Saint Petersburg

Sveaborg (now: Suomenlinna) was built in the 18th century to fortify defences at the eastern part of the Swedish Empire. After the fortress fell under  Russian rule at the beginning of the 19th century, its role was to guard the shipping channels to St. Petersburg.

The Swedish maritime fortress helped Helsinki to grow into a significant city which became  the capital of Finland in 1812 when the country was an autonomous grand  duchy within the Russian Empire.

Important years

1748 Construction of the fortress begins under Augustin Ehrensvärd. Two years later, the fortress is named Sveaborg, rendered in Finnish as Viapori.

1788 The Russo-Swedish War of 1788-1790 begins. Viapori is Sweden's principal base for military operations.

1808 The Russo-Swedish War of 1808-1809 begins. Siege of Viapori. The fortress surrenders to the Russian army after a three-month siege.

1855 Crimean War, bombardment of Viapori. The fortress sustains severe damage under bombardment by an Anglo-French fleet..

1906 Viapori rebellion. A military rebellion at the fortress following revolutionary unrest in Russia.

1917 The Russian Revolution. Finland declares independence on 6 December.

1918 The fortress is taken over by the Finnish government and renamed  Suomenlinna. After the Finnish Civil War, a prison camp for Red  prisoners is set up in the fortress.

1919 Various units of the Defence Forces are quartered on Suomenlinna. The Finnish garrison era begins.

1973 End of military occupation of the fortress. The Governing Body of Suomenlinna is set up, an agency subordinate to the Ministry of  Education, and Suomenlinna is taken over by civilian administration.

1991 UNESCO accepts Suomenlinna for the World Heritage List.

The "Tuomiokirkko" in Helsinki seen from Suomenlinna