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Möhkö village

Services of Möhkö village

Petkeljärvi National Park

Ilomantsi -Finland´s easternmost municipality

The Koitajoki Area























Möhkö village
Mustakorventie 11
82980 Möhkö, Finland
Tel: +358 45 340 3920

Ilomantsi municipality was founded in 1875. Ilomantsi village is called pogosta which is a Russian loan-word. Pogosta was a tax district for over 500 years. Ilomantsi municipality has 100 km border with the Russian Karelia. Distances from Ilomantsi to the nearest airport in Joensuu is 82 km and to Helsinki 511km. There is also an inland port in Joensuu. The area of Ilomantsi municipality is 3 172 km², of which 402 km² is waters. There are 5800 inhabitants.


Ilomantsi is characterized by with forests and boglands and there are two national parks. There are Finland´s easternmost wilderness areas which are the home of bears, wolves, lynxes, wolverines, mooses and other big and small animals. Many of the animals wander across the border between Finland and Russia. Ilomantsi is an exciting winter holiday destination. Snow cover is among thickest in Finland, and the snowy season lasts from November to April. Wintry Ilomantsi offers versatile outdoor activities.

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Lively Orthodox culture in Ilomantsi

Ilomantsi is the oldest Orthodox parish in Finland. The parish was founded in the 14th century and it has the largest wooden Orthodox church in Finland. There are also many Orthodox chapels, tsasounas, in Ilomantsi. Also the beautiful Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ilomantsi is worth seeing. Orthodoxy includes processions and commemorations that are colorful events filled with joy of spirituality. The church service with procession of the cross, blessing of the water and a Karelian feast gathers many participants. Easter is the greatest celebration of the year. Lent ends with the service at night and a plentiful Easter feast. Candles are lit in small-scale occasions in tsasounas.

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Strong Karelian culture

Karelian handicrafts are elaborate and decorative. Linen and woolen textiles, Pogosta`s knifes and pother presents can be found from the shops in Ilomantsi. Ilomantsi is the home of original tastes. Delicious fish from the area’s several lakes bring a sweet taste in your mouth. The skill of baking genuine Karelian pasties can be learned on baking lessons. In the late summer and autumn forests are full of blueberries, ceps (porcinis), lingonberries, cranberries, cloudberries and other pure nature treasures. They all offer tasty sensations from Ilomantsi. You can have a good look at the local products in the marketplace in the centre of the village. Ilomantsi has been a birthplace for many incantations, anecdotes and poems of Kalevala. In the beginning of 19th century Elias Lönnrot recorded poetry among the rune-singers of Ilomantsi. Later on Kanteletar was based on those poems. A visit to Mekrijärven Sissola reveals the life of great rune-singer Sima na Sissonen. Mateli Kuivalatar`s Museum houses in Parppeinvaara tells tales from the ancient times. At Parppeinvaara visitor will also find Runonlaulajan Pirtti, with handicrafts, traditional kantele music, and season exhibitions; Rajakenraalin maja, a war-time operational headquarters; Parppeinpirtti Restaurant, with a Karelian menu; and the Tsasouna, a small Orthodox chapel. Nature hut Mesikkä tells about the connection between human and nature: traditions, hunting and the local nature specialities.

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Events in Ilomantsi

Pogostan Hiihto, an international skiing event, invites people to participate in the competition in March. The 50km ski route meander through Petkeljärvi National Park near the Russian border. Blueberry hill festival is a small and cosy bluesfestival at the beginning of August. Piiroovestivaali is the festival of local eastern food culture at the end of July. Easter is the most meaningful clerical ceremony of the Orthodox church.

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