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  • Fortress of Suomen­linna

    The ferry trip to the fortress of Suomenlinna from Helsinki Market Square takes about 15 minutes. The site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991 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 of Suomenlinna began in 1748, under Swedish rule. The purpose of the fortress was to act as a naval base to defend the mainland. In 1808, Suomenlinna surrendered to Russian troops, and it became a Russian military base and garrison town. The fortress received its current name, Suomenlinna, in 1918. Finland had become independent a year before, and a new regime took over the fortress. The fortress was placed under civilian administration in 1973.

    Suomenlinna is now a living district of Helsinki with about 800 inhabitants. The fortress is one of Finland’s most popular tourist sites with approximately one million visitors every year. There are approximately 200 buildings in an area of 80 hectares on the eight islands of the Suomenlinna district. The fortress boasts about 6 kilometres of walls and 105 cannons. Suomenlinna’s services are available throughout the year. Events and guided tours are arranged all year round.  

    The Governing Body of Suomenlinna, operating under the Ministry of Education and Culture, is responsible for the restoration, maintenance and administration of Suomenlinna as well as providing information about the fortress. Preservation of the site is based on the Suomenlinna management plan and the sustainable tourism strategy.