Lappeenranta Fortress

Lappeenranta, Finland

There have been some fortifications in Lappeenranta city from the 17th century. After the defeat of Sweden-Finland in Great Northern War 1700-1721 Viborg castle and large areas in Carelia were lost to Russia. The military value of Lappeenranta, the new border city, was suddenly increased. The construction of the new bastion fortress was started immediatelly after war in 1721. It was planned to be a part of the new defence system of Finland together with Olavinlinna castle and Hamina fortress.

Russians conquered the fortress in the next war in 1741 after bloody battle. New border was moved to west and Lappeenranta was left to Russian side. Russians settled a garrison to fortress and started to enhance it in the 1750's and again in 1791-1792. After the Finnish War in 1808-1809 fortress lost its military value. After year 1810 it was used as a garrison and prison. During the Finnish Civil War in 1918 red guards were arrested and executed in Lappeenranta fortress.

Nowadays fortress has been renovated and open for visitors. The former garrison buildings are now home to the South Karelian Museum and Art Museum, artists' and craft workshops, Lappeenranta's Orthodox church and parish hall, a children's art school and a café, among others.



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Founded: 1721-1792
Category: Castles and fortifications in Finland
Historical period: Swedish Empire (Finland)


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jarkko Larkas (11 months ago)
Very well taken care of. Great views and a few restaurants, cafes and boutiques.
Erica Cooper (12 months ago)
We were here after hours on a Sunday evening. We weren't able to go inside many of the businesses, churches, or museums, but exploring and walking through the area made us want to return. Excellent views of the harbor and city. Beautiful old painted building. A wonderful summer evening.
Osvaldo Falcão (12 months ago)
Amazing place for the summer! The international market it's a good option.
Andra Corcaci (13 months ago)
Nice to walk around all the buildings on a sunny day! You can learn about the different places and their history. There are also great views to the waterfront and it's a short distance from all key locations in Lappeenranta. I would recommend coming by foot rather than car as you can get the most out of the visit by walking.
J. Paatero (18 months ago)
Very nice place to visit. Both summer and winter time works fine. If you have a suitable outdoors clothing, I recommend to walk around the fortification. It gives a very good idea about the fortifications of its time. Look up some history facts to get the most out of the visit. Also, if you visit by winter, remember to bring a sledge. There are various services available, like restaurants, craft shops, etc. However, there is not so much historical info available about the site. Also, you might not encounter the info-boards if you walk about randomly. So I recommend finding out some facts in advance to get most out of your visit. Also, a word of warning concerning small children. There are several quite steep fortification walls easily accessible by children. While the walls do not pose a serious health threat, you might still want to watch out if you have active and creative children...
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