Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: Vottovaara



photo by Soren Andersson, via wikipedia

Browsing the latest posts at The Megalithic Portal a few weeks ago, an article with the name Vottovaara, caught my attention for it sounds Finnish and also sounded rather familiar to me. Of course, it's about the flying stones of Lapland which I wrote about back in August 2004. I find it exciting when I come across these connections and new links, especially concerning the lesser known region of northern Europe, and particularly the Karelia area of the Finno-Ugric people.

Aluta, the author, kindly gave me permission to link to this. She wrote, in part:

Seids or seitas are objects or sites revered by the Saami people as representing nature or earth spirits. Found throughout the area once called Lapland, they were constructed and revered in the distant past by the Saamis' pre-Christian ancestors. They can take many forms, including constructions of wood or just secluded pools or valleys, but in this case the word refers to seid stones, which are stones or boulders, often of unusual shapes or placed in unusual ways. These are the megaliths of the ancient northern peoples.

Usually these special stones are placed sparingly or singly, sometimes near stone rows or stone circles. But Vottovaara, a mountain in the Republic of Karelia, part of the Russian Republic, is host to a bewildering abundance of them, from 1000 to 1500 seids and other stone constructions all in one area.

Among the most striking features at Vottovaara are its propped boulders, sometimes called flying stones because of the way the boulders, often of interesting shapes, are elevated by smaller stones, making them seem as if they are lifting into flight.

Please read the rest of her interesting article and the links, as well as my article for all the details about this ancient Saami 'place of power'. The sad thing that Aluta brings up is that these sacred stones are being threatened by mining development. A Finnish group gathered names for a petition to save Vottovaara (sorry I write this too late for my readers, but I did sign it). They have had a reply and request to improve the petition. Let's wish them better luck than so many other places around the world similarly threatened and damaged by resource and other developments.

Related links:

Heninen's photos of Vottovaara

Voimakivet (Powerstones - vanishing Finnish cult structures) - a Finnish page with great art work! and more photos of these types of stones; the top is at Vottovaara, the bottom ones in USA.

Rockpiles on Vottovaara

A Swedish wikipedia article which calls these balanced megaliths 'chicken and eggs', the source of the image above in one of the links. (My article is also linked!) Here's an auto-translation.


Hups! Tuo kuva yllätti. Näytti jättiläisten lasten kotileikiltä, joka on jäänyt paikalleen kauan sitten.

Hei Anna, sehän onkin mukava mielikuvaus! Kiitos.

Kiitos "Oscarista", huh! Mutta kiitos myös omalle blogillesi, josta saan paljon iloa ja oppia suomen kulttuurista! Olen tehnyt jo aikaisemmin saman tapanen meemi, jotta kumerran pois tämän kerran. Linkki listaltahan löytyykin paljon inspiroivia blogeja.

Like all stone ruins these are fascinating to me and I always wonder how the people who built and used them lived their lives. Thanks for showing me that these megaliths exist in many more places than I imagined.

Joan, I find the same thing intrigues me. And I wonder just how humans can lift these immense rocks onto the little ones.

By the way, Anna (in the first comment above, in Finnish) wrote that the photo startled her, looking to her like a giant's child had been playing house, and left it behind long ago.