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The Mutual Building Heritage
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The purpose of the project was to increase border cooperation in the restoration and maintenance of wooden buildings, in order to preserve the mutual building heritage.

Main activities

• to relay information about the regulations and guidelines on the care of Russian and Finnish wooden buildings • to organise restoration training to Finnish restoration planners together with restoration and construction staff, and to distribute information about sustainable restoration methods. • to copy the planning permission drawings of the historical wooden buildings of Sortavala in the provincial archives of Mikkeli and forward them to the Department of Architecture and City Planning of Sortavala. • to organise two seminars on the restoration of log buildings and related corporate visits in the Republic of Karelia and North Karelia, and support cultural environment-based education. • translation of the restoration cards of the National Board of Antiquities and instructions of the Russian Ministry of Culture in Russian and Finnish, which would be published as a book and linked as web pages to the home pages of the cultural heritage authorities.


The repair instructions (restoration instructions) of the National Board of Antiquities of Finland as well as 17 repair cards, related mainly to the restoration of wooden buildings, were translated into Russian as part of this project. The translations were published in 1000 editions of information leaflets, which were distributed to the partners in Sortavala and Petrozavodsk, for use in teaching and counselling work. These are the first restoration guidelines in plain language published in the Republic of Karelia. However, similar instructions in Russian were not achieved, in spite of the efforts on behalf of the project. The project scanned 225 planning permission drawings between 1864-1939 from the collections of the provincial archives of Mikkeli and forwarded paper copies of them to the Museum of North Ladoga in Sortavala, in addition to electronic copies, to the National Protection Centre for the Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Karelia in Petrozavodsk. The drawings were exhibited in the Museum of North Ladoga and the North Karelia Museum in Joensuu and published in the book ”Sortavalan arkkitehtuuria 1864–1936” (Architecture in Sortavala 1864-1936). The books were distributed to media and partners in Finland and Russia as well as to the Nordic planning authorities. The project trained 14 heritage constructors, of which 10 took part in a display examination of the occupational degree and 5 completed the restoration journeyman’s vocational examination. One of the certified journeymen started a business venture. The project organised seminars related to the upkeep of the building tradition in Sortavala and Joensuu. Inspired by the seminar in Sortavala, the town's residents founded an association to nurture the old and valuable building traditions of Sortavala. The Tacis miniature project, Conservation of Wooden Heritage in Sortavala, designed as an affiliate project to the discussed project, failed to obtain financing, and the planned Russian restoration training project did not materialise. For this reason, it is not possible to claim that the project has actually strengthened the eastern know-how network in the education and business sectors. The concept of restoration training organised by the Finnish in Sortavala has nevertheless not been abandoned.

Basic information



2004-08-01 - 2007-03-31

Total Budget / Programme funding

245 000 € / 240 000 €

Lead partner

North Karelia Environment Centre
Lead partner web-site


City of Sortavala