Добро пожаловать к этому международному месту открытки изображения. Benvenuto a questo luogo internazionale della cartolina di immagine. Καλωσορίστε σε αυτήν την διεθνή περιοχή καρτών εικόνων. Willkommen zu diesem internationalen Abbildungspostkarteaufstellungsort. Bienvenue à cet emplacement international de carte postale. Onthaal aan deze Internationale plaats van de beeldprentbriefkaar. Welcome to this International picture postcard site. (Please Click on the Picture for an Enlarged View)

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Tsar's Fishing Lodge in Finland

Alexander III of Russia (who ruled the Grand Duchy of Finland as part of the Russian Empire) had a very small manor or a medium sized log house built there, between the branches of the Kymi River. He would take relatively rustic vacations there, along with his family. His wife the empress Marie Feodorovna (née Dagmar of Denmark) enjoyed cooking while he fished or split wood. The log house is now a museum.
Alexander III and Dagmar had heard about the good salmon fishing at Langinkoski, so in the summer of 1880 they arrived at Langinkoski to watch the salmon fishing. They also took a liking to the beautiful river scenery and promised to return. Some years later they did return to Langinkoski. They said that they would like to have a little fishing hut on the banks of the river. The senate of the Grand Duchy of Finland took measures to have a villa built for the sovereign and his family on the very banks of the Langinkoski rapids. The lodge was designed by architect Magnus Schjerfbeck and the interior decorating was planned by architect Jac. Ahrenberg.
The construction of the lodge was begun in the summer of 1888. The imperial couple were so interested in their summer house in Finland that they came to watch the progress of the project. Along with them came their youngest children, grand duke Michael, 10, and grand duchess Olga, 6. The interior decorating of the lodge was almost totally designed and manufactured in Finland.
The pieces of furniture in the sitting room were manufactured by local cabinet-makers, the textiles by Tampella in Tampere, the chinaware by Arabia in Helsinki, the axe by Billnäs, the wine and drinking glasses by Karhula Glassworks and the kitchen stove by Högfors; all well-known firms which still exist.
When Finland became independent in 1917 the imperial fishing lodge was taken over by the Finnish government, but it was left without maintenance. Pieces of furniture were removed to unknown destinations and the lodge began to deteriorate.
Private individuals saved the lodge for posterity by establishing an association with the intention of turning the lodge into a museum. Their second attempt to get the government's permission for their project met with success and in 1933 the museum was opened. The association, Langinkoski Museum Society, acts as museum operator under a contract with the government and under the supervision of the National Board of Antiquities.
In the 1920s the beds of the emperor and the empress had been taken away to an unknown place. As a result of many years of detective work by the Museum Society the beds were traced at Kultaranta, the summer residence of the president of Finland! In 1956 they were returned to Langinkoski where they can be seen upstairs (the upper card) in the bedroom of the imperial couple. The covers have the Finnish coat of Arms on them.

My friend Merja sent me these two cards and posted them in an envelope, and very thoughtfully got the delightful postmark depicting the Imperial lodge. Thank you dear Merja.