Canal to Russia

Canal to Russia

Lappeenranta in the Southeast of Finlandis beautifully situated on lake Saimaa and is connected to the Bay of Finland and Russia via the Saimaa Canal, built between 1845 – 1856. It was formally opened on September 7 1856. It was later overhauled and widened 1963-1968. The canal is 42.9 km long (26.7 miles). the difference in elevation between lake Saimaa and the lower laying Gulf of Finland is 75.7 m (248 ft). The Finnish part has three locks, the first one in Mälkiä.

Lappeenranta harbor with the Church
Lappeenranta harbor with the Church and the lake fountain in the foreground.

 

Mälkiä Lock on Saimaa Canal
Mälkiä Lock on Saimaa Canal.

Mälkiä lockis the first lock when traveling towards Russia on the Saimaa Canal, it is also the lock with the biggest difference in elevation, 12,4 m (41 ft).

Mälkiä lock
Mälkiä lock.

The lock port is rising from below to seal off the lake side of the lock so that the transition downwards can begin.

Mälkiä lock
Mälkiä lock.

 

Mälkiä lock locking towards the lower part of the Canal
Mälkiä lock locking towards the lower part of the Canal.

 

Mälkiä lock locking back towards lake Saimaa
Mälkiä lock locking back towards lake Saimaa.

 

Mälkiä lock looking back towards the lake and Finland
Mälkiä lock

The gates have closed and lock is being drained of water, lowering the boat to the level of the lower part of the canal.

Mälkiä lock - Ready to move out
Mälkiä lock – Ready to move out

 

Back in the Canal, 12.4 m lower

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