July 30, 2021
The Orthodox monastery of Valamo in Finland usually receives around 160,000 visitors a year, many from Europe and Russia who come to experience the peaceful surroundings and expansive orthodox library, as well as the country's largest whisky distillery.
But with the coronavirus pandemic, "we've had far fewer guests," leading to a loss of donations and tourist income, says Father Mikael, sporting a beard, black hat and robe.
However, the forests that the monks bought when they fled to the area after World War II have proven to be an economic lifeline during the global health crisis.
Faced with the loss of around a third of the monastery's annual revenues of three million euros ($3.5 million), the monks opted to cut down and sell four years' worth of their trees at once.
... Read the rest at france24.com.