The Valamo monastery, Finland's only Orthodox monastery, is a hidden gem. The Red Army annexed the original monastery during WWII; the latest church was consecrated in 1977. Like all good monks, the clergy at Valamo produce their own wine (which visitors can buy) using crowberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackcurrants. In February 1940, during the Winter war, Finnish government decided to evacuate Valaam monastery (located on the island in the lake Ladoga) to Finland. 200 monks, monastery library and about 60% of icons have been moved on military tracks - ice on the lake Ladoga was strong enough. Now it's the biggest Christian Orthodox centre in Finland
New Valamo or New Valaam is an Orthodox monastery in Heinävesi, Finland. The monastery was established in 1940, when some monks from Valaam Monastery in Karelia were evacuated from their old abode on a group of islands in Lake Laatokka (Ladoga) to Eastern Finland. The old (Valamo) Valaam Monastery was quite soon after the outbreak of the Winter War occupied by the armed forces of the Soviet Union. After a temporary dwelling place the monks decided to settle down in Heinävesi in Eastern Finland. The choice fell on a mansion in Papinniemi, Heinävesi, after the monks had found there, quite surprisingly, an icon of St. Sergius and St. Herman, the founders of Valaam (Valamo) monastery in the 12th century. The monks considered this to be a sign from God. Having received evacuees from the Konevsky (Konevitsa) and Pechenga (Petsamo) monasteries, it is now, the only monastery for men of the Finnish Orthodox Church.
The Finnish Orthodox Church has also a monastery for women, Lintula Holy Trinity Convent, which is situated 18 kilometres (11 miles) from New Valamo, in Palokki, Heinävesi. My dear friend Merja sent me this card.