Mount Vottovaara in Karelia

Mount Vottovaara is one of the most famous anomalous zones in Russia. It is often called the Place of Power. On the mountain, you can see a lot of amazing things that are difficult to explain from a scientific point of view: Sami seids, stones with perfectly smooth splits, twisted trees, Stairs to the Sky and just very beautiful landscapes of Karelian nature. 

So far, not many tourists come to Mount Vottovaara. The main reason is the lack of transport and tourist infrastructure. However, the mountain deserves to be put on a par with the most interesting tourist attractions of Karelia: Kizhi, Ruskeala, Ladoga skerries, Valaam, etc. Together with the mountain, all these attractions can be combined into the route "Golden Ring of Karelia". 

Mount Vottovaara is located in the remote forests of Karelia, 160 kilometers west of the town of Medvezhegorsk. The nearest village to the mountain is Gimoly. A few tens of kilometers from the town of Medvezhegorsk or from the village of Girvas, the road has a low-quality asphalt surface, but then more than 100 kilometers will have to go on a dirt road. Alternatively, you can get from St. Petersburg to the village of Gimoly by train. The distance from the village of Gimoly to the mountain of Vottovaara is 20 kilometers. It is not possible to drive on this road by car. You can go only if you have a specially prepared car for off-road driving. 

The highest mountains of Karelia are located in the Paanayarvi Nature Reserve. The height of the highest mountain in Karelia, Nuorunen, reaches 577 meters. The height of Mount Vottovaara is more modest, only 416 meters, however, in the central part of Karelia it is the highest. At the top of the mountain there is a depression called the "Amphitheater". This is a very beautiful place in Vottovaara, surrounded by seids and piles of stones. 

The first systematic research of Mount Vottovaara was started in 1978 by a local searcher from the village of Sukkozero, Sergey Simonyan. He admits the possibility of an anthropogenic origin of the Seids on Vottovaara, but denies the presence of esoteric and mystical phenomena on this mountain. However, this does not stop the numerous followers of occult teachings. They believe that here is a portal to another world, that here you can feel the vibrations of the earth and receive energy from Space. Someone may treat this with disbelief, but the presence of anomalies on the mountain is obvious. 

It will take a whole day to hike on the mountain. It is better to come here early in the morning, and plan your departure no earlier than 5-6 pm. If you want to see the famous Staircase to the Sky, it is important to remember that it is located on the slope of a neighboring hill, 3 kilometers away from the Amphitheater. Along the way, you will have to overcome a swampy area. Only a hike to the Stairs will take at least 3-4 hours, and you can walk along Vottovaara itself for a very long time. 

In some sources, Vottovaara is called Death Mountain because of the anomalous phenomena occurring on it. There is a mountain with this name, but it is located 5 kilometers from Vottovaara. During the World War II, several hundred fighters from Grigoriev`s partisan detachment died on it during a heavy battle. They retreated along the slope of Vottovaara, but the heaviest losses were on another mountain. There is a monument there. Thus, the name "Death-mountain" has nothing to do with Vottovaara. 

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The amphitheater in the center of the mountain Vottovaara - here are the largest and most beautiful clusters of seids and stones
Split seid-megalith Ukko`s Head - the main Place of Power on Mount Vottovaara
The steps of the Stairway to the Sky on Mount Vottovaara are very smooth, it seems as if they are cut down by people
The famous seid on the mountain Vottovaara, next to the twisted spruce
Many seids on Mount Vottovaara are installed on large stones and it is very doubtful that a glacier could have done this
The Sami Seids are the most famous attraction on the Vottovaara Mountain
Seids are large boulders weighing up to 10 tons, mounted on small stones that look like legs
Perfectly smooth cracks in the rocks on Mount Vottovaara stretch for several meters
A typical appearance of an adult tree on the top of Mount Vottovaara in Karelia
A rocky ridge covered with seids and stones in the center of the Amphitheater on Mount Vottovaara
Stones entwined with dead trees on the rocky ridge of the Amphitheater on Mount Vottovaara
Stone rubble on the Amphitheater of Mount Vottovaara
A large lake at the foot of the northern slope of Mount Vottovaara in Karelia
A small lake near the northern slope of Mount Vottovaara, on the shore of which there is a Stairway to Heaven
Seid-bench on the top of the Southern slope of Vottovaara, where you can sit down and admire the views of the Karelian taiga
Seid Ukko`s Head is located on a rocky ridge that rises above the Amphitheater on Mount Vottovaara
The top of Mount Vottovaara (416 m) rises above the Amphitheater
A maze of stones laid out by visitors on the top of Mount Vottovaara
View of the Karelian taiga and lakes from the top of Mount Vottovaara
Tourists admire the views of the Karelian taiga from the top of the southern slope of Mount Vottovaara
Lake Eye in the center of the Amphitheater on Mount Vottovaara, in the center of a swampy area
There are many tree sprouts on the top of Mount Vottovaara, but the old trees are all dying
Due to some abnormal force, the trunks and branches of trees on Mount Vottovaara rotate around their axis
Dead trees on the top of Mount Vottovaara, next to the Amphitheater
The cracks on Mount Vottovaara pass between the free-standing stones at the same angle
Huge quartzite stones with perfectly smooth surfaces on Mount Vottovaara
The Stairway to Heaven is located in the forest 3 kilometers from the top of the mountain Vottovaara
Eye Lake in the center of the Amphitheater on Mount Vottovaara, at the bottom of which a large content of phosphorus was found
Stone-pyramid on the northern slope of Mount Vottovaara in Karelia
A hedgehog-like seid on the southern slope of Mount Vottovaara
Huge seids weighing tens of tons on the southern slope of Mount Vottovaara