Kotka is a port city on the southern shore of Finland. It is quite known for its parks, the most famous of which being the Sapokka Water Garden.
The park was designed by the city gardener Heikki Laaksonen. You can notice the gardener's touch everywhere around: accurate gardens and carefully set flower species are a joy to the eye. Back in the '90s, Sapokka Water Garden was awarded and internationally recognized in different categories, such as the Best Outside Lightning Object and the Best Environment Structure. There is indeed a lot to see and do: you can walk on charming white bridges or shady forest trails around the park, but the waterfall beats it all!
The Sapokka Water Garden is named so because the water is the key theme here. It is, indeed, presented in many forms: there is a bay, a pond, streams, and, finally, a waterfall. A gorgeous waterfall is pure seawater pumped from the nearest sea spot. The waterfall is 20 meters high and is one of the main attractions in the city of Kotka.
The peculiar thing in Sapokka Water Garden is the animal sculptures: there are small and big ones, seals and foxes, birds, and whatever else you can imagine. Some of the statues are noticeable, but others are well hidden, and you will have to keep your eyes open to find them. The sculptures are made from bronze by Hannele Kylänpää, and there are a lot of them in the park. Take your time to see how many you can find. They are such attention-grabbing and peculiar art objects that one of them has even been stolen in 2008. It was found after five years and returned to its place.
The Sapokka Water Garden has a different charm every season; in winter, the garden amazes with the frozen waterfall, in autumn with the colors of the leaves, and in summer with the flower blossom. On the far left of the garden, you will find a forestry area, which is the reason why you should visit Sapokka Water Garden at the beginning of June: it is full of rhododendrons! You can walk among pink flowers or orange ones: the small trails among them will lead you to the little ponds. This garden is truly a magical experience!
Many stairs are leading up to the waterfall by each side of it. On the top, you can enjoy a pretty city view and discover a small art project: the eagle sculptures. You see, the name of the city means "eagle," so it is not surprising that eagles are reflected in many ways in Kotka.
One more place to walk around Sapokka Water Garden is the cute harbor; it is rather small and mostly for motorboats. The harbor starts under the bridge and leads along the river. Walking this way, you can find a cozy cafe by the shore overlooking the harbor.
If you are going to spend time in Kotka or anywhere near, do not miss the Sapokka Water Garden, one of the finest parks in Finland! It is well worth a visit.
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