Suomenlinna

Location

Helsinki
Finland
60° 8' 55.1832" N, 24° 59' 6.5112" E
FI
General info: 

Suomenlinna is an inhabited sea fortress built on six islands in front of Helsinki. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and popular with both tourists and locals, who enjoy it as a picturesque picnic site. When the weather is good, Suomenlinna is perhaps the best place for a picnic in Helsinki.

HISTORY
The construction of the fortress was commenced in 1748 by the Swedish crown as protection against Russian expansionism. At that time Finland was still a part of the Swedish kingdom. The general responsibility for the fortification work was given to Augustin Ehrensvärd.

In the Finnish war in 1808 Suomenlinna surrendered to Russia without any opposition. The Swedish commander Carl Olof Cronstedt had almost 7,000 men and reasons for his actions remain somewhat unclear; but the hopeless situation, fear for the lives of a large civilian population and lack of gun-powder, are some likely causes for the surrender.

In the Crimean War of 1853–56, the allies bombarded Suomenlinna for 47 hours and the fortress was badly damaged. However, they were unable to knock out the Russian guns.
After the Crimean War extensive restoration work was begun at Suomenlinna. During the World War I the fortress and its surrounding islands became part of private://Peter the Great's naval fortificationprivate:// designed to safeguard the capital, Saint Petersburg.

The fortress became part of an independent Finland in 1917, following the Russian Revolution.

PRESENT
No longer very practical as a military base, Suomenlinna was turned over to civilian administration in 1973. The Suomenlinna garrison still houses the Naval Academy of the Finnish Navy.
Suomenlinna is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Helsinki as well as a popular picnicking spot for the city's inhabitants, and on a sunny summer day the islands, and in particular the ferries, can get quite crowded. A number of museums exist on the island, as well as the last surviving Finnish submarine, Vesikko.

Suomenlinna has always been much more than just a part of Helsinki — it is a town within the town. Nowadays there are about 900 permanent inhabitants on the islands, and 350 people work there all year round. This is one of the features that makes Suomenlinna unique: the fortress is not simply a museum, but a living community.

Getting there: 

For the general public, Suomenlinna is served by ferries all year around. On weekdays the ferry leaves from Kauppatori to Suomenlinna every 20 min. On weekends the interval is 15 min. For exact schedules, check this website: http://aikataulut.hsl.fi/linjat/en/hLautta_Kauppatori.html

Costs: 

The fortress itself is free to all but you need to pay for the ferry. To spend a day in Suomenlinna there is a 12 hours ferry ticket for that costs 4€ (2€ for children) and takes you there and back. If you have an internal ticket for public transport in Helsinki, you can use that for Suomenlinna ferry as well.
There is a ticket booth and ticket vending machine right next to where the ferry leaves from in Kauppatori.

You might be interested in

The Great Wall of China is the longest buiding on earth. The main wall spans 2400km long and all the several sections are measured to be altogether 21 196km long.

The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is the largest and most complete imperial palace and ancient building complex in China, and the world at large.

The Temple of Heaven, was originally the place where the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties visited for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.

The Ming Dynasty Tombs is a scenic area, where the mausoleums of thirteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty are located. The first emperor to build his tomb here was Zhu Di in 1409.

Pompeji is a unique place in the world – an ancient city trapped in time by a volcano explosion. In 79 AD, the Vesuvius erupted covering (and preserving) the whole city of Pompeii in ash.

Overlooking the Barcelona harbor, the Montjuïc Hill rises some 180 meters high. All throughout the city history, the hill has been the place where the Catalan history was written.

Interesting places nearby

The Swedish Theatre (Svenska Teatern) is a Swedish-speaking theatre and the first national stage in Finland. The theatre has two stages, big one with 500 seats capacity and small one with 127 seats capacity.

Helsinki City Theatre is the other one of twe two biggest theatres in Helsinki. The repertoire includes Finnish and foreign classics, new Finnish plays, musicals and childrens theatre.

The Finnish National Theatre is the world's oldest theatre with performances in Finnish. The National Theatre is often considered as the main theater of Finland where th emost significant Finnish actors have made their performances.

Finland used to have corals, turqoise waters and palm beaches. Thats before our piece of continent sailed to its current position near the artctic circle.

The weird looking building in center of Helsinki is Kiasma. It is a contemporary art museum with 5 floors and over 9000 pieces of art.

The Vasa warship was unlucky enough to sink on her first voyage in the 1628, right in front of Stockhlom where it left from. The maiden voyage lasted 15 minutes and the ship sailed 1300 meters.