Discover Parikkala Sculpture Park: The Most Surreal Place in Finland

Mossy foot at the oddest roadside attraction in southeastern Finland: Parikkala Sculpture Park
I recently visited Southeastern Finland for a self-drive road trip. I love discovering roadside attractions on a driving holiday. Google Maps is great for finding such off-the-beaten path destinations and activities. In fact, that's how I came to visit Parikkala Sculpture Park in Eastern Finland near the border with Russia. Parikkala Sculpture Park is free to visit but donations are accepted to help maintain the works of art. What is Parikkala Sculpture Park? It is by far the oddest roadside experience (hands-down) that I've been to anywhere in the world. In fact, I would argue that Parikkala Sculpture Park is the most surreal place in Finland. The park was the creation of Veijo Rönkkönen, a reclusive man who carved sculptures in this corner of Finland for nearly 50 years. Now, Parikkala Sculpture Park lives on even after his death with visitors stopping by to view his creations. Read on to learn more about what you can expect from a visit to this unique Finnish roadside attraction.

Parikkala's Mossy Yoga People

Mossy yoga people at Parikkala Sculpture Park
What is this place? That was my first reaction to Parikkala Sculpture Park. You won't find Parikkala Sculpture Park on Wikipedia; you'll need to visit to visit Finland to experience these secret sculptures for yourself. Dozens of sculptures lie at the heart of Parikkala Sculpture Park and they all appear to be doing yoga poses. The sculptures feel all the more life-like thanks to mossy growth that has developed over the years.
Mossy yoga people in southeastern Finland created by Veijo Rönkkönen
Mossy yoga people in southeastern Finland created by Veijo Rönkkönen

Rönkkönen's Sculpture Garden: Mischievous Kids

Sculptures of mischievous kids at Parikkala sculpture park in southeastern Finland
Another section of Rönkkönen's sculpture garden features mischievous children. These sculptures feel decidedly more modern and lack the mossy covering. Either Rönkkönen used different material and treatment for these sculpture to prevent moss growth or these sculptures are much newer.
Kid with a mohawk and 3 cats at Parikkala Sculpture Park in Finland

Common and Exotic Wildlife

Mossy frog at the Parikkala Sculpture Park roadside attraction in Finland
Wildlife statues abound at Parikkala Sculpture Park. We saw common animals like frogs, owls, and an ostrich.
Mossy ostrich at the Parikkala Sculpture Park roadside attraction in Finland
Mossy owls at the Parikkala Sculpture Park roadside attraction in Finland
We also saw animals that were more exotic like an Australian kangaroo.
Kangaroo sculpture at the Parikkala Sculpture Park roadside attraction in Finland

T-Rex Time

Mossy T-Rex dinosaur sculpture at Parikkala Sculpture Park in Eastern Finland
The sculpture park just got odder and odder as we walked along. An angry T-Rex dinosaur seemed to be running amok among the mossy yoga peopl.

Gimme a Hug!

Statue with arms outstretched as if to give a hug at Parikkala Sculpture Park
We found a narrow path around the back of the sclupture park and I discovered this fellow who seemed to be saying "Gimme a hug!"

Modern Caricatures

Sculpture of a woman in a red dress at Parikkala Sculpture Park
We found a number of modern caricatures around the log cabin at the center of Parikkala Sculpture Park.
Sculptures in bell-bottom trousers at Parikkala Sculpture Park in Southeastern Finland

Ancient Greeks Steppin' Out

Ancient Greeks in togas at the Parikkala Sculpture Park in Eastern Finland
Styles from all periods of history seemed to be represented at this quirky roadside attraction in Finland. Three ancient Greeks in togas and laurel wreaths seemed to be stepping out in unison.

Cave Men

Cave men washing clothes at Parikkala Sculpture Park, a roadside attraction in Finland
Emaciated and naked cave men seemed to be washing clothes.

S and M Corner

Want to know the strangest thing that we saw at Parikkala Sculpture Park? This guy. There almost seems to be a twinkle in his eye. All the sculptures in the park have strange eyes and teeth! Some say that Veijo Rönkkönen used human teeth in his sculptures.
Veijo Rönkkönen's sculpture creations have eyes and teeth
It's only when you take a step back to look at the scene that you realize what's happening. I didn't want to look but I couldn't turn away from this surprising S and M scene.
Sculpture of a man whipping another man at Parikkala Sculpture Park in Finland
Overall, is Parikkala Sculpture Park worth visiting on a road trip in Southeastern Finland? Unequivocally yes. Veijo Rönkkönen's labor of love was by far the most bizarre and interesting thing that we saw on our self-drive around Southern Finland. Definitely check it out if you're in the neighborhood.

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The Oddest Roadside Attraction in Southeastern Finland: Parikkala Sculpture Park
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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Discover Parikkala Sculpture Park: The Most Surreal Place in Finland
Discover Parikkala Sculpture Park: The Most Surreal Place in Finland
Explore Paikkala Sculpture Park, arguably the oddest roadside attraction in Southeastern Finland. A photo-rich post by travel blogger, Jennifer (aka Dr. J) from Sidewalk Safari.
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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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