Northern nature of Karelia is very beautiful. All over the ground one can see stones, big boulders and even low rocks covered with multi-colored mosses. The forest is mainly coniferous. Mon Repos park in Vyborg is, probably, the only place in the suburbs of St. Petersburg where you can see all these things.
As is known, the lands around Vyborg were included in the Russian Empire after the Northern War at the very beginning of the 18 century, and in the 19 century there appeared many estates of the Russian nobility and functionaries who lived in St. Petersburg. Nature is very picturesque there: northern coniferous forest, moss-covered rocks, lakes, rivers, and canals.
Ludwig von Nicolai, the President of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, had the most beautiful estate in Vyborg. He called it «Mon Repos», which is translated as «my rest» from French. After his retirement in 1803, Ludwig von Nicolai settled in his estate and devoted his life to its decoration and creating a landscape park.
Mon Repos park is located 2 kilometers to the north from the Vyborg castle and the old town Vyborg on the shore of the Defensive Bay of the Baltic Sea. After the revolution of 1917 the estate was nationalized, and the new authorities gave it the status of a site having a special architectural and historic value. So the Mon Repos park was preserved for the posterity and became one of the main tourist attractions of Vyborg.
The Mon Repos park is very large, but its most interesting places are along the shoreline. From the main building of the estate you should first go on the right path toward the Island of the Tent to enjoy the view on the picturesque shoreline. You can even swim in the Vyborg Bay but it is rather shallow in this place.
After that you should return to the rock with the Tea House, and from it go over the rocks to the Temple Pavilion. Probably, it is the most beautiful place at the Mon Repos park. There one can enjoy a very beautiful nature of Karelia, with a grove of birches growing on the stones. From there one can see the Ludwigstein, also known as the Island of Dead, as it is there that the family cemetery of the Nicolai is located, as well as the family vault, a white pavilion with columns styled as a castle.