What's the difference between Saimaa Lakeland and the Great Lakes of North America?
Saimaa Lakeland has provided livelihood and excellent shipping routes to our ancestors for thousands of years. Water traffic started to boom in the 16th century, when exports of tar, the black gold of Saimaa, started in order to supply the wooden ship industry in Europe. Timber exports took over shipments of tar as early as in the 18th century, but cargo vessels for transporting timber were not common until late 19th century. At that time, the city of Kuopio led profitable sales of butter to St. Petersburg.
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