The Saimaa Canal was inaugurated in 1856 leads from Lake Saimaa by Finnish and Russian territory to the Gulf of Finland. He was always important for the transport of the wood processing industry. The construction lasted from 1849 to 1856 and were planned and supervised for the most part by Nils Ericson.
The length is from Lappeenranta to the lock Brusnitschnoje in Vyborg (Russia) 42.93 km, 19.60 km of which are located on Russian territory. The difference in height is 76 m. Eight locks stages can operate the waterway on which ships with a carrying capacity 2000-2500 tons. According to the dimensions of the locks vessels may not exceed ( Saimax ) the dimensions of 82.50 meters in length, 12.60 meters wide, 4.35 meters draft and 24.50 m headroom.
When after the involvement of Finland, 1944, the armistice had been agreed in the Continuation War with the USSR fell as a result of territorial losses, a part of the channel region of the USSR. Having thus seemed sealed the fate of these previously locked waterway, it became possible again with the development of good neighborly relations, to open the channel for traffic by the Soviet Union, the section that was on USSR territory, to Finland in 1963 to 50 years leased.
The contract was signed on 27 May 2010 replaced by a new one, which again has a term of 50 years. In the new contract, the island formerly contained Maly Vysotsky is no longer leased by Finland. In 1962, both sides signed an agreement which provided for a modernization and reconstruction. Six years later, the improved construction workers and engineers of both countries waterway was reopened. Since 1991, you can travel along the canal as a tourist with their own boats or with boats.