, or Villmanstrand
, is a municipality
that resides on the shore of the lake Saimaa
in South-Eastern Finland
, about 30 km from the Russian
border. Pop. 58707 (31.12.2002), area 848 kmē. The city was chartered in 1649
by Queen Christina of Sweden
, legitimizing the city status of the then popular marketplace of Lapvesi.
The closeness of the Russian border is clearly visible these days in the number of Russian tourists visiting the city. In fact, St Petersburg is closer (215 km) to Lappeenranta than Helsinki (225 km).
Lappeenranta is also the home of the Lappeenranta University of Technology.
Lappeenranta is known as a summer city, mostly due to its closeness to Saimaa. In addition, its location away from the Baltic Sea means that summers tend to be warmer and winters colder than elsewhere in Finland.
Good places to visit are
- The old fort area with a number of museums and cafes.
- The harbour, which has cruises available to the Saimaa Canal and to Vyborg.
- The water tower, which gives a good view all over the city.
- The central market place, from which you can buy local meat pies known as "Atomi" or "Vety".
- A yearly singing contest, the Lappeenranta National Singing Contest.