Svartholma Fortress

Loviisa, Finland

Svartholma sea fortress was built by Swedish in the 18th century. Svartholma and near Loviisa land fortress were designated to defence strategic road from Turku tu Viborg and Sweden-Finland's eastern border against Russians. Svartholma construction started in 1748 and it was mostly completed in the 1760's. Svartholma was a typical bastion system including four bastions and an outer fortification.

Svartholma played an significant role in Russo-Swedish War 1788-1790. It was a naval stronghold for the Swedish fleet when it defeated Russians in Ruotsinsalmi battle. In the Finnish War (1808-1809) Svartholma was first time attacked by eastern enemies. The Russian artillery fired sporadically at the fortress, but no serious damage was inflicted. However, the Swedish officers, led by Carl Magnus Gripenberg decided to capitulate the fortress, almost without a fight on March 18, 1808.

Svartholma lost its strategical importance during the Russian period. It was used partly as a military base, and partly as a prison for Finnish prisoners. The empty fortress was largely destroyed by the British during the Crimean War (1855).

The Finnish National Board of Antiquities were restoring the fortress since the 1960s, and the work was finally ready in 1998. Today Svartholma is a popular tourist attraction with a museum and guided walking tours. It's possible to visit there by ferry-boat in summer time.

References:

Comments

Your name



Address

Loviisa, Finland
See all sites in Loviisa

Details

Founded: 1748-1770
Category: Castles and fortifications in Finland
Historical period: The Age of Enlightenment (Finland)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tea Harinen (3 months ago)
Great place, I recommend. A nice day to spend on a picnic. Bring your own snacks and a blanket. The museum is free, a restaurant where you can also buy food, you can order a boat ride to the island online. Take a warm jacket with you, there is a strong wind on the island, and good low-soled shoes.
Mirva T (3 months ago)
Small, nice place. Very poorly maintained, with dangerously missing railings from high places and completely rotten and broken wooden stairs. A water bus that transports is miserable when you can't see the scenery when you sit deep inside the boat. When looking at dirty windows for 45 min. is already quite ripe.
aarne salomaa (3 months ago)
Summer cafe eatery. Good mooring places. Easy to arrive with your own boat.
Tommi Mäkivaara (14 months ago)
Quite a nice excursion destination but small. The island is easily seen in an hour. There is also a restaurant here.
Timo Koivumäki (15 months ago)
Miracle. The restaurant offers good food and large portions.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Château d'Olhain

The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.

The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.

The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.

During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.