Scattered across a number of islands just beyond the capital city of Helsinki is one of the most famous and important architectural monuments in Finland, Suomenlinna, a mighty fortress that was built by the Swedes. Up until the beginning of the 19th century, Finland was part of Sweden.
The Crimean War saw the first modern static warfare in history. In 1855, the war extended to the northeast of Europe and a number of British-French ships fired on the fortress for three days. More than 20,000 shots were fired from 1,000 allied ordinances. The Suomenlinna Islands suffered terribly and more than half its buildings and military complexes were destroyed.
During the subsequent Finnish War of Independence, a prison was built on one of the islands. After centuries of foreign rule and political turmoil within its neighboring country, brought Finland its much longed for independence. A tomb in the inner courtyard of the main complex is a reminder of the architect who created the remarkable fortress, August Ehrensvärd.
The Suomenlinna fortress buildings are now one of the most visited historical monuments in the Helsinki region.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.