Pagan Holy Site Threatened


Hrafnkell at A Heathen’s Day passes on the word that a historic place of pre-Christian worship in Russia is in danger of destruction. The site in question is the Mountain Vottovaara (located in Russian-controlled Karelia), a place sacred to the indigenous Sami people (part of the Finno-Ugric linguistic family) of Northern Europe that contains approximately 1600 sacred stones called ‘seids’. Now a planned mining operation near Vottovaara is putting the historic site in jeopardy.

A view of Vottovaara’s seid formations.

“The old Pagan cult place in the Republic of Karelia (part of the Russian Federation) is in danger. Vottovaara was only “discovered” in 1978, and it consists of about 1500 sacred seita rocks, peculiar kind of rocks that were used as sacred sacrifical sites by the pre-Christian Finnic peoples. It is widely assumed that Vottovaara mountain was a sacred place for the Pagans living in the area. Vottovaara is sometimes even titled as the “Northern Stonehenge”. Unfortunately, the government of the Republic of Karelia is now planning to start mining operations at the mountain, very close to seita rock formations. The use of explosives at the mine puts these sacred formations in real danger.”

The Finnish Pagan organization Taivaannaula is organizing a petition to try and halt mining development so close to this sacred and historic site. So far they have very few signatures. While I don’t normally endorse petition-drives, I think this is a worthy cause and I encourage anyone concerned about this situation to add their voices in protest of this action. For some lovely pictures of the site, check out this page.


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