Today I want to tell you about Varistaipale canal. Finland has one of the most beautiful and developed systems of internal canals in Europe, but this canal is well known for being on the waterway leading to two Orthodox monasteries – the new male Valaam and the female Lintula.
Varistaipale canal is located between two lake systems – Varivesi and Juojärvi, its length is 1150 meters, the water level difference is about 15 meters.
Сonstruction work on the canal began in 1911 and was completed in 1915. The construction was with a minimum level of mechanization, the Finns joke sadly when they say that these canals were built with a “shovels”.
In fact, this statement is not quite far from the truth, because it was unprofitable to deliver heavy equipment and excavators to the Karelian swamps and most of the load was taken by 100 horses and 400 people who were involved on the construction sites.
The first ship sailed the waterway at Varistaipale in 1913. The using of the canal was paid until the end of the 60s of the last century; it regularly used for transportation of products made of wood, resin and timber rafting.
In the 70s of the last century, the machines controlling the gateways were replaced, until that time they were opened and closed manually.
At the present day the using of the Varistaipale gateway system is currently free of charge. Most of the ships (there are more than 1000 of them per year) are private boats and yachts.
Location: Väyläasemantie 4, 79820 Heinävesi