One of the most important places to visit is the former fortress island Suomenlinna located in front of Helsinki. What was once the Fortress of the Finns is now a city quarter of the capital city with 800 permanent residents and one million visitors every year. Here you can explore very well-preserved ancient fortifications spread over five islands. You can easily access Suomenlinna by ferry boat from the Helsinki harbor.

The fortress was built and used from 1748 on, since 1973 it is no military ground anymore. What is now called Suomenlinna was originally Sveaborg, the Fortress of the Swedes. Sveaborg has been built to hinder the Russians to stretch their country further to the West. By that time the fortress had more inhabitants than the later capital city Helsinki, it was in fact the second-largest city in Finland after Turku. Within the fortress 7,000 soldiers with 800 canons were located to fight against the Russian army, but in 1808 they simply surrendered and Finland became part of Russia. A fight that had been lost to easily in the eyes of many Finns.

Today the people get to this place for recreation. And there is a lot to do! You can explore endless fortifications, sneak into a former submarine, discover the massive kings’ gate and visit the modern museum about the fortress and its history. In addition there are different restaurants and bars, but also places to swim in the sea and have a pick-nick. You only need to beware of the omnipresent goose: they can get really mad if the believe that they have to protect their kids…


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