In Olavinlinna, or as it is called, olavinlinna, old story. This castle Swedes built more than 600 years ago in the case of war with Moscow principality, which at that time had already joined the Novgorod itself and is getting closer to the borders of the Kingdom of Sweden. At that time it was the most formidable Swedish castle on a par with Vyborg and soon he had to carry out its function of direct - to resist Russian troops, who more than once tried to storm it. Capture the fortress on the forehead they have not succeeded, and only after more than 200 years, in 1714 during the Great Northern War, after 6 weeks of siege, the Swedes surrendered Fortress Russian troops. And after 7 years it was returned back to the peace treaty.
But then broke out the new Russian-Swedish war, and 30 years later the Russian soldiers stormed back Olavinlinna. At this time, the fortress fell on the third day.
Today Olavinlinna medieval castle is the northernmost in the world, one of the most popular sights in Finland and a year into his wall passes Savonlinsky famous opera festival ...
Olavinlinna Castle is located in Finland, in the city of Savonlinna on a rocky island between the lakes Haapavesi and Pihlajavesi included in Bay Lake Saimaa, about 320 kilometers from St. Petersburg.
Once it was the border between Russia and Sweden, and Finland was part of the Swedish kingdom.
Responsibility to protect the border was given to the Swedish Crown locks that were simultaneously and administrative centers. By the end of the XIII century it was built in Finland 3 Crown Castle Turku Castle was in charge of the West Coast, Häme Castle, built in the country has been called to defend the kingdom from attacks Novgorodtsev from the east, and the most important eastern stronghold of Vyborg Castle was built in 1293 and this it was at that time sufficient to protect Sweden's borders from Novgorod. But that all changed in the XV century, when the Grand Duchy of Moscow to annex Novgorod ...
Such a strong power in the kingdom's eastern borders not cause the Swedes no joy, especially since they had only one fortified castle on the Russian border - Vyborg. Therefore, the Swedes decided to build another fortress to protect its eastern borders and inland waterway trade route and in 1475 laid a new frontier fortress.
Construction was started by the Danish knight Erik Axelsson Tott, who had engaged in strengthening the Vyborg Castle. Originally the fortress was named Nyuslott Swedes (Swedish Nyslott -. New Castle), and then to Olavinlinna - Castle St. Olaf, in honor of the Catholic saint of XI century, particularly revered in Scandinavia as the patron saint of knights.
The project was enormous. Responsible for the construction of foreign masters. Most of the laborers were recruited from the surrounding lands and other parts of Finland. Construction of the castle in order to protect the eastern border had the support of the Catholic Church in the person of Bishop Konrad Bitsa and was caused by the struggle with paganism.
Construction of the castle was completed only towards the end of the XV century.
At this time, the governor of the Moscow principality was Ivan III, also known as Ivan the Great. He has managed to put an end to two centuries of Tatar yoke and fame as "collector of Russian lands." During his reign, the state territory quadrupled. And if before the Swedes worried about Russian next to their lands, the Russian now began to concern the new Swedish fortress right from their land ....
The first attempt to capture olavinlinna was made in 1495. It was unsuccessful, as well as the following in 1496. For several decades, it was repulsed several attempts to take over the castle. Then the fighting died down for a while. In 1534 Olavinlinna became the center of the province, and it carried out extensive work to update the fortifications. All round towers were are built on one floor.
The threat from Russia was still strong, and in 1555 turned into open confrontation.
In 1570 declared a regular Russian-Swedish war, which lasted 25 years, during which Olavinlinna again tried to take again to no avail.
After leaving Sweden from the Kalmar Union castle remained in the hands of the Swedes. Over time, the castle has grown around the settlement, which was called Savonlinna. Trade went well, and in 1639 the settlement was granted city status.
At the beginning of XVII century Olavinlinna prevraschatsya of frontier fortress into a military base, which affected the garrison: it was significantly reduced by the end of the century artillery calculation of the castle consisted of just five people: gunsmith, Sergeant, "kommendanta" and 2 helpers. The guard also has been involved in all 24 persons: 4 shifts of 6 people each.
But even though a significant reduction of the garrison, the regular Russian-Swedish war in 1656-1658 gg. Russian troops again could not grab it. Only destroyed the city of Savonlinna.
In 1700, the Great Northern War began, during which in 1710 Russian troops occupied Vyborg and Kexholm locks. Olavinlinna has become a major obstacle to inland Sweden. Its garrison was increased, and all around were quickly erected a new wooden fortifications.
In the fall of 1710 he came to Olavinlinna detachment of Cossacks of about 2000 people., But retreated after a brief battle. During the year, there were clashes between Cossacks Cossacks and Swedes.
After the capture of southern Finland, Satakunta regions and Varsinas-Suomi in 1713 Olavinlinna fortress it was left to itself. The garrison of the castle at the time was 314 people. In January 1714 Russian troops approached the fortress. capture plan was simple - to completely surround the castle and break the defense of the garrison heavy fire from guns.
June 18, 1714 a convoy of 1683 people and 30 guns under the guidance of Ivan Suvalova entered the Savonlinna. The next day, after heavy fighting, Russian troops were able to capture Malminsaari the island and on the same day they started shelling the fortress cannon, located in the city Hungerborg Hill. Russian troops were able to focus fire with both the eastern and the western side of the castle.
The bombardment was precise and caused great destruction in the castle. Despite this, the defenders have rejected an offer of surrender. A few days later the shelling resumed, and eventually in the north wall has slipped about 20 meters the size of the gap, in the east end of the wall near the tower Kizhla.
The number of defenders was reduced to 158 people, there are only 60 cannonballs and less than ten barrels of gunpowder. defenders chances were zero, and July 28, 1714 Olavinlinna surrendered to Russian forces.
During the bombardment and the storming of the castle was so damaged that it had to arrange temporary barracks outside the castle. St.. Eric's Tower, which was so not in the best condition, suffered such destruction that was demolished, and from it was only the first floor. Despite such difficulties, the castle quickly patched and turned into a Russian base for military operations in the north.
In 1721, under the terms of the peace treaty Nystadt castle was returned to Sweden. The boundary of the newly passed from Olavinlinna at the same distance as before Stolbovski peace treaty in 1617
In 1741 Sweden, trying to recover his possessions, announced a new war on Russia, but its forces were much weaker and in 1742 the Swedish army moved into the country, and the fortress was attacked by Russian troops. August 6, 1742 to Olavinlinna were moved heavy guns and the garrison was made an offer to surrender.
At that time, the castle garrison was a little less than 100 people, and Russian soldiers were more than 1,900 people. Strengthening Olavinlinna were in poor condition, and the officers were not eager to fight, so Comandante castle surrendered after two days of castle siege. Defenders of been allowed to return to their homes. The very same Swedish army surrendered two weeks later in Helsinki.
In 1743 was awarded Abossky world on which the fortress was ceded to Russia, together with the entire region of Savonlinna.
The fortress became a part of "Old Finland", together with Vyborg, there are fairly large garrison.
The presence of a large military garrison in the fortress revived the trade in the area, under Catherine II Savonlinna gained back its privileges and the city became the center of the district.
Updated lock had enough menacing look, and it was thought he could resist the enemy siege. At that time was 112 guns located therein. However, since he did not manage to take part in hostilities.
In 1809, after Finland became an autonomous part of the Russian Empire, Olavinlinna fortress lost its military significance, but Russian troops remained there until 1847 This Olavinlinna wore Russian name olavinlinna. All the guns of the castle were transferred to Vyborg.
In 1855, the fortress became a prison again, but not for long, already in 1861, it left the last prisoner, and the castle itself was empty.
Nowadays Olavinlinna as the most northerly stone medieval castle - one of the major tourist centers of Finland. Within the walls of the fortress are museums dedicated to the history of the castle and the Orthodox iconography.
Since 1967 here opera festival is held annually. This is another business card Savonlinna. The festival has been recognized at the highest international level. This grandiose cultural event not only for Finland, but for all of Europe. A small provincial town is transformed into an arena for the social event of the world of artists.
fort premises today are not empty: much of it is equipped with at exhibitions, expositions and showrooms, which explains the long history of Olavinlinna.
There is even a restaurant stylized medieval refectory.
There is also an exhibition showing how the meal looked like in those days, when there were troops and were fighting.
Once it was guard duty Swedish and Russian soldiers, and today on the wooden boardwalk stroll carefree tourists.
Tourists to the fortress can be reached year-round ticket costs 8 euros for adults and 4 for children. You can order a Russian-speaking tour guides who speak Russian is not enough.
Incidentally, in the International Museum Day, May 18 - admission is free, and the day of St. Olaf - July 29 ticket price - one euro.