Monday, August 16, 2010

{finland, day 5, suomenlinna, part I}

a train to downtown...
a walk to the market square...
waiting for the ferry...
off we go to....
one of my favorite places in helsinki.
(the boat in the picture is going to the zoo island)

cruise boats to sweden, estonia, russia...
this island has an idyllic restaurant on it.
i've always wondered who's cabin this is.
right smack in the middle of everything. :)
you can see suomenlinna on the background...
arriving in suomenlinna...
i Y this place!!!
suomenlinna = a sea fortress just a quick ferry ride away from the helsinki harbor.
here's some history of the place:
1748 finland is part of he kingdom of sweden. construction of the fortress, named sveaborg, begins under augustin ehrensvärd.
(one of my ancestors helped build it when he was a soldier)
1788 the fortress serves as a base in the war of sweden and king gustav III against russia.
1808 the finnish war. the fortress surrenders to the russian army.
1809 finland becomes part of russia, with the fortress housing a russian garrison for 108 years.
1855 the crimean war. the anglo-french fleet bombards the fortress and damages it badly.
1906 the viapori rebellion. a military rebellion at the fortress is part of the russian revolutionary movement.
1917 the russian revolution. finland declares independance on 6th of december.
1918 finnish civil war. a prison camp is set up in the fortress. the fortress is taken over by the finnish government on 12th of may and renamed suomenlinna.
1939 the second world war. the fortress serves as military base for coastal artillery, anti-aircraft defences and submarines.
1973 the finish garrison leaves the fortress. the governing body of suomenlinna, operating under the ministry of education, is set up to govern suomenlinna.
1991 the fortress is accepted onto the UNESCO world heritage list as a unique example of the european military architecture of its time.

for today's finns, suomenlinna is a place...
*to go for a picnic
*to go suntanning or swimming
*to explore the many caves and tunnels
*to buy handicrafts from local artists
*to relax and eat at one of it's restaurants

many more pictures to come of suomenlinna. like i said, this is one of my favorite places in helsinki. a must-see if you ever happen to go to finland.

(about 700,000 people visit suomenlinna annually)

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