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The history of olavinlinna castle in finland

Rating History of the Olavinlinna Castle History of the castle starts at the end of the 15th century, as the Kingdom of Denmark and Sweden was seriously concerned about the state of defence of its eastern borders, being approached by the Grand Duchy of Moscow after incorporating Novgorod.

As part of support for Vyborg, the only fortress located on the border with Russian lands, it was decided to erect another fortress, for which works started in 1475. Construction of the castle was a large-scale event.

  • Old Swedish and Russian drawings as well as blueprints, studies and old pictures have been used as a source when creating the modellings;
  • A factor contributing to the decision to build such a big stronghold was that this was a more convenient place than Turku for handling the important trade with Reval present-day Tallinn , on the other side of the Gulf of Finland;
  • Immediately after the main castle was finished the building of the so-called bailey was started;
  • However, every stage also includes some interpretation by the makers of the modelling about how the castle looked;
  • Archaeological finds have shown that Christianity had reached the Finns as early as the eleventh century, and the main purpose of the crusade was thus to establish Swedish dominion in Finland and organize a bishopric there.

Many foreign architects were brought there in relation to it. They have created the first fortress on Swedish territory which was able to withstand the artillery fire. After death of Erik Axelsson, his subsequent brothers were made intendants at the castle and took responsibility for its further expansion until their death. At the end of the 15th century the castle passed into hands of the Sture family, under whose reign the construction works came to an end. The first attempt to conquer it by Tsar Ivan III took place in 1495, but the fortress garrison bravely repelled the attack.

  1. The importance of the castle is also evident in the fact that it was subject to nine sieges before the end of the 16th century, mainly due to internal strife within the kingdom.
  2. Archaeological finds have shown that Christianity had reached the Finns as early as the eleventh century, and the main purpose of the crusade was thus to establish Swedish dominion in Finland and organize a bishopric there.
  3. This time, a modest castle garrison, sensing imminent defeat of Sweden, surrendered after 2 days.
  4. After the Swedish king Gustav I Vasa ascended the Swedish throne in 1523, the Danes were expelled from Sweden, then the Swedish army went to conquer Finland, belonging to the Danes according to the statutes of the Kalmar Union.

Several similar attempts took place in the next decades, but thay have all failed. After the Swedish king Gustav I Vasa ascended the Swedish throne in 1523, the Danes were expelled from Sweden, then the Swedish army went to conquer Finland, belonging to the Danes according to the statutes of the Kalmar Union.

In October 1523, Roloff Mattson — the commander of the castle — surrendered to the Swedish army. Within a few years the building was renovated: During this period Olavinlinna was made enough large and significant fortress to be regarded as the centre of the province.

  • The castle's ability to defend itself was put to the test quite early;
  • Since the end of the war in 1944 it has again been on the Russian side of the border;
  • The castle's ability to defend itself was put to the test quite early;
  • Building site for the castle was chosen from the point of view of defence;
  • As Duke of Finland, John lived at Turku Castle for seven years, during the last year with his wife, Polish princess Katarina Jagellonica, whose court, with its strong Italian influence, contributed to giving the Renaissance its first foothold in Finland.

It happened very often that the castle was an arena of the battles between Swedish and Russian troops during the protracted war started in 1570.

In 1639 the settlement which was founded and grew around the castle was given a status of a town and therefore it began to be called Savonlinna. Although in 1654 the wooden castle buildings were significantly damaged by fire, the fate did not stop there and soon after that the fortress suffered even more.

In 1656, during the Russian-Swedish war, it was besieged by the Russian troops, but the castle remained unconquered. In an act of revenge, the enemy had destroyed and looted the town of Savonlinna. During the Northern War, in 1710, the Russian army captured the town of Vyborg and the castle remained the only obstacle against the enemy actions into the Swedish territory.

Modelling of Olavinlinna Castle

For over a year the fortress was besieged by cossak troops consisting of approximately 2 thousand people. In 1714 the fortress was completely surrounded by the Russian troops of more than 1500 people and 30 cannons. It was shelled for over a month. The castle garrison decreased two-fold during this period and as if this were not enough, ammunition and gunpowder were about to exhaust.

Therefore, on 28 July 1714 the defenders of the fortress were forced to surrender. In the course of the battle, the tower of St. Erik was destroyed, after which only the lower tier remained, and other facilities had been destroyed to such an extent that the garrison of Russian troops had to be accommodated in provisional buildings located outside the castle.

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In any case, the castle did not remain in Russian hands for too long — after the peace of Nystad in 1721 the fortress returned to Sweden. For several years the castle was in complete ruin, although rebuilding plans were forwarded to the state activists for consideration. As a result of renovation work started at the end of the 1720s, only the most serious damage was removed and a temporary fortification was erected on foundations of the tower of St.

On 6 August 1742, as another war with Russia was launched by Sweden in 1741, Olavinlinna Castle was besieged again.

Olavinlinna Castle

This time, a modest castle garrison, sensing imminent defeat of Sweden, surrendered after 2 days. All Swedish soldiers were freed afterwards. Within a few decades, the object was significantly strengthened and over 100 guns and cannons were deployed there. Despite the grim appearance the castle did not participate in any battle any more. The Russian garrison remained there until 1847, but when the object has lost its significance for defence system, the troops left and the cannons were taken to Vyborg.

Between 1855 and 1861, the walls of the fortress served as a prison, but soon this old building was abandoned for good. Its already miserable condition was exacerbated by two fires that have taken place between 1868 and 1869. It was only thanks to interference by the authorities, which took it over in 1872, that it has not been completely destroyed.

Renovation work, which made it a local tourist attraction, came to an end in 1877. This is how the idea came up to organize an open air opera festival.

  1. As part of support for Vyborg, the only fortress located on the border with Russian lands, it was decided to erect another fortress, for which works started in 1475. Kuusisto today is a ruin, because Gustavus Vasa ordered its destruction in 1528 as part of his battle against the Catholic Church after the Reformation.
  2. One of the towers of bailey, the Thick Tower, exploded in the 18th century.
  3. Turku Castle Turku Castle was probably founded in 1280. First a so-called main castle was built.
  4. Different wooden buildings and structures such as living quarters and working spaces had also been built in the castle yard as well as stake barriers at the waterfront and in front of the gates to strengthen the defences. Russians took up extensive construction work in order to improve the castle's defence.
  5. After the Swedish king Gustav I Vasa ascended the Swedish throne in 1523, the Danes were expelled from Sweden, then the Swedish army went to conquer Finland, belonging to the Danes according to the statutes of the Kalmar Union.

The first such festival took place behind its walls in summer 1912. The festival was held here several times before the revolution of 1917.

The fortress has been restored in 1961.

  • As a consequence, it was almost always possible to demolish outdated structures and replace them with new ones;
  • Cannons were necessary to protect the Bishop in his stronghold;
  • In 1639 the settlement which was founded and grew around the castle was given a status of a town and therefore it began to be called Savonlinna;
  • In the course of the battle, the tower of St.

In 1967, just six years later, the tradition of the opera festival has been revived. It has become a significant event in cultural life of the country.