Hotel like a medieval knight’s castle – Imatra State hotel is one of the most beautiful buildings in Finland

Imatra Sate Hotel. Photos: Sirpa Pääkkönen
Imatra State Hotel is one of the most beautiful buildings in Finland. In the European art nouveau building the style is rich and exciting. All walls are different and details countless. The house has towers and a wide range of windows and ornamentation based on the Finnish topics. For example, the main entrance you can find small reliefs of birds, fox and deer.

The building was designed by Usko Nyström and completed in 1903. The architect  had received from the Senate a free hand to design a new river beach hotel. The condition was that the building was supposed to be made of stone. The previous two wooden hotels were burned.

This room belonged to emperor Nicholas II.
Grand hotel de Cascade was opened in 1903. Later the name was changed to Imatra State hotel. The building was like a medieval knight’s castle. There were 53 different-sized rooms and a large dining room. Material was light-coloured limestone.

The staff was Russian. The spoken languages were Russian and French, not Finnish. Between Vyborg and Imatra there was built a railway at the end of 1800s. Russian nobility went to admire the white-water rapids.
Emperor Nicholas II had a private suite with open views into the foaming rapids.
At its best to Imatra arrived fourteen trains per day from Russia. Masses of tourists came until the beginning of the First World War. Since then, passenger flow dried up.

During the time of Finland’s independence in 1917 the hotel served as a military hospital. During the Second World War the house served as the military administration.
After the war the building was renovated. Between 1985-1987 the building was restored to its original shape and glory. Now it serves as a hotel and there is a little spa.
The Fox.
The samovar.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this historical story of Beautiful State Hotel. So, we can understand the international history of Imatra.
    This river beach Hotel, Imatra State Hotel has views into the foaming rapids of Imatrankoski ("The Imatra Rapid"), which is a rapid on the Vuoksi River in Imatra, Finland. Imatrankoski is also one of the National landscapes of Finland. Since 1929 the rapid has been blocked by a dam as the Imatra hydroelectric plant began operation.


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