The work to build Suomenlinna started in 1748 when Finland was under Swedish rule. It was supposed to protect the land from the Russian invasion and expansion. It was made in the star-front style yet spread on 6 islands. Suomenlinna served as a military base until 1973 but the war flag still flies on the fortress. These days it’s one of the main tourist attractions in Helsinki and each year is visited by over 700.000 people. There’s also a fairly big community living within Suomenlinna, with 900 inhabitants and 350 workers. All of these make it an unique place, not just yet another museum-like fortress.
Suomenlinna is very easily accesible from the city. There’s a ferry leaving every 30-40 minutes (at least in October) from Kauppatori, it is operated by the city public transport company so the price is the same as the tram/metro ticket and daily passes work here too. The journey takes around 15 minutes and it’s a very picturesque one, passing small islands on the way and offering a wonderful views of the Helsinki’s skyline.
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I always like returning to Suomenlinna as it’s such a peaceful place, with great walks around the islands and the fortress, just on the Baltic Sea shore. You can see the city in the background but there are no noises, just a pure silence. There are also some nice cafes to spend some time in and enjoy the relaxed vibe of the place. Suomenlinna makes such a perfect (half)day trip from Helsinki that I’m not surprised it gets so many visitors from all the time!
Here are some pictures from Suomenlinna and the journey to the fortress:
Do you like visiting military monuments? Would you visit Suomenlinna?
If you think of visiting Finland or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!
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