Imperial Fishing Lodge ‒ from a summer resort into a museum
In the summer of 1880, the Prince Royal Alexander of Russia arrived at Langinkoski to see how salmon was fished, and he became infatuated with the beautiful landscape with its rapids. Alexander and his consort, the Danish Princess Dagmar, had heard about the abundant catches of salmon from the rapids.
In 1887, the imperial couple made a significant trip to Langinkoski. Alexander was now Alexander III, the Emperor of Russia and Grand Duke of Finland. Dagmar had become Empress Maria Feodorovna following their marriage.
The imperial couple expressed a wish that a fishing lodge would be built for them beside the Langinkoski rapids.
The imperial couple was interested in the construction work
The fishing lodge was designed by three Finnish architects. Magnus Schjerfbeck prepared the drawings of the building, Jac. Ahrenberg was in charge of interior design, and Sebastian Gripenberg accepted the overall plans. The lodge was built by Finnish carpenters.
The building work commenced in the summer of 1888. The Emperor and Empress were very interested in their summer resort in Finland, and they came to see the progress of the work together their youngest children, Grand Duke Michael and Grand Duchess Olga.
The Imperial Fishing Lodge was inaugurated in a grand ceremony on 15 July 1889.
Langinkoskiseura Society cherishes the heritage of the museum
The fishing lodge was taken over by the State of Finland in 1917 when Finland became independent. The lodge fell into decay, and some of its movable property was taken elsewhere. The Langinkoski Imperial Fishing Lodge was saved by the Kymenlaakso Museum Society, the efforts of which enabled the reopening of the lodge as a museum in 1933. Nowadays, the museum is operated by the Langinkoskiseura Society in co-operation with the National Board of Antiquities.
The museum has been restored almost to the same appearance it had in the summer of 1889 when the lodge was made available to the imperial family. Items removed from the lodge have been returned to the museum. These include the imperial couple’s beds, which had been taken to Kultaranta, the summer residence of the President of Finland, in the 1920s for use as guest beds.