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Vesikko Submarine

Summer 2003 marked the 30th anniversary of the docking of Vesikko at Suomenlinna. A veteran of the Second World War, the submarine is one of Suomenlinna’s most popular sights. Launched in Turku in 1933, it was originally commissioned by the German Navy, who took the vessel for test runs in Airisto off Turku. The Finnish Navy purchased the submarine in 1936 and named it Vesikko. During the Winter War and Continuation War, Vesikko saw action in convoys and on protection and patrol duty in the Gulf of Finland. The submarine base was located in the shipyard section of Suomenlinna. The Treaty of Paris (1947) forbade Finland from having military submarines, and the fleet was decommissioned and sold for scrap with the exception of Vesikko, which was put in dry dock.

Suomenlinna Island

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. (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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