakoski in Karyala;
Imatra, the falling water,
Tumbles, roaring, into Wuoksi"
Nearest airport (about 40 km) is the Lappeenranta Airport that is situated close to the centre of Lappeenranta city. It provides regular and effective flight connections to Helsinki several times a day. From Helsinki there are fast flight connections to all continents.
Rapids Shows 2006
Daytime Shows " 14 May at 2 pm " 14 June to 20 August Wed-Sun at 7 pm
In the Daytime Shows the surge of the rapids is accompanied by music of Jean Sibelius.
Evening and Night Shows " 8 and 9 July at 1.30 am " Every Saturday in August at 10 pm " 25 Dec: Christmas Show at 9 pm " 31 Dec: New Year's Show at 12 pm.
In the Evening and Night Shows the surge of the rapids is accentuated by ligth effects designed by Ekku Peltomäki and music of Jean Sibelius.
A hotel resembling a medieval knight's castle by the Imatrankoski Rapids.
The oldest nature park in Finland, occupying the area around the Imatrankoski Rapids, was founded in 1842 by order of Tsar Nicholas I.
Church of the Three Crosses
Open: 1 Sep - 31 May daily 10am - 3pm, 1 Jun - 31 Aug daily 9am - 8pm.