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Savonlinna is the main city of Finland’s lake region. A popular spa and holiday resort, Savonlinna lies between the Haapavesi, to the north, and the Pihlajavesi, to the south. The town grew up around the castle of Olavinlinna and received its municipal charter in 1639. The oldest part of the town is picturesquely situated on an island between two waterways, with the newer districts on the mainland to the west. Savonlinna is one of the main centers of the boat services on Lake Saimaa. The principal sight of Savonlinna is indeed the Olavinlinna Castle.From Savonlinna, there are boat trips to the other towns on Lake Saimaa, to Punkaharju, with the Retretti Art Center, the largest in the Nordic countries, to the monasteries of Uusi Valamo and Lintula. Another day trip option is a cruise down the Saimaa Canal to Vyborg in Russia on the Baltic Sea.