Katariina Seaside Park

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From an oilharbour to a marinepark

The Katariina Seaside Park located at the southernmost tip of Kotkansaari is a 20-hectare versatile park and recreational area, which enjoys active use throughout the year.

Harbour operations ended at the beginning of this millennium. The former tank areas were thoroughly cleaned by the oil companies, and landscaping work commenced in 2004. Due to the large size of the Katariina Seaside Park, its construction still continues.

The Katariina Seaside Park was honoured with the International Trend Award 2012 Prize by the European Landscape Contractors Association (ELCA).

Read more about the history and construction of Katariina Seaside Park.

Fort Katariina

The highest mound within the Katariina Seaside Park houses Fort Katariina, the central fortification of the former Ruotsinsalmi fortress town. Fort Katariina is renovated by the National Board of Antiquities. This fortress town was the origin of Kotka.

A new maritime residential area will rise on the north side of the Seaside Park in the former industrial area.
 

Park in active use

In addition to the magnificent cliffs and seascapes, the Katariina Seaside Park offers many other things to see and experience.

The park has a large lawn, which can be used for sunbathing, ball games, or perhaps flying a kite. The brook rippling from the pond to the sea is surrounded by a “Secret Garden” with planted areas. There are also numerous pieces of playing and exercise equipment in the area as well as a skate ramp.

Anchor islet

An islet has been constructed at the southern tip of the cape. In stormy weather, you can hear how the metal bridge leading to the islet “sings”. The anchor on the islet is from a sailing ship dating from the 19th century.

The anchor islet serves as an official place for scattering the ashes of the deceased. Ashes from approx. 100 urns are scattered into the sea from the islet annually.

Meditation labyrinth

Walking through the meditation labyrinth is said to be a spiritual experience, which you may feel as calming or invigorating, depending on the situation. The walking distance to the centre and back is 1,050 metres. If you clap your hands together at the centre point, you can try hearing whether there is an echo in the labyrinth.

There is as lookout tower beside the labyrint. It offers a good view to the sea, all the way to Suursaari island on the Russian side of the sea frontier. Beside the labyrinth, there is an information board which describes the origin of this area and the history of labyrinths, taking up to 3,000 years back in time.
 

Picnic tables of granite

The park has several picnic sites with barbecue facitilies. These sites are available to all. The granite tables can accommodate eight to ten people.

The largest table consisting of seven different granite types, seats up to 50 people. If you wish to use the grill, please bring your own wood or charcoal.

Common alder grove

The Katariina common alder grove located on the eastern side of the open park area represents the natural environment typical of the Eastern Gulf of Finland. The area was protected in 1964 by a decision of the Executive Board of Kotka.

The natural features of the common alder grove differ completely from the rocky areas that surround the adjacent Fort Katariina.

Rich flaura and fauna

The park as a whole encompasses highly varied natural values, especially as regards vegetation and bird life. The common alder grove is located in a brook depression characterised by its natural state and ancient forest atmosphere.

In addition to its flora and fauna, the grove has a rich history. The area houses structures that belonged to the Ruotsinsalmi fortress system, such as the foundations of a gunpowder magazine and the footing of brick barracks.

The shore is rocky, dominated by magnificent old pine trees. The area contains numerous erratic boulders,which form sculptural entities shaped by the forces of nature.

There are walking routes from the Katariina Seaside Park via Mansikkalahti and Meriniemi to Sapokka. Mansikkalahti has a beach, a children’s playground, and picnic sites with barbecues. In addition to the Water Garden, Sapokka houses, among other things, a marina with services for visiting boaters, and the Maretarium. There are also cafeteria and restaurant services in the area.