Ruskeala marble park is one of the most beautiful places in Karelia, Russia. Since the XVII century it’s also been a big source of marble. The marble quarried in Ruskeala is used for construction, decorative and industrial purposes.
Now the quarry is flooded but previously it was dry. Methods of production changed through the times.
The same technology was used in the USA:
Huge marble blocks were transported along winter roads.
Mikhailovskiy castle, southern facade
Queen Catherine II wanted to use Ruskeala marble for facades of Saint Isaac’s Cathedral but the project whose author was Rinaldi discontinued because of Queen’s death, her son Pavel I didn’t like mother’s ideas and the marble was divided between smaller construction projects in St. Petersburg.
Columns from Ruskeala marble
St. Isaac’s Cathedral was finally finished with marble anyway
The quarry was getting deeper and deeper, the technology changed to mining.
One can have an excursion here now
Before it got flooded…
The big quarry in the 1900s.
Photo from the book Karjala muistojen maa, сайт regionavtica.ru
Ruskeala marble and lime factory, XX century.
Rather cool place for photoshoots
Square furneces were called “Swedish” while round ones – “Finnish”.
The expolosive technology of mining destructed the entire deposit – permanent expolisions caused micro-cracks that affected the quality of marble, now it cannot be used for decoration of facades.
In 1970 they found reserves of facing stone that was not destructed by explosions. The technology of sewing began to be used for production. The quarry was called “Italian” because the equipment used there was from Italy.
The marble from the Italian quarry was used for lining of subway stations Primorskaya and Ladozhskaya in St. Petersburg. But this was the last “song” in the story of Ruskeala marble as facing stone.
In the early 1990s the quarry and its factory stopped working. But in 2005 it was given another chance by enthusiastic businessmen who created the Ruskeala mountain part around the old quarries. They removed trash, made paths for tourists, organized several excursion routes, equipped viewing points and parking lots, built cafes and shops.
Today it’s one of the best tourist places in Russia.
On 12th October 2020 the creator of the Ruskeala mountain park Alexander Artemyev passed away at the age of 45… He is remembered with kind words. Let’s hope the work he began will be continued.