The Ruskeala Mountain Park is a tourist complex located in the Sortavalsky District of the Republic of Karelia near the village of Ruskeala.
The main object of the complex is a former marble quarry filled with groundwater. Quarries were discovered by Pastor Alopeus and began to be developed at the beginning of the reign of Catherine II.
Today, the length of the quarry from north to south is 460 meters; its width is up to 100 meters. The distance from the highest point of the quarry to the bottom is more than 50 meters. The transparency of the water reaches 15-18 meters.
Ruskeala Marble is used in the construction of the most beautiful and significant buildings of St. Petersburg and its palace suburbs. St. Isaac's Cathedral, the floors of the Kazansky Cathedral , the Hermitage windowsills, the windows of the Marble Palace and the facade of the Mikhailovsky Castle are framed and made with Ruskeala Marble, as well as the underground halls of the St. Petersburg Metro stations "Primorskaya" and "Ladozhskaya".
Today, Ruskeala Mountain Park is one of the most popular tourist sites in Russia, which is visited annually by tens of thousands of tourists. It is only 4h train from St.Petersburg, operates daily. Take one from St.Petersburg at 06:13, arrival to st.Sortavala at 10:20. Then make a transfer for a retro steam-train (10:40-11:50, st.Sortavala - st.Ruskeala).
You may either go back to St.Petersburg the same day or stay in Karelia for several nights to fully feel beauty of its nature.