Suomenlinna is a sea fortress on a group of islands in the Helsinki harbour. Its construction began in 1700 when Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden. It is now one of Finland’s most popular tourist attractions with about 700,000 visitors a year. I was one of those visitors on a bright, cold winter day.
The entrance to Suomenlinna from the quay.
The fortress was transferred to civil administration in 1973. The fortifications and garrison buildings have been restored to create homes, work spaces, restaurants and museums.
Many people live and work on the islands and on a lovely Sunday they were out having fun.
In the Kustaanmiekka area there are a collection of gunpowder magazines and cannons as a reminder of the the island’s military past.
The King’s Gate is the symbol of Suomenlinna. It was built between 1753 and 1754 as the entrance to the fortress. These days the huge ships cruise past each day on their way around the Baltic Sea.
The courtyard has served as the main square of the fortress since the 1760s. The tomb of Augustin Ehrensvard dominates the square.
The freezing weather created some interesting ice sculptures.
Soon it was time to board the Suomenlinna ferry and head back to the city.
Don’t miss Suomenlinna if you visit Helsinki.