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Photographer's Note

Suomenlinna is one of the world’s largest historical maritime fortresses. Built on six islands in the 1700s, the garrison town is among the most popular sights in Finland and a living district that is home to around 850 city residents. Suomenlinna has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991. With its museums and events, Suomenlinna offers a unique experience for visitors of all ages, who can also enjoy idyllic cafes and cosy restaurants. Children can have a great time exploring the many tunnels of the old fortress. It is good to reserve at least half a day for a visit to Suomenlinna. The vast fortress is best explored on foot, so prepare for some hiking with good shoes and a windbreaker. Suomenlinna is open year-round, although some facilities are open only in the summer months. The municipal ferry to Suomenlinna departs from the Market Square throughout the year. In summertime you can also take a JT-Line waterbus from the Market Square. The journey takes around fifteen minutes.

History

Located on islands off Helsinki, Suomenlinna is a unique historical monument and one of the largest maritime fortresses in the world. Its history is closely entwined with that of Finland and the Baltic region. Helsinki can also thank Suomenlinna for its early growth and prosperity.

1748 Construction of the fortress begins under the command of Augustin Ehrensvärd.
1808 The Finnish war begins. Viapori surrenders to the Russian army with almost no resistance.
1809 Treaty of Hamina. Sweden cedes Finland to Russia.
1855 Crimean War and bombardment of Viapori. Anglo-French fleet bombards the fortress, which is badly damaged.
1917 Russian revolution. Finland declares independence on 6 December 1917.
1918 Fortress is given the name Suomenlinna (Finland’s Fortress) and after the civil war is a prison camp.
1919 Suomenlinna becomes a Finnish garrison.
1973 Military period of the fortress ends. The Governing Body of Suomenlinna, operating under the Ministry of Education; Suomenlinna is handed over to civilian administration.
1991 UNESCO admits Suomenlinna to the World Heritage List.
1998 250th anniversary of Suomenlinna.
1999 Suomenlinna was awarded a medal by Europa Nostra for the quality of its restoration and revitalisation of the fortress. (Source: Helsinki.fi & soumenlinna.fi)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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