Imatrankoski rapids were formed 5000 year ago, when land rose after the Ice Age and Lake Saimaa waters tore the Salpauselkä ridge apart. Imatrankoski was a famous tourist attraction already 300 hundred years ago, and in the end of 1800 century it was considered as a one of the Europe’s most know attractions. Many famous people visited Imatrankoski that time and the tourism in Imatra is considered to have begun in 1772, when Empress Catherine II of Russia and her retinue came to admire this magnificent play of the water in the narrow waterway.
Kruununpuisto Park, the oldest nature park in Finland, occupying the area around the Imatrankoski Rapids, was founded in 1842 by Tsar Nicholas I. The Kruununpuisto Park features four different sections, the Koskipuisto Park, the Patopuisto Park, the Muinaisuoma Park and the Valtionhotelli Park, and numerous sights, ranging from monuments to the largest hydroelectric power plant in Finland and a summer theatre.
Rapids are nowadays blocked by a dam, but during the summer there are daily shows, when dam is opened. The show is a very popular (and free) happening gathering always hundreds of people to see magnificent nature show.