Many faces of Suomenlinna
Notorious, not like the Notorious B.I.G, but not far when it comes to the reputation among the locals of Helsinki’s almost best place to visit during summer. Many people come here not only because it is one of our seven Unesco world heritage sites and it’s history, but also for its cooling bastions that you can visit on your own risk though(yes they are refreshing on warm summer days!), the lovely atmosphere of a typical finnish summer out in the archipelago and it’s beautiful beach. Thats is true that it is pretty special to take the ferry there during winter and look over board and see how the ice blocks and slush gives way for the ferry to reach it’s destination😉
Though Suomenlinna definitely has it’s romantic atmosphere, some people spend their time on the island really everyday conditions, like people who lives and work at the island, others serving their prison punishment in the open prison there while on the same time restoring the world heritage site, while the locals childs go to get the world’s best education in school and children spend their days in one of the worlds best childcare places, the finnish daycare, on a daily basis at Suomenlinna fortress.
Suomenlinna history in brief
A short brief of the Suomenlinnas different phases during it’s time on earth can be read here as a short fact. As Finland being a part of Sweden until late, Sweden lost its superpower status and its most important eastern fortifications in the first half of the 1700’s in the wars with Russia. Improvement of Finland’s defense was necessary and in 1747 a decision was made to build a central fortress with naval bases in Helsinki. The Viapori fortress surrendered to the Russian troops in May 1808. The following year, Finland became an autonomous Grand Duchy of Russia, but Viapori remained under Russian administration as a military base. In 1917 following the Russian Revolution and Finland’s independence, Viapori moved to Finland and the name of the fortress was changed to Suomenlinna. In 1918 the “Whites” established a prison camp for the “Red” prisoners in Viapori, and during the Winter War the fortress served as a base for the Finnish submarine fleet. In 1973 Suomenlinna was basically demilitarised and in 1991, the Suomenlinna fortress was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as a unique monument of military architecture. Another special feature of the fortress is that in the course of its history it has served in the defence of three realms: Sweden, Russia and Finland. The construction work of the fortress started in 1748.