The Karelian Isthmus is a territory bordered by the Gulf of Finland, Lake Ladoga, and Lake Saimaa, which used to be home for many Finns and is still remembered with nostalgia. More than 400,000 Finns lived on the Isthmus, the largest centres of local life were Vyborg and Käkisalmi. After World War II, the Karelian Isthmus was ceded to the Soviet Union; today it belongs to Russia.

The Karelian Isthmus is remembered as a place of beautiful nature; life on the Isthmus was colourful and lively. Inhabitants of the Isthmus were believed to represent the ‘sunny side’ of Finnish nation – they were joyful and vivid, and valued for their trading skills. Many of them were farmers, since the local soil was excellently suitable for cultivation.

The multicultural Vyborg was Finland’s second largest city and a thriving industrial centre, the vitality of which attracted artists and cultured intellectuals. The Vyborg area was also a popular tourist destination on both domestic and international levels.

Hallmarks of the Karelian Isthmus include the beautiful wooden lace dachas, white sand beaches of Terijoki, Mon Repos Park, Valamo Monastery, Lintula Convent and Lake Ladoga.

More about online exhibition

Museum’s work group:
Mona Taipale, Satu Ståhlberg and Johanna Piipponen

Script for the online exhibition: Pauliina Veijalainen
The online exhibition’s script is based on the joint exhibition Barefoot of the Lappeenranta museums, which was scripted by Anna Kortelainen. The character texts of the online exhibition are based on the articles by Anna Kortelainen in the book Avojaloin – 20 tositarinaa Karjalan Kannakselta (publisher: Gummerus).

Graphic design: Päivi Veijalainen / Huhtikuu

Technical implementation: Marko Myllymäki / Atadone

Audio clip scripts: Anna Kortelainen

Audio clip readers:
Jukka Lehtinen
Liisa Lehtinen
Maria Lehtinen
Mikko Pirinen
Netta Salonsaari
Antti Taipale
Helmi Taipale
Mikko Taipale
Mona Taipale

Image copyrights:
Etelä-Karjalan museo (EKM)
Etelä-Karjalan taidemuseo (EKTM)
Lintulan luostari
National Board of Antiquities
Pietarin kaupunginmuseo
(State Museum of the History of St Petersburg. St Petersburg)
Ostrobothnian Museum
Border Museum
Finnish Labour Museum Werstas (TW)
Private collections

The exhibition is supported by the National Board of Antiquities