Marble mine park Ruskeala, one of the most outstanding and amazing places of Northern Ladoga Lakeside, is a remarkable natural and artificial sight simultaneously.
The pearl of the mine park is marble quarries. The old abandoned marble quarry that had been mined for almost three centuries today is equipped for tourist admiring historical heritage and "collectors" of natural phenomena and views.
A huge man-made bowl in the solid mass of the marble layer stretches 460 meters from north to south and is 109 meters wide. Filled with pure ground water of emerald green color it is surrounded by both slightly sloping and sheer marble rocks reaching up to 25 meters high above the water surface.
Edges of the open-pit mine are veined by surface and underwater adits, galleries and mines. The general extent of the accessible passages prepared for sightseeing runs to several hundreds meters. Survey of underwater mines is available for high-skilled divers only.
Protected exotic mosses, lichens, orchidaceous plants, shrub vegetation grow in the territory of the park; rare species of reptiles, amphibia, and wing-handed animals range there.
The unique natural object is as well a monument of industrial history of four peoples – Karelians, Swedes, Russian, and Finns. There is no other monument in Europe representing a man-made bowl in the layer of solid marble cut with the system of mines, adits and galleries.
In 1766 a marble deposit was discovered near the Village of Ruskeala by pastor and regional ethnographer S.Apelius of Serdobol. In the following years а marble quarry was opened, which could offer four brands of marble – ash-grey, grey-green, white with grey streaks and white-grey- blue.
The marble was used for buildings in St. Petersburg from the second half of the 17th to the middle of the 19th centuries and in Sortavala and Valaam in the late 19th – early 20th centuries. There has also been а lime production based on the marble in Ruskeala.