Many maps have been made of Punkaharju and its surrounding areas over the centuries. The area has been located near the border between countries for most of the time since the Treaty of Nöteborg in 1323, and its waterways and the ridge have been important accessways. The region has been a major tourist destination thanks to its beautiful landscape, and maps have been made for tourism and travel purposes. Metsähallitus, which administers land and water areas, also made maps of the areas it owned as early as the 19th century for forestry and forest research sectors, and the Finnish Forest Research Institute published maps of the area later.
The exhibition is based on maps that have been preserved in archives and published in various publications. The exhibition uses maps to show how Punkaharju ridge formed after the Ice Age, how Punkaharju’s image has evolved over time and how the cultural history of Punkaharju has influenced the maps.
The exhibition has been compiled by Antti Kanerva, who is originally from Punkaharju. He also made the maps of the post-Ice Age stages. Kanerva’s interest in maps and orienteering started as a little boy when he found a compass and a map of the Punkaharju test area in the drawer of his father, who worked as a regional forester in Punkaharju. Orienteering became more important when Kanerva was a conscript in the Finnish Border Guard. He was involved in orienteering in a number of different roles, including as a member of the board of the Finnish Orienteering Federation.
The exhibition has two locations, and maps are displayed at both Hotel Punkaharju and Lusto. It has been produced by Lusto as part of the Punkaharju cultural association’s Living in a national landscape project (2017-2019), funded by the Piällysmies association.