The old fortress of Finland – Suomenlinna

Suomenlinna is the biggest stronghold in Scandinavia and today it’s a part of the world cultural and historic heritage of UNESCO. For centuries Finland was under occupation of Sweden and Russia so the biggest part of its architectural heritage is bequeathed by the Russians and Sweds and typical example for that is the Suomenlinna stronghold.

Finland is one of the countries with greatest number of lakes in Europe; it is quite visited country, and most of the visits are at the capital of Finland, Helsinki, which is situated only 5 kilometers of Suomenlinna.

Suomenlinna is built in the period between 1748 and 1772 from the Sweds and the main cause for building it was to protect their capital city from the Russians. This magnificent sea stronghold is outspread on to 6 islands which are connected with bridges. There are around two hundred buildings and most of them date from the 18th century. Until 19th century the stronghold was more populated than the capital city Helsinki. Nowadays around 900 people still live on the islands.

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Many architects and historians state Suomenlinna is the best stronghold for its time. There are weapons from the Crimean war and they are still very well preserved and exhibited, there are many other interesting exponents like catacombs, old fortifications and weapons.

As a main tourist attraction near Helsinki, Suomenlinna is visited by 700 000 per year. People go there to enjoy the old yards, the sea and the open grass fields which are incredibly suitable for picnic, walks, swimming, fishing and other water sports.

You can see the ferryboats heading to Estonia and Sankt Petersburg. For Suomenlinna visitors there is informative center, lot of coffee shops, restaurants, galleries and museums. One of the most visited is the puppet museum. There are organized walks through the castle and the stronghold. Best time of year to visit Suuomenlinna is summer, because the climate in Finland can be very harsh.

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