The restoration of the Monola granary
The restoration of the Monola granary as a LEADER project in 2016–2017
The Monola granary and its surroundings have been marked as regionally significant built cultural environment in the third phase of the regional land use plan of North Karelia (issue no. 165/2014). The unused granary had fallen into disrepair over the past decades, and there had been many attempts to save the building, but with no results. As the Sibelius 150th Anniversary was approaching, new actions were taken, now with more ambition. The Monola-seura association was established in 2015. The next year, the City of Lieksa donated the granary building and rented its grounds to the association for the next 10 years.
Monola-seura restored the granary with LEADER funding in co-operation with the Vaara-Karjalan Leader ry association and the Finnish Heritage Agency in 2016–2017. The restoration project was made possible in particular by the donations from cellist Jussi Makkonen from his record sales and concert profits, and the efforts of dozens of active volunteers. The granary was opened for cultural, tourism and village activities by the Speaker of the Parliament of Finland, Maria Lohela, at the Monola Festival on 8 July 2017.
The Monola granary has seen many changes throughout its history as the ways of using it have changed over time. As time passed, the building was equipped with an oven and a stove for year-round accommodation, among other features. The latest changes to the building were made for its summer cottage use that continued until the 1990s. The restoration of the granary followed the Finnish Heritage Agency’s instructions and the minimum restoration principle of making only the necessary repairs, so nearly all structural layers have remained, forming a part of the building’s history.
The granary was already condemned, but over 80% of its original logs are left. The foundations of the roof and the floor structure were also in good condition. An entirely new shingled roof was added to the granary during the restoration work. The insides of the building have been mainly left in the condition they were in when the last travellers left the granary a couple of decades earlier.
According to building conservator Anu Nurkkala from the Nurmes Museum who supervised the restoration work under the instructions of the Finnish Heritage Agency, there are only a few buildings left that are like the Monola granary. Of all the buildings in Finland, only 5 percent were built before 1921.
About 60 volunteers, two hired carpenters, a part-time project assistant, and a part-time project manager participated in the restoration work.
A road to the Monola granary and a nearby parking area were completed in 2018.
The restoration of the Monola granary and the development of related activities – investment component (project number 42498). Final report 17 Jan 2019, Elli Oinonen-Edén. Monola-seura archives.
The restoration of the Monola granary and the development of related activities – development project (project number 40369). Final report 14 Jan 2019, Elli Oinonen-Edén. Monola-seura archives.
Open in the summer.
Opening hours in 2020:
Tuesday–Sunday from 11AM to 4PM, closed on Mondays
Open for groups on request.
Adults 5 €
Children (ages 7 to 12) 1 €
Free entry for children under 7 years
(guide signs from Vartialantie)