Posted by: debrakolkka | September 15, 2011

Sail away to Suomenlinna, the island fortress

Suomenlinna is made up of 8 islands just off the coast near Helsinki. The area is easily reached by ferry from the city. We have been a couple of times and we headed there on a glorius May afternoon with my Finnish cousins.

coming in to Suomenlinna

It was built during the Swedish era as a maritime fortress and a base for the Archipelago Fleet. Work started in the mid 18th century. The fortress was extended during the Russian era. After Finland gained her independence Suomenlinna became home to a coastal artillery regiment, a submarine base and the Valmet shipyard, where ships were built after WWII for Finland’s war reparations.

home for somebody

a reminder of past battles

The fortress was handed over to civilian administration in 1973, except Pikku Mustasaari island where the naval acadamy is still located. The old buildings are still in use and restoration work continues.

The area is very popular for locals and tourists alike. The islands are beautiful, particularly in spring and summer, making them an ideal place for a picnic or just a wander about.

beautiful walkways

a great place for a picnic

early spring on Suomenlinna

in front of the church

beside a path

If you are on the island in the late afternoon you can watch the huge ships head past the island on their way to Sweden. Stand at King’s Gate and you can practically touch them as they go by.

King’s Gate

There are several restaurants and cafes on the island. There are also some very pretty shops selling Finnish arts and crafts. If you go to Helsinki, and I think you should, make sure you spend some time on Suomenlinna.

flag flying over Suomenlinna

Click here to see more on Helsinki Harbour.

I’m sorry about the “test” thing. I am having i Pad lessons and right now it is about 3 minutes from being returned to the Mac shop.  With a bit of luck things will improve.

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  1. I would love to visit Finland one day. what is the family connection ? I had to smile about the iPad thing, I am sitting in the hairdressers reading your blog on mine, and avoiding Hello magazine. Good choice on my part 😀

  2. Gosh, what a lovely place–great place to visit if I ever make it to Finland. In the meantime, a beautiful place to read about!

    Sorry about your iPad problems. I’m with Joanna–out the window–preferably a window on a Finnish island, however.


  3. beautiful place. And very historical !

  4. You go to the most interesting places!

  5. It looks beautiful… but it must be terribly cold in winter. Great photos, as usual….

  6. I like that place. Interesting past, inviting present.

  7. What a beautiful island. I must visit Finland one day.
    Keep trying with the ipad. You’ll love it eventually!

  8. Such a stunning island. I love the bunker and canons. Reminds me of trips to forts with my late step-father. Thanks for the wonderful memories. Great post!

  9. A breathtaking, beautiful Island Fortress. So much history. Those old bunkers were pretty cool. My son would love to see something like that. Amazing photos with great writing. Thanks.

  10. Beautiful gentle photos, even if some of them were of submarines and cannons! The sunlight was just so soft, made me want to sit on the grass and watch the water!

  11. Just catching up with the bagnadilucca blog. I love the picture of the Sierra Nevada mountains in the previous post. Good luck with the i Pad.

  12. The submarine looks frighteningly vulnerable when you think of it many fathoms down and carrying many souls. The bunker appeals to the hobbit in me – I should like to send up the cry of “retire to the bunker”, shut the door and light the fire – I’m guessing the curling smoke would give me away. I think you’re a brave wee laddy to tackle the ipad – my British stiff upper lip has been sorely tested this last couple of weeks with plain steam-driven technology and software – and IT technicians who “tidied up” a few things – I was tempted to hurl my stone tablet and etching tool at them.

  13. PS: love the photo of the catkins

  14. I think this would be a great place to visit if you are studying World Wars. Since I am studying World Wars, then it stands to reason that I should go to this island. Like my travel justifications?

    What a fascinating place! And have you been using the WordPress app on your ipad? I blog quite a bit from the ipad. Not all of the commands are possible, but for many posts the ipad works great. I would be happy to answer any ipad questions you have. I might even know the answer. But who knows?

  15. I haven’t had lots of luck blogging from the iPad, chiefly with inserting links into posts. one of the things that makes it a lot easier though is having a Bluetooth keyboard to type on if you want to create big chunks of content and edit what you write. I have recently experimented with an offline editor – a programme where you write the post and can place your photos before you upload the whole lot to WordPress, That too lacks some commands, I think that something like that is what is needed for the iPad to make it less tortuous to write posts. X Jo

  16. Ooh we’ve been here! It’s an interesting island and we got some cute pictures of squirrels there too 🙂

  17. Looks much nicer than the time I was there with you Ma, twas cold and wet that day

  18. Reblogged this on Beautiful Helsinki.

  19. Wonderful post, dear Debra, how nice to see in green… Thank you, love, nia

  20. I absolutely love this!

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