Myllysaari island

The oldest Iron Age graves of Lahti and Hollola have been discovered on the island of Myllysaari in Lake Vesijärvi. When the pavilion of the Lahti Yachting Club was under construction in the island in 1909, a cairn at the site revealed two barbed spearheads with tangs, three socketed spearheads and fragments of a sword blade. The tanged spearheads are so-called angons, which were made according to models specific to Finland. The blades of the weapons were bent double. The deceased appear to have been cremated and the artefacts were either damaged by fire or bent deliberately. The number of artefacts suggests that possibly two persons were cremated. The cairn dates from the beginning of the Merovingian Period, i.e. the early 7th century.

Myllysaari used to be known as Vähäsaari, meaning small island. It was quite small in area before the repeated lowering of the water level of Lake Vesijärvi, most recently in 1871, when the Vääksy Canal was built in 1871, when the level of the lake sank by almost three metres. Myllysaari island is now approximately 6,000 square metres in area.

A windmill was built in the middle of the island in the late 19th century, which led to its new name Myllysaari - Mill Island. The mill still stood on the island in the early 1900s, when it was a popular venue for dancing and amusements among young people. It was bought by the Lahti Sailing Club in 1910 and the pavilion was built in the same year. It was designed by the architect Uno Alanco (Uuno Alanko) of Lahti in the wooden art nouveau style that was rare in the city. The pavilion was also the first summer restaurant in Lahti. In the 1930s, a large number of hardwoods were planted on the island, and many of them still grow. The bridge to the island was not built until 1980.

Myllysaari island is accessed by driving approximately three kilometres from the centre of Lahti along Jalkarannantie road towards Messilä. The street leading to the island, Myllysaarenkatu, turns to the right. The parking area is by the shore from with pedestrian bridges leading to the island.
An information sign on the island tells about its history, and there is a restaurant operating in the summer months.


Ristola is one of Finland's best-known Stone Age sites. Dating from around 10,400 years ago, it is regarded as one of the oldest dwelling sites in the country. Ristola and its surroundings have been investigated actively.

Like most Stone Age settlements, Ristola was originally on the water line, at the far end of a fiord-like bay of the sea extending deep into the inland. The Stone Age population preferred locations of this kind, as the sea, the nearby river mouth and the surrounding forests all provided resources, and it was not necessary to relocate so often. Owing to land uplift, the sea gradually receded, and Ristola was ultimately abandoned. Much later, towards the end of the Stone Age, it was resettled, this time by settlers of the Corded Ware or Boat-Axe Culture.

Now, thousands of years later, the sea is over a hundred kilometres from Ristola, which is approximately 73 metres above present sea-level. This suggests that the first settlers arrived there around 8600-8200 BC. The exceptional age of the Ristola site is also suggested by finds of artefacts of a special type of flint, including knives, arrowheads and scrapers. There are no finds of similar objects from Finland, but they are known from Estonia and other areas of the so-called Kunda Culture of the period. It appears that the first permanent settlement of Finland came from the area of present-day Estonia across the Baltic. There also appears to have been a prehistoric quartz quarry right next to the Ristola site. A quartz deposit at a location that was excellent for Stone Age people may have been one reason why Ristola was originally occupied.

The Ristola site is located to the south Uusi Orimattilantie road, linking Helsingintie road (no. 140) and Uudenmaakatu street (no. 167). The Porvoonjoki River separates the area from the nearby harness racing track. Cars can be parked near the site. The area is marked with signs. See Map. (in Finnish)