Finland in World War II

The Salpa Line Museum

The Salpa Line is a massive line of defensive fortifications approximately 1200 km long that was built in 1940-41 and in 1944 in order to defend the Eastern border of Finland. The Salpa Line Museum in Miehikkälä is a museum on military history established in 1987 displaying the history of fortification works of the Salpa Line. The permanent exhibition of the museum consists of the exhibition and multimedia shows ...
Founded: 1940-44 | Location: Miehikkälä, Finland

Reposaari Fortress

Reposaari Fortress (Reposaaren linnakepuisto) was a coastal defence system built in the 1930s. It was designed to protect the important harbor of Pori against Russian fleet. The stronghold area is about 20 hectares and consists of two gun positions, magazines, dugouts, trenches etc. Wooden buildings have been reconstructed in the 1990-2000s. During the Winter War Reposaari Fortress eliminated one Russian bomber and heckl ...
Founded: 1930s | Location: Pori, Finland

Raatteen portti

Raatteen portti ("Raate Gate") is a memorial and museum for those Finnish and Russian soldiers who battled and died in Suomussalmi during Winter War in 1939. The exhibition consists Finnish and Russian weapons and uniforms, photographs and soldiers´ belongings. There is also a multimedia of the Raate battle fields, a scale model of the Raate Museum Road and the Winter War Monument.
Founded: 1939 | Location: Suomussalmi, Finland

Järämä Fortification Camp

Järämä fortification camp was originally built by Germans during the Second World War (1942-1944). It’s part of a larger network of fortifications (also known as Sturmbock-Stellung to the Germans) to protect the harbours of the Arctic Ocean. Järämä camp is dug partly into the bedrock. No real battles were ever fought in this fortification camp.Today there are renovated trenches, shooting points for machine guns an ...
Founded: 1942-1944 (Museum 1997) | Location: Enontekiö, Finland

German Soldier Cemetery

The cemetery was founded in 1963 for the German Wehrmacht soldiers died in Lapland front during the World War II. It was built by the German organization Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge and consists over 2350 graves. There’s also a small and bare mausoleum made of rock.
Founded: 1963 | Location: Rovaniemi, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.