Cities of Mining

Elephants in Zambezi National Park

The “Finnish outskirts”, to which Vyborg belonged at the beginning of the 20th century, did not abound in natural resources, and the share of mining in the economy of these places was very small. The only exception was the Vyborg province, where, according to the guidebooks, “mining” was “mainly” concentrated. The development of this industry was promoted by the richest reserves of granites of various colors and structures.

Stone construction has been carried out here since the foundation of the Vyborg castle, in the dungeon of which the lower two floors date to the end of the 13th century. Two centuries later, the city posad was “overgrown” with a stone wall — and in those days when fires raged in Vyborg, the inhabitants of wooden houses sought to hide behind the walls of stone cathedrals. The mason’s craft was very respectable, but there were only a few stone masters in medieval Vyborg.

We can speak about the industrial production of stone in the province only at the beginning of the 19th century, when the most famous architectural monuments of St. Petersburg were erected. In the estate of the barons of Nikolai, on the outskirts of Torn off (the present Guards settlement), the townspeople Sukhanov and Balaksin cut down the columns of the Kazan Cathedral. Massive granite blocks were sent to the capital by water. However, the stone reserves in the immediate vicinity of the city were not enough, so the production of granite for the Kazan Cathedral was continued at Puterlak breaking (in modern Finland in the vicinity of Hamina). There, by order of O. Montferrand, the columns of St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Pillar of Alexandria were cut down. No less famous is the granite breaking in Vilkilya, from where the stone was delivered for the pedestal of the monument to Minin and Pozharsky, and supplies were made for the construction of the General Staff and Admiralty buildings.

Directly near Vyborg, granite was mined commercially in the 20th century – 3 kilometers from the Tammisuo station, at the site of the Neolithic site of Hyauryunmyaki. Since 1954, the Vyborg quarry has been located at this place.

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